Tim Legler winning the Three-Point Shootout at the 1996 NBA All-Star Game was one of the highlights of my Bullets fandom, both because there wasn’t much else to cheer about and because I often dreamed of making it as a three-point specialist. That’s pretty sad when I think about it, but hearing Legs talk about the Wizards’ playoff hopes last night with ESPN’s Steve Levy made me happy.
“I don’t see Chicago coming back,” said Legler, who stopped short of predicting a sweep. “Even though I picked Chicago in seven, after I watched the first game, I said yesterday ‘Washington’s going to win this series because they’re a better team.’ They’ve got more balance, more speed, more athletes, more places to go offensively to get a quality look. Chicago, for all the heart and grit that they show — and that’s why everybody loves the Chicago Bulls and loves what Tom Thibodeau gets out of his teams — the bottom line is you have to have guys that can break you down and get a quality shot for themselves to trump good defense. They just don’t have that.”
Legler praised D.J. Augustin and suggested your heart bleeds for Chicago a little bit (no, it probably doesn’t) because they don’t have Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. He then returned to talking about how great the Wizards are. No, really.
“Pay attention to this Washington team, because the more you watch them, the more you realize, they really don’t have any weaknesses. They’ve been a top 10 defensive team all year, and now you’re seeing the parts that they have offensively. You get contributions off the bench from Andre Miller; this is a dangerous team in the East now, and a fun team to pay attention to.”
Levy asked about a potential second round matchup with the Pacers.
“Washington is going to give anybody they play in the second round and beyond fits,” Legler said. “It’s going to be a tough series against this team. This isn’t a fluke, and not jumping on the bandwagon or overreacting. They play a certain quality of basketball because they’ve got everything you need. They’ve got playmaking at the point and they’ve got speed, a veteran point guard to come in and run the show, shooters in Beal and Ariza, and Gortat and Nene are one of the best 4-5 combinations in the league when you talk about all-around offensive capabilities. So, they just don’t have any holes that you look at and say, ‘They’re playing over their heads right now.’”
Got that? The Wizards really don’t have any weaknesses. They’ve got everything you need. This is not a fluke. I think I’m going to go practice my jumper.