“It’s a very good team,” Rick Carlisle said of the Wizards Tuesday night, after Dallas’s win over Washington. “They’re young guns that are very close to taking a quantum leap. We wanted to prevent them from taking a big leap tonight, and it was hard.”
Bless their hearts, the Wizards players seem to feel they’re close to such a leap as well. Here is Marcin Gortat, talking on ESPN 980 last week, when the Wizards had just recorded their first victory of the season.
“There’s still a lot of different things that we can improve, and definitely we can be a better team,” he said. “Just because we lost the first three games doesn’t mean we can’t go to the playoffs. This is our main goal, and that’s what we’re gonna focus on….All the older guys gonna take care of the young guys, and we’re gonna make sure that they’re running the stuff the right way….I think we have a great mix of guys. We have a lot of veterans, we have a lot of talented young guys, and bringing every day that energy we had last game. And if we’re gonna play hard, if we’re gonna play like a team then I don’t see any reason why we can’t win 40-plus, maybe 50 games.”
Maybe 50 games? I need an editorial aide to fetch me my smelling salts. The Wizards haven’t won 50 games since the 1978-79 season. Needless to say, no player on the roster had been born at that point. I’m not convinced Randy Wittman had been born at that point.
Speaking of which, Gortat was also asked about his new coach.
“I just like the comments he makes,” Gortat said. “In practice, when it’s supposed to be a foul, he say,s guys I’m a bad referee, sorry for that, I’m just a bad referee. And we’re not getting calls, everybody’s pissed, and we’ve got to run the other way. [Last week] in the game I screw up probably a few places, and he said, you know what, I’m just gonna murder you right now, or just go get some rebounds for me.”
That’s just what my editor always tells me!