Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Wizards (Part 2)

The final Preview post! Read on!!!




(11) 1978 Washington Bullets (44-38) vs. (40) 1963 Chicago Zephyrs (25-55)

The champs. I seriously doubt that they will hold up against 1975 for example. They are definitely older, and a few of them have declined. Wes had 8-12-4, as Hayes led them with 20-13. Phil Chenier dropped to 14-3-2 in 36 games. Mitch Kupchak had 16-7, and Kevin Grevey had 16-4. But the key was, after Wes and Hayes, Bobby Dandridge, one of the most underrated stars of the 70s, who left Milwaukee for the first time. He had 19-6-4, and they don’t win without him.

Year two of Chicago/Baltimore/Washington…..What is a Zephyr? The definition is a soft gentle breeze…Not sure if that is what they had in mind….But that’s the main definition. Walt Bellamy had 28-16, and rookie Terry Dischinger had 26-8…You have probably heard of them solely because of the Zephyr throwbacks the Wiz wear….Much better than the hideous gold alts.

(12) 2008 Washington Wizards (43-39) vs. (39) 2010 Washington Wizards (26-56)

Good year, I guess. Except Gilbert started the end of his career, as the injuries begin this year. But Antawn had 21-10, as Caron had 20-7-5, Brendan Haywood had 11-7, and DeShawn Stevenson had 11-3-3. Another person I liked on these Wiz teams was Antonio Daniels (8-3-5). Great, great player. Hustles, and just a great guy. After the year (13 games of Arenas) the Wiz sign him to an outrageous contract…more in a sec….

The end of the Wiz as a good team ended here. Here’s what I wrote a while back: I always thought Ernie Grunfield was a moron…and [trading Butler] reinforces it. Why the hell would you trade Butler when you have Arenas to trade! Do you really want to build around HIM rather than Caron? You screwed it up when you gave him that HUGE contract…you SCREWED THE TEAM! And you got back CRAP from Jamison, Butler, AND ARENAS….. Pretty harsh, but true. Do you really want to sign Gil after 13 GAMES THE PREVIOUS YEAR? AFTER A KNEE INJURY??? I know he opted out, either sign him to a smaller contract or let him go! I remember hearing that the day it happened, and I remember thinking Grunfield was a total moron. And he is. He plays two games the next year, and then gets in trouble with guns. Great. Force Arenas into a trade. Do anything to rid yourselves of him. Put him into a deal. This year, they traded Jamison, and Butler. In totally stupid trades. Look at the Butler one: Traded Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the Dallas Mavericks for Drew Gooden, Josh Howard, Quinton Ross and James Singleton. Yep, let’s review. Twenty point scorer (and a year removed from an all-star selection), a 10-10 center, and a starter turned scrub for……..Crap, a good second man when healthy (read once in a blue moon), crap, AND crap. Wonderful. Why not just keep Butler. And it gets worse. Antawn gets traded next…. As part of a 3-team trade, the Washington Wizards traded Drew Gooden to the Los Angeles Clippers; the Washington Wizards traded Antawn Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers; the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Emir Preldzic and a 2010 1st round draft pick (Lazar Hayward) to the Washington Wizards; and the Los Angeles Clippers traded Al Thornton to the Washington Wizards. Basically, you get rid of a mistake, get a holdout center, crap, and a first rounder (that isn’t much good), and an OK forward (11 points…). Awful again. Please explain how this makes them any better. Howard played four, count em, four games this year! They get John Wall out this. Great! An out of control point guard! Just a stupid year.

(13) 1982 Washington Bullets (43-39) vs. (38) 2000 Washington Wizards (29-53)

Not great….Greg Ballard had 19-8, Jeff Ruland had 14-9 off the bench, Spencer Haywood had 13-6, and Rick Mahorn had 12-9. 

Pretty bad, but not AWFUL…Mitch Richmond had 17-3-3, Rod Strickland had 13-4-8, and Juwan Howard had 15-6, as Rip Hamilton debuted with 9-2-2.

(14) 2006 Washington Wizards (42-40) vs. (37) 1999 Washington Wizards (18-32)

Yeah, yeah, their record isn’t very good, but I really like this team. Gil had 29-4-6 (back when he was respected as one of the best guards in the league, not an overpaid has-been), Caron had 18-6 (back when he was a great third option, not the guy that sat out the Finals as his team won), and Jamison had 21-9 (back when he was a consistent scorer, not that old guy that is the “best” on the Cavs). Jeffries had 6-5. Antonio Daniels had 10-2-4. I like this team. Definitely won’t win it all, but a good team.

