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Josh Howard wants to make the playoffs

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)

A lot of Wizards fans likely see the current product as a placeholder on the way to an uncertain future. A future that starts, you know, after this wasteland of a season ends.

Josh Howard, though, is an optimistic fellow. Apologies for missing what is now two days old news, but I hadn't realized until just now that he still has his sights on the playoffs.

"That's the first thing I looked up, too, was how many games they were out of 8th place," Howard told CSN's Chris Miller earlier this week, before the Antawn Jamison trade. "Six games I think. So anything's possible as far as making a strong push....I know these guys like to play the game. Get the right guy in here that can push them, never know what could happen."

I'll resist the urge to ask "Playoffs????" I'll also resist the urge to mention anything Howard might or might not have admitted to smoking in the past. But I will point out that this wasn't a one-time indiscretion. The playoff talk, I mean.

"Being able to go to the playoffs all my years was a blessing, but what I learned down there, I'll bring up here and hopefully make a positive turnaround," he told Michael Lee earlier in the week. "It was a good thing to be spoiled by the Mavs, being able to make it to the playoffs, but we can make a strong push to get that eighth spot or even the seventh spot. I'm coming here with a positive attitude, trying to play hard and get us to the playoffs."

See, it's not just the eighth spot that's in play here. Seventh? Heck, why not sixth?

(Mike addressed the P word in his chat today, which I'll quote here, since it was awesome:

The Wizards are 7.5 games out with 31 games to go....Right now, the Bobcats are on pace to get the 8th seed and win 41 games. Well, in order to win 41 games, the Wizards would have to go 23-8 the rest of the season.

Aim small, miss small, Mike.)

Howard isn't the only one thinking big. Some guy named James Singleton, who apparently is also on the Wizards, had this to say following Wednesday night's win:

"We've got a lot of young players here," he said. "And all of us are just about the same age. So if we all get that together, we can be one of the youngest, best teams in this league. And with the energy level that we had today, they said they haven't seen that in a while. So if we just that going, once we've got chemistry together, I think we'll be a great team."

We're talking about a real thirst for success here. Like, this is how Howard responded when Chris Miller asked him how important the playoffs were to him.

"Like I said, a lot of NBA players don't make the playoffs throughout their whole career," Howard said. "Come in October and leave in April. Nah. Plus that extra check in April, May and June is nice, you know how that goes. Yeah, I want to be in the playoffs."

Well then. (And yes, he was smiling and laughing during the "extra check" part, so consider it a joke.)

Oh, and one more thing. Here were the seven leading scorers from Washington's roster two years ago: Jamison, Butler, Arenas, Stevenson, Haywood, Mason, Daniels. None will play 50 games for the team this year. I figured that must be unprecedented in franchise history.

Well, not this franchise. Only had to go back six years. In 2001-'02, the team's seven leading scorers were named Jordan, Hamilton, Whitney, Alexander, Lue, Davis, Laettner. Two years later, those men combined to play 64 games in Washington, with none playing 50 games. So yeah. Just the way it goes.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 19, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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playoffs?!! you're talkin' about playoffs?! PLAYOFFS?!!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Josh Howard wants to make the playoffs, and I want a magic pony that poops gold and farts rainbows.

I think I have a better shot of getting what I want.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | February 19, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan, you're missing the silver lining for the Wiz with Josh Howard switching to jersey #5: now they can pull out the Juwan Howard jerseys that have been sitting in boxes in the verizon center basement for the past decade and try to sell them again.

Posted by: detox04 | February 20, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: iubiquity | February 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

AtomicOvermind, I think only unicorns can do that. Even magic ponies have their limits.

Posted by: VeCente115 | February 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

He's playing like he believes it.

Posted by: mack1 | February 20, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Make the playoffs???...Wizards???...yeah, right! Ain't gonna happen folks.

Z's headin' back home to C-town and will be available to play in the playoffs then the Championship! Z will finally get the ring he so deserves.

Cleveland Rocks...Cleveland Rocks...


Oh, and thank you D.C. for 'Twan...he's gonna be loved in Cleveland very soon!

Posted by: irishcav | February 21, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Steeeeeeeeinz... stop it.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | February 22, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I haven't given up on the playoffs either. Good to know the players don't quit as easily as the fans.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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