It was a Wednesday night unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Pigs were soaring through the air with R. Kelly singing them along. Cats and dogs settled down for a friendly game of Monopoly over wine spritzers and laughs. Kanye West claimed that there were at least five better rappers in hip-hop right now than him. None of these compare to what else happened, though.
With a dominant 26-point win over the Boston Celtics, the Washington Wizards moved to 39-36 for the 2013-14 NBA regular season. However, their record holds a larger meaning, as they have now clinched a berth in the 2014 NBA Playoffs. I’ll give you a second to let that sink in, because it’s not something you should be used to hearing.
The Wizards were actually in the playoffs in 2008, but it seems much longer than that since they’ve been alive in the postseason. Since that time, the Wizards have experienced the Gilbert Arenas debacle, the JaVale McGee era, and five seasons where they have failed to win more than 29 games and have failed to win at least 25 games three times.
However, what we’re experiencing is truly the revival of the Wizards. Obviously everything begins and ends with the emergence of John Wall as a star, but it hardly ends there. The Wizards’ front office has made a number of fantastic decisions in recent years to get this team here. Adding Bradley Beal in the draft to compliment Wall on the wing, signing quality free-agents like Trevor Ariza, developing role players like Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, and trading for Marcin Gortat all go to the front office’s credit.
While Washington isn’t really considered a title contender, this is the first step into the new era for this team. They have the potential to make some noise in the first round of the playoffs this season, but they also have a multitude of young talent that makes their future look incredibly promising. It’s okay to be shocked that the Wizards are in the postseason, but it’s something we should likely get accustomed to.