Mitch Richmond led them with 20-3, as Juwan Howard had 19-8-3, Rod Strickland had 16-5-10, Otis Thorpe had 11-7 and Ben Wallace had 6-8….Not as awful as their record implies. But won’t get past 2006 (I’m going to love looking back at all these predictions. I bet I get only half right.).

(15) 1998 Washington Wizards (42-40) vs. (36) 1991 Washington Bullets (30-52)

The first Wizards year…Owner Abe Pollin decided to change it because of “violent overtones” and Washington’s crime rate…..Chris Webber had 22-10-4 (and he’d be traded to Sactown for……………..Mitch Richmond….Why?), Rod Strickland had 18-5-11, Juwan Howard had 19-7, and Tracy Murray had 15-3….not great, but not too bad.

A feel-good year. Why? Bernard King returns to form (28-5-5) after his knee injury woes in NY. After his injury after 55 games in 1985, he sits out 1986, plays 6 games in 1987, then finds himself in DC. He works himself back up to here (from 17 PPG-21-22-28 PPG). He makes an all-star team, retires until mid-1993, when he plays for a while in NJ…Others on this team include: Harvey Grant (18-7), Ledell Eackles (13-2-2), and Never Nervous Pervis (10-8)….

(16) 1987 Washington Bullets (42-40) vs. (35) 1990 Washington Bullets (31-51)

