Category Archives: Wizards

Don’t Stop Bealieving

Bradley Beal, all of 20 years old, disrespected Chicago-style pizza during the day (“I can’t eat the fat pie”) and dropped 26 on the Bulls at night to propel the Wiz to a 2-0 series lead. Now they return to Washington, hoping to close it out Friday and Sunday.

What a turn of events, considering this is how the experts picked the series:

Now people are all like:

And making Photoshops like:

Of course, we all would have seen this coming if we’d just paid attention to regular-season head-to-head matchups, with point differential as the tiebreaker (via FTW):

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And because that’s all a bit ridiculous, I’ll close with this: Games 1 and 2 really could have gone either way, and Game 2 *really* could have gone either way. Can’t wait to see how the Wiz respond to being up, and the confidence that comes with that.

8 Reasons I’m Excited About The Wizards Being In The Playoffs!

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The Wizards are in the playoffs for the first time in the post-Gilbert Arenas era, and the predominant story line is that Wizards fans aren’t particularly excited. Except for me, that is; I’m extremely excited. Eight reasons why:

1. 44-38 = Championship

The Wizards went 44-38 this season. They also did that in 1978, when they won the NBA Finals. It’s math, really.

2. John Wall + Brad Beal

Neither is All-NBA or anything, but they could be. Someday. If they break the Curse of Les Boulez. For now, they’re a combined age of 43, and this is their first postseason action.

3. Nene, Man

He’s been playing about 20 minutes a game lately and should be good to go for the playoffs. Thank God.

4. National TV

This doesn’t have appeal for in-market folks, but I live in Wilmington, NC, where there has been exactly one — 1! — televised Wizards game this season. One! The Lakers had like 25. I’m not kidding. And League Pass is way too much money for regular season basketball. So this is a big deal for me personally.

5. National Attention

I was kinda bummed the Wizards don’t get the Raptors in Round 1, because it seems like they’d have more of a chance vs. Toronto than the Bulls. But at least this series will actually be on the national radar (via Chicago). Plus, no one wants to root against Toronto, unless the Blue Jays are involved, and Cito Gaston is managing.

6. No More Knuckleheads

No Andray Blatche. No JaVale McGee. No Nick Young. No Jordan Crawford. It’s so much more fun watching them when they’re playing for other teams.

7. They Have A Shot

I don’t expect the Wiz to get past the Bulls, but it’s not like Chicago is a title contender. Not without Derrick Rose, at least. Making it to the second round, probably against Indiana, isn’t all that far-fetched. And Indiana hasn’t been great either.

8. What Else Is There?

The Caps missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The Nats are injured and bumbling. The Redskins went 3-13. Terps basketball is the worst it’s been in decades. The Wiz are all we have right now. Embrace it!

Sports Illustrated Honors The Bullets/Wizards With 19 Classic Images

For the first time in the John Wall and post-Gilbert Arenas era, the Wizards made the playoffs! Nevermind they’re near-.500 record, the Wizards made the playoffs!

To mark the occasion, Sports Illustrated’s wonderful Twitter account @si_vault shared classic Wiz/Bullets pics all day long. Here they are, in all their red-white-and-blue splendor.

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John Wall Is Shooting The Wizards To The Playoffs

Please welcome guest contributor Bryan Frantz to Mr. Irrelevant. Here he is on John Wall and your Washington Wizards.

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The Wizards are having their best season in years. They stand at 33-31, sixth place in the East and 3.5 games away from third. The five seasons before this Washington went 19-63, 26-56, 23-59, 20-46 (lockout-shortened season) and 29-53.

The collective misery of the Eastern conference, arrival of Marcin Gortat, improved health of Bradley Beal and improved play of Trevor Ariza are obvious contributors to the success. One topic that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, though, is John Wall’s jumper.

His shooting has never been something to brag about; his career shooting percentage sits at a modest 42.5 percent, and his three-point percentage hovers around 29.5 percent. Wall is making 33.9 percent of threes this season, though, and he’s shooting 3.7 per game (two more than his previous career high). Take a look at the shot charts:

John Wall’s 2012-13 Shot Chart

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John Wall’s 2013-14 Shot Chart

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His three-point shooting has become a legitimate weapon, to the point that defenses have to respect his jumper. This spreads the floor and opens up Ariza and Beal in ways that simply didn’t exist last season, which leads to more quality shots all around. The Wizards, as a team, are shooting 38.6 percent from three this season, up from 36.5 percent last season.

But it’s not just open threes the Wizards are getting. Washington is shooting 45.6 percent overall from the floor, tied for 11th in the league. That’s a huge increase from 43.5 percent of last season, when they were tied for 27th.

Shockingly enough, making more shots leads to more points. Washington is scoring a respectable 100.5 points per game this season, which is astounding considering they tied for last a year ago with 93.2 points per contest.

Again, this is not entirely attributed to Wall improving his shot. But a point guard needs to have an outside shot to become elite. Derrick Rose, injuries aside, makes for a great case study. In his rookie season, Rose averaged 0.9 three-point attempts per game and made just 22.2 percent. He improved mildly in his second season, and by his third season he had turned his three-point shot into a weapon. That year Rose shot 4.8 threes per game, knocking them down at a rate of 33.2 percent.

So while Wall has always been able to get his points — he’s never dropped below 16 per game — he now gets them from all over the floor. Defenses have a new element to defend, and his teammates benefit from it. The Wizards win.

