Every so often, the television show Cops will bring you a life-changing episode. Generally, it goes something like...
Multiple squad cars pull up on a trailer park to find a 1980s big bodied sedan on cement blocks in the front yard of a trailer. The cops, guns drawn, knock on the trailer's door and a young woman wearing a long t-shirt with a graphic of Tweety bird and, apparently, no pants, answers with a dazed look on her face. The officers ask where her boyfriend is and then proceed to barge into the trailer looking for him.
The cameras enter the trailer to find trash piled up knee-deep throughout the house. Paraphenalia is strewn everywhere. Weapons are hidden underneath the kitchen sink. Then, one officer warily enters a back bedroom to find the boyfriend hiding under a bed and, while restraining him, they discover a young baby.
In the five or so minutes it takes for this scene to develop, the viewer goes from fetishistic intrigue, to excitement, to horror, to pity and, finally, to a state of complete and utter disgust at the family for neglecting and endangering its child in such a manner. By the time a commercial break rolls around, you shake the cheeto dust off your shirt and try to find a way to contact the show so that you can offer to adopt the child, to do something, anything, to help protect it from its parents.
Why am I writing all of this?
Because that family is the Washington Wizards and that child is basketball.
It's difficult to imagine a team caring less about winning or playing the game the right way than the 2008-2009 Washington Wizards.
It started with the most lackadasical warmup routine I've seen this year, starring an assistant coach who was practically begging Nick Young to focus for 5 seconds so he could hit at least 1 15 foot jumpshot out of a series of 7. In the co-starring role: 7 footer Javale McGee, who, while practicing complex crossover dribble moves on the perimeter unguarded, was challenged by a teammate to make a 3 pointer for $100. He attempted to take up this bet but, before he could launch a shot, found himself running across the court to track down the ball that he had managed to dribble off of his own foot.
This scene was followed minutes later by another Wizard firmly declaring, "male sperm swim harder than female sperm."
Later, the crowd was treated to Deshawn Stevenson, who had scratched himself from tonight's contest due to lower back pain, shimmy-dancing in his seat (through the pain?) during multiple timeouts.
The Wizards committed 27 turnovers, most of them unforced; many were taken the other way for uncontested dunks. They scored 31 points in the first half. They demonstrated a practiced ability to hit meaningless jumpers during garbage time (from the middle of the 3rd quarter on) so that the game wouldn't look like a complete embarrasment in the final box.
The final score was Blazers 100, Wizards 87.
Someone please save the game of basketball from this group.
Random Game Notes
- After the game, the Blazers asked for a review of the final tape to determine whether Brandon Roy finished with 9 or 10 steals. The final ruling: 10 steals, which tied a franchise high set by Clyde and Larry Steele. Congratulations to Brandon Roy. Brandon said after the game that he can't remember having that many in a game before, not even in high school.
- LaMarcus Aldridge picked the warmup music: "Damn, I'm cold" by Bun B and Lil Wayne.
- What up to Blazers Edge readers Matt and Mark, who were enjoying the comforts of a luxury box right behind me.
- On the big screen, the players and coaches were asked "What was your first pair of basketball shoes?" Just about everyone, including Greg, said Chuck Taylors although Brandon said Jordans.
- I love watching LaMarcus running the break. He is finishing with a dribble from the free throw line or without a dribble when he receives a late pass. Love it.
- I don't love watching Rudy go 2 for 11. Nate got asked about Rudy's performance postgame, worth a read.
- You saw Nic Batum pound his chest after that sick dunk, right?
- The game was done from the opening tip but it was really done during that stretch of 3rd quarter play that saw Batum dunk, two Greg dunks, and a Sergio 3 that made the game 60 to 42.
- Sergio, by the way, would like to enter this game into evidence in the Alien vs. Predator custody battle for backup point guard minutes once Blake returns.
- How hilarious was it to see Travis Outlaw use the foul to give with the Blazers up 21 points at the end of the 3rd quarter?
- On the big screen the team showed the top five Blazers dunks from the first half of the season. The results...
5. Sergio to Rudy alleyoop against the Heat
4. Bayless to Aldridge against the Celtics
3. Greg Oden two hand dunk against the Warriors
2. Bayless's huge baseline dunk against the Nets
1. Brandon Roy alleyoop dunk off the inbounds pass from Rudy against the Warriors
- What happened to Nic's dunk on Pau Gasol?
- All knocks on the Wizards aside, this was a solid win for the Blazers and should give them mega-confidence heading into next week which could see 3 wins.
Deshawn Stevenson. Great shoes.
Javale McGee's -- yes, he wrote "McGeefense" on both of his shoes.
Nick Young rocking the old school Pennys if I'm not mistaken.
Caron Butler. Sick.
I forget who had these but they are pretty hot.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)