This team was led by Moses (who was traded here after his Philly days), who had 24-11, as Jeff Malone (one of the only good things of Washington in the 80s…) had 22-3-4. Terry Cartledge had 13-7, and Jay Vincent had 13-4 in only 51 games. The Human Stick (Manute Bol) had 3-4 and 4 blocks. I know it sounds harsh (considering he just died) but the guy couldn’t play. He would stand and swat shots. His height is his only asset. The other 7-7er (Muresan) could play a little….But Bol can’t. I’m sorry. (Isn’t it weird that DC featured the two tallest players ever………And the shortest ((and the shortest and the tallest (((Bol is slightly taller than Gheorge))) at the same time…))).
A good two man duo…Bernard King had 22-5-5, as Jeff Malone had 24-3-3….Malone would be in Utah the next year, traded in a three team trade that brought....Pervis Ellison to DC! Wonderful. One good year, and every other one varying between a less-talented-Greg-Oden-that’s-slightly-more-healthy, and Kwame Brown. Just what I wanted!
(17) 1983 Washington Bullets (42-40) vs. (34) 1964 Baltimore Bullets (31-49)
This got Jeff Malone. Jeff Ruland had 19-11, Greg Ballard had 18-7-3, Frank Johnson had 13-3-8, and Rick Mahorn had 11-10. Ricky Sobers (16-3-5) played 41 games, as he was signed mid-year. Spencer Haywood played 38 games of 8-5 to end his career.
The first Baltimore year. Bellamy had 27-17, Terry Dischinger had 21-8, rookie Gus Johnson had 17-14, and Rod Thorn had 14-5-4…
(18) 1971 Baltimore Bullets (42-40) vs. (33) 1984 Washington Bullets (35-47)
This was a Finals team….Surprising that it is so low…Wes led them with 14-17-4, as Earl the Pearl had 21-3-4, Gus Johnson had 18-17, Jack Marin had 19-6, and Kevin Loughery had 15-3-4…Pretty good.
Jeff Ruland had 22-12, Ricky Sobers had 16-2-5, Frank Johnson had 12-2-7, Greg Ballard had 15-6-4, and Jeff Malone debuted with 12-2-2….Rick Mahorn also added 9-9….A playoff team…Nothing special, and will get crushed by 1971.
(19) 2007 Washington Wizards (41-41) vs. (32) 1968 Baltimore Bullets (36-46)
A pretty good team here…Gil had 28-5-6 in his last good year (next year is his injury…), as Caron had 19-7-4, Jamison had 20-8, and Stevenson had 11-3-3…You don’t know how much I miss these teams. I miss Antonio Daniels. I miss Brendan Haywood. I miss Etan Thomas. I even miss Darius Songalia.
Not great….Rookie Earl Monroe had 24-6-4, Gus Johnson had 19-13, Ray Scott had 16-14, and Kevin Loughery had 16-3-3, as Leroy Ellis had 12-11.
(20) 1989 Washington Bullets (40-42) vs. (31) 2002 Washington Wizards (37-45)
Not too bad…Jeff Malone had 22-2-3, Bernard King had 21-5-4, and John Williams had 14-7-4.
Our first MJ-Comeback team… Neither one was really any good…Jordan had 23-6-5, Rip Hamilton had 20-3-3, and Chris Whitney had 10-2-4……There is a book out about Jordan’s comeback years…Mildly interesting book, not really something you should be really excited about…
(21) 1985 Washington Bullets (40-42) vs. (30) 2003 Washington Wizards (37-45)
Gus Williams had 20-3-8, as Jeff Ruland had 19-11-4, Jeff Malone had 19-3-2, Greg Ballard had 13-7-3, and Cliff Robinson had 17-9.
Another bad MJ comeback team (thankfully, it’s the last). Jordan had 20-6-4, as Jerry Stackhouse had 22-4-5, and Larry Hughes had 13-5-3.
(22) 1996 Washington Bullets (39-43) vs. (29) 1972 Baltimore Bullets (38-44)
Not good at all….Webber played only 15 games this year, so they were led by Juwan Howard (22-8-4), as Calbert Cheaney had 15-3, Gheorge Muresan had 15-10, and Rasheed debuted with 10-5…
Wes had 13-18-4, as Earl Monroe was traded to New York (after 3 games). Archie Clark was the leading scorer, with 25-4-8, helped by Jack Marin (22-7). Phil Chenier had 12-3-3 to debut in the NBA.
(23) 1986 Washington Bullets (39-43) vs. (28) 1988 Washington Bullets (38-44)
Jeff Malone had 22-4-2, Cliff Robinson had 19-9, and Gus Williams had 14-2-6, as Dan Roundfield had 12-8. The Human Stick added 5 blocks a game.
Some big names on this team…Jeff Malone had 21-3-3, as Moses Malone (20-11), and Bernard King (17-4-3) joined him. Muggsy Bogues had 5-2-5 (at 5-3), and Manute Bol had 2-4 and 3 blocks (at 7-7). Bol goes to Golden State the next year, and Muggsy is in Charlotte.
(24) 1981 Washington Bullets (39-43) vs. (27) 1965 Baltimore Bullets (37-43)
Not great…Wes was in his last year (8-11), as Elvin Hayes (to be back in Houston next year) had 18-10. Kevin Grevey had 17-3-4, Kevin Porter had 13-2-9, and Greg Ballard had 16-7.
Walt Bellamy had 25-15, Bailey Howell had 19-11, Don Ohl had 18-4-3, as Gus Johnson had 19-13-4. They’ll beat 1981.
(25) 1980 Washington Bullets (39-43) vs. (26) 1966 Baltimore Bullets (38-42)
This is it. The last matchup. No more after this. Actual games. Great! Let’s finish this up! Very fun to plow through, and once we finish this, we’re looking at games! This took 4 months (though at the pace I was going at to finish this in time for November 1st, I could have done it in 2 months), but the games will probably take a year to go through. I’m serious. This will take a while. We may even be knocking on 2013 when this is done. I’ll do my best to go at a steady(ish) pace…Anyway, 1980 had Elvin Hayes averaging 23-11, Wes Unseld averaging 10-13-5, Greg Ballard putting up 16-8, and Kevin Grevey throwing down 14-3-3. Bobby Dandridge (17-6-4) played 45 games….and would return to Milwaukee for 11 games next year, before retiring.
Walt Bellamy was ditched in New York, so Don Ohl (21-4-4) was the team leader. Kevin Loughery had 18-3-5, and Bailey Howell had 17-10, as Jim Barnes had 12-10. Gus Johnson (16-13) played only 42 games. Jerry Sloan debuted with 6-4, but would be on the expansion Bulls next year….
The Bullets…Very good team….Should be exciting when we get to the games to see who wins….That’s all the previews! Games coming soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, your Chicago/Baltimore/Capital/Washington Packers/Zephyrs/Bullets/Wizards! Next, some action packed games!

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