DMV: The Wiz Need You, Nene

Nene is out 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL. Damn. [Truth About It]

Wiz lean on Seraphin, Booker in Nene’s absence. Uh oh. [Wiz Insider]

Terps get another quality near-win, lose close one to Cuse. [Testudo]

Werth, LaRoche and Mattheus all have really terrific beards. [Bog]

Nats Park gets a new beer-and-sausage bar, The Big Stick. [WBJ]

There will never be a shortage of Kirk Cousins non-updates. [Insider]

Caps defenseman Karl Alzner isn’t even locally famous. [RMNB]

If Caps want to make playoffs they need to go streaking. [Peerless]

Neil Young playing D.C. at the height of his powers? Yes please. [AD]

DMV: 7 Things That Happened While We Were Having A Baby

As some of you noticed, I’ve been busy not posting anything lately. That’s because my wife had our third child two weeks ago. As it turns out, having a newborn and two children under six isn’t conducive to hobby blogging about D.C. sports!

Alas, here’s most of the big and/or interesting stuff that happened while we brought more Mottram into the world …

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1. John Wall won the dunk contest. I was thrilled when he double-pump reversed over G-Wiz, who I never thought would figure prominently in All-Star Weekend. The dunk itself wasn’t that great. Live and in context, though, it was easily the dunk of the night, converted on the first try and shutting down the contest. The Wizards actually won something!

2. The Skins gave D-Hall a four-year deal. Four years is a lot of an old corner, and I’ve been known to dislike DeAngelo Hall quite a bit, but if John Keim thinks it’s a fair deal then it’s probably a fair deal. It’s not that much guaranteed money anyway. Burgundy Blog delves further.

3. Peter Angelos is spending some of that MASN money. Fifty million over four years for Ubaldo Jimenez, and $8 million over one for Nelson Cruz. The former is in line with the going rate for starting pitching, and the latter is pretty much no-risk. Both are nice to see, considering the O’s hadn’t spent a dime despite being on the cusp of playoff contention.

4. Maryland is going out with a whimper. The Terps’ last trip to Durham, as an ACC school at least, provided a great game and ultimate disappointment. Still not sure how Charlie Mitchell’s would-be game-winner didn’t drop.

5. The Wiz traded Jan Vesely for Andre Miller. Goodbye, 23-year-old lottery pick. Hello, 37-year-old journeyman. Mixed feelings here. On one hand, it cements bust status for yet another Wiz draft pick. On the other, they’re making moves to solidify the rotation for a playoff run. I’ll take it, and we’ll always have Jan’s greatest hits.

6. Fred Davis is not doing great. Get right, Sleepy.

7. Sochi was not kind to the Capitals. You’ve got to feel for Alex Ovechkin, and Nick Backstrom too. But not Brooks Laich; he’s fine.

What’d I miss?

The Wizards Are Over .500 And Twitter Is Fun Again

Actually, come to think of it, I’m not even sure I was using Twitter all that much the last time the Wiz were over .500, which was all the way back in 2009. But, with a win over Portland, they’re over .500 now! A couple fun tweets that make the accomplishment that much richer:

Both tweets via FTW. And one more, for good measure:

My Favorite Teams Current Power Rankings: The Wizards Are No. 1!

10. Redskins — It doesn’t get much worse than 3-13, though chances are it probably will!

9. UNCW basketball — Trust me, it’s bad.

8. JMU football – After 15 years of Mickey Matthews, it’s Everett Withers’ time now. (I realize you don’t know who these men are.)

7. Maryland basketball — Sitting at .500 in the ACC, but the season seems doomed by non-conference misery. Tough to watch, too.

6. Maryland football — Seven wins and a Military Bowl appearance qualifies as success for Randy Edsall.

5. JMU basketball — Still high off of the 2013 CAA Championship. Roll Dukes!

4. Capitals — If the season ended today, the Caps would not be in the playoffs. Two points back!

3. Orioles – They haven’t done a thing to improve, but they did win 85 games last year. Not bad!

2. Nationals — Last summer was a staggering disappointment. They won 86, though, and Doug Fister joins the rotation. Also, no more Davey.

1. Wizards – Washington has the sixth seed in the East and would face Toronto, which is nice, because Toronto isn’t Miami or Indiana. Plus, the Wall-Beal backcourt makes me happy.

DMV: Jan Vesely Missed 15 Straight Free Throws, Including This Airball

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Jan Vesely was the sixth pick in the draft, you guys. Sixth! [FTW]

Five thoughts on the Caps’ loss in NY. They’ve lost five straight. [CI]

Nats may be interested in ex-A’s closer Grant Balfour. [Fox Sports]

1988 Donruss Jose Mesa is a stone classic. [O's Card O' the Day]

14 ways to improve the FedEx Field experience. [Hogs Haven]

Just Art Monk and London Fletcher, hanging out. [Redskins Blog]

DMV: This Is The Best Thing The Wizards Have Done In Years

The Wiz introduced the “bandwagon cam” to mock “Heat fans”. [Bog]

A puffy look at how Sean McVay became Skins OC at 27. [Insider]

Lots of info, but no conclusions, about Orakpo’s contract. [Insider]

Ovi scored a “stick, unbelievable” goal against Pitt. [Puck Daddy]

Curious that the Caps are going with three goalies. [Caps Outsider]

Catching up with forgotten man/No. 3 pick Otto Porter. [WaPo]

Mark Turgeon went apeshit in the Terps’ win over Notre Dame. [Bog]

Nats, O’s avoid arbitration with Detwiler, Bud Norris. [NI, Melewski]

Machado recovering, could be back by Opening Day. [Camden Chat]

Mr. Walk-Off wisely advises RGIII to stay off social media. [FTW]