Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
After returning home from a West Coast stint myself, I am a bit worn from the travel and all of the extra stuff we had to gather for a few upcoming features… so the feeling must be about the same for the Wizards who went 1-3 on this road trip.
In two of the games, they were practically left for dead, including the 28 point deficit they faced in Sacramento. Enter Bradley Beal. Just as he has done in quite a few games this season and over the past 60 days, he brings the team back to life and gets them where they need to be… only to drop back to 10 points behind in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
The game last night against Portland was quite different. There were a few mistakes and costly fouls that allowed the lead to balloon into double digits, but again Beal and his crew fought right to the final buzzer. There is no quit in this team and there is still a good chance when they return home on Friday that they can turn this around and get back to striking distances from 4.5 games out of that final playoff spot.
Many people keep asking why make the playoffs? Why not just be a contender and stay alive, but realize that there is a good chance that the draft could net one other piece of the missing puzzle. They have enough pieces, just putting them all on the court each night where your star player isn’t forced to toss up a 40 plus point effort, mostly in a loss. Can they be productive enough to get these 4.5 games and make it? Or, is one loss here and one loss there, while Brooklyn and Orlando lose on the same night you need to win really hurting their chances.
Are they already eliminated? These next two games at home will be a big test to see what they have left in the tank. Is the tank on fumes and a quick refill of octane what they need right now? Friday will let us know.