A FEW CHOICE WORDS: TONY KORNHEISER

The Curse O' Les Boulez Is Back

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Remember last year when the Wizards were so great? (I mean, for them .) When they won 45 games -- and even a playoff series! -- for the first time in about 20 years?

Well, don't look now, but they're spilling oil.

They've lost 13 of their last 17 games. (Say it ain't so, LaSooz.) This includes six of their last seven, and all three so far on this West Coast trip.

Not to ruin your holiday dining, but that's Bullets territory they're slogging through. And while we assumed this was unthinkable after last year, they're just a good, solid, remember-the-old-days, do-it-for-the-Abester, six-game losing streak away from 9-20 again!

For those of you either too young or too arrogant not to believe in The Curse O' Les Boulez, consider this: The two best players, Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas, the incumbent all-stars, the ones they've pinned their hopes on for continued advancement in the standings, now cannot hit water from the aft deck.

In his last seven games, Jamison has made 30 of 104 shots. That's 29 percent. Wait, it gets worse: In his last five road games, Jamison's number sinks even further, to 26 percent! In his last four games, Arenas has made 30 of 85 shots. That's 35 percent. And the really bad news is that these two take more shots than everybody else. Is it possible they've come to believe they're getting paid for simply taking shots, and not making shots? Isn't this carrying the Princeton offense too far?

If the playoffs began today, the Wizards would be in their familiar seats -- at home. And last year would be seen as an aberration. Nobody expected the Wizards to catch Detroit, Miami and Indiana. But Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Chicago have left them in the dust. New Jersey and Boston are below .500, and they still have more victories than the Wizards.

The Wizards own two great wins this year, San Antonio and Detroit, but not much else. Most of us find ourselves asking: Wha' happened?


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