Wiz Playoff Possibilities
[Edit: I'm an idiot, there is a long proud history of Beatles-inspired basketball shirts, many apologies to all the fine makers out there. Raptors fans are now free to make whatever shirts they like and I'll stay quiet. Note especially this post, and this post, and this post, and thanks for the links.]
So, if the season ended today, it's Wiz-Raptors. For the record, the Wiz would have drop three games to NJ over the final six to fall to seventh (NJ wins any tiebreaker), or at least four games to Orlando to fall to eighth (tiebreaker could still go either way). As for opponents, Toronto is closing in on Chicago/Cleveland for the second seed, (one and a half games back of both), but would likely lose a tiebreaker to Chicago and would definitely lose a tiebreaker to Cleveland, while the Raptors are now two up on Miami but would lose that tiebreaker. In other words, while Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and Miami all remain possibilities, overwhelmingly, the odds favor a Washington-Toronto first-round matchup.
Which is good, because Raptors fans evidently share our love of making quirky t-shirts. For example:
But "Dread the Red?" That's, how shall I say, dumb. I mean, awful. The Wizards might be in trouble in this series, and players are admitting to being a tad worried, but if they go down hard to Toronto it won't be because of Red Dreading. I guess all that's left is for Wiz fans to counter with some old-fashioned Red Baiting. They're Canadians, after all.
Also, you'll note that Raptors fans have started a petition asking the team to hand out red t-shirts during the playoffs. As Tania, one of the 74 (and counting) signers, notes: "They gave out purple headbands in 01. Why nottshirts?" Why not, Tania, why not? Fans are variously referring to such a promotion as "Red Sea" or "Red Tide." This, too, makes me optimistic about the Wizards' chances.
[Pessimism update: The Wiz are now 39-37, the exact record they had last year at this time. Until they lost to the Bobcats at home, the Wiz had been consistently ahead of last year's pace since mid-December. No more.]
[Pessimism update Part II: Quotes from that Wash Times story:
DeShawn Stevenson: "I think everyone is putting too much pressure on. You can tell just by the atmosphere. It's pretty tight right now, and it's going to be like that until we get a win."
Jarvis Hayes: "It's tight. It's tight around here."]
Tight not in a good way, I guess.
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