As Dan wrote about this morning, D.C. sports teams as a whole have not fared well at home when playing for their playoff lives this millennium, and the Wizards are no exception. Here’s a T-shirt worthy list of the Bullets/Wizards starters in the franchise’s last five elimination games at home, including a 1997 loss to the Bulls in Landover.
Trevor, Nene, Marcin, Bradley and John don’t want to join that list tonight. They’d rather end an even longer drought and be connected with the five starters from Washington’s last second-round win at home, in May 1979: Bob Dandridge, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Kevin Grevey and Tom Henderson.
Thirty-five years is a long time between second-round home wins, but as Slate’s terrific “Six Degrees of Kevin Garnett” tool from last year illustrates, Nene and Elvin Hayes are more connected than you might think.
(Note: A connection, for the purposes of this exercise, exists if two players played on the same team in the same season. Slate’s tool uses NBA rosters that were last updated in August 2013, so it’s possible that some of this year’s starters are connected to the ’79 starters by fewer degrees than listed below. Sorry. Are we sure Andre Miller didn’t play with Wes Unseld?)
You can try the tool for other sports, too.