An exuberant foreign reporter at Tuesday’s Wizards-Spurs game asked several key figures whether Washington could potentially make the NBA Finals. Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich didn’t laugh at the question.
“Why not?” Popovich said. “I don’t think anybody’s that great in the league, very honestly. Golden State looks different from everybody, obviously, because of their record I guess.But still, I think anybody can beat anybody else in the top 10, 12 teams in the league. It’s anybody’s ballgame.”
While that answer didn’t contain effusive Wizards praise, Popovich had earlier talked about how impressed he was.
“I thought Washington played more consistently than we did,” he said. “You know, Randy [Wittman’s] done a great job in having them buy into the system. They’re playing aggressively, they’re physical, they’re in attack mode, they’re sharing the basketball, and I think they’ve been doing a great job.”
The same reporter asked Tony Parker for his thoughts on the Wizards.
“I think they’re a very good team,” Parker said. “I think they’re legit. I think they’re gonna go far in the playoffs. They have the point guard, they have the outside shooting and they have the inside play to go far in the playoffs when it becomes more half-court and you have to make stops. I think they’ve got all the ingredients. It’s gonna be tough, because in the East you have Chicago, you have other great teams. But I think they’re very good.”
The question also surfaced inside Washington’s locker room.
“When you talk with your mates, do you guys talk about possibly a team could win the NBA, or at least see them for the first time in the Final?” the same reporter asked Bradley Beal. “I mean, it’s a dream for all the fans here in Wizards.”
“It’s possible,” Beal said. “We’re not looking too far ahead. We’re worrying about the regular season right now, and if that’s where our destiny takes us, that’s where it takes us. But we’re just taking it one game at a time. And hopefully, hopefully…that’s the ultimate goal.”
Of course, the Wizards still don’t even rate as one of the choices on ESPN.com’s poll about who might win the East.