This was a playoffs-or-bust season for the Wizards, and despite all the local preseason optimism, that seemed to be about a 50-50 proposition, based on Vegas’s over-under win totals and expert forecasts. The conventional wisdom was probably that the Wizards would be the 7th or 8th seed, but there were plenty of people who had them 9th or 10th in the East.
Some casual fans might not have realized this, but that framework has been torn down. My friend Kevin, a Philadelphia sports fan, was smirking and making faces when I mentioned the other day how euphoric Wizards fans are right now, as their team battles for the third spot in the East. But whatever. The East is awful, the Knicks and Nets have collapsed, Derrick Rose is out, the Wizards are playing well, they’ve been winning with Bradley Beal and Otto Porter in street clothes, and the push for a playoff spot has sorta changed to the push for a decent seed.
Like, the Hollinger Playoff Odds, developed from simulations of the rest of the season based performance to-date? The Wizards make the playoffs 84 percent of the time, the fourth-best mark in the East.
Thus, this Greg Anthony interview on Comcast SportsNet, in which he said the following:
* “John Wall has been the best point guard in the Eastern Conference thus far this season.”
* “They haven’t even had a chance to integrate their lottery pick, Otto Porter.”
* “I don’t want to say the sky’s the limit for the Wizards, but I do think that this is a team that if they didn’t make the postseason, I would be shocked.”
That’s where we are, everyone. There is more national optimism for the Wizards than for the Redskins or Caps. Been a while since you could say that.
GRAHAM GANO PAIN
Graham Gano is having an awesome season. So is Shaun Suisham. That’s just the football gods wanting you to suffer. Brandon Banks will probably end up with a Super Bowl ring somehow.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Marcin Gortat on the pending return of Otto Porter:
“I’m laughing at him now, because his calf is the size of my wrists. Seriously, he’s got to put on some weight. He might get destroyed out there. He’s so small. But he’s a talented kid. He’s a good kid. He’s got a bright future.”
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Via Chris Cooley, who says his new ‘Skins bowls will be available at the Cooley Gallery Friday night:
FORD BUMPS LAICH
We’re going to waste so much digital ink on Rob Ford this week it’s incredible. Anyhow, the mayor of Toronto wound up bumping Brooks Laich on Thursday, and it’s so much better because of Laich’s citizenship.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 3, 2013
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 5, 2013
WAL-MART STOCKS COWBOYS
My pal Clinton Yates had a nice look at the opening of D.C.’s first Wal-mart, but let me particularly flag this part:
Inside, a Wal-mart is a Wal-mart. There are foodstuffs as far as the eye can see and you have to duck to make sure the falling low prices don’t hit you in the aisles. Meanwhile, this ‘urban’ Wal-mart has a custom-built interactive display for Beats By Dre and the new iPhone 5c. The bike section sits on the same row as the lacrosse sticks and yarn. There is apparel for sale of both Washington and Dallas’ NFL franchises.
In fact, the Cowboys and Redskins apparel seem to occupy the same number of racks. When I noted something about this on Twitter, someone quickly pointed out that it’s just good business. So then I asked if I should write about the Cowboys and get easy clicks, because it’d be good business. So then he said I probably should. So then I actually thought about it for a second. But nah. It would be an unbelievable troll turn, though.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
VCU faces Eastern Kentucky at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. Georgetown meets High Point at 9 on Fox Sports 1. The NFL game is spectacularly bad and not worth mentioning. All radio and TV listings are here.