Saturday, March 10, 2007

Stevie Franchise is a Bum

The way the Wizards played the last two games reminded me of an unpleasant experience from my last two semesters in college. In my dorm, the two pothead quadmates next door never seem to be able to understand to flush the toilet after they use the bathroom. Number 1, number 2, it doesn't really matter. Yeah that's disgusting, right? Well, the Wizards played like crap against the Atlanta Hawks the other night. They looked awful, hands down. Well, it looks like Eddie Jordan and the rest of the team forgot to flush before tonight's game against the Knicks.

I missed the first half of the game because I wasn't even sure the game was actually on TV. I was surprised to discover that the amazing sport of hockey and the quality Washington Capitals weren't taking their place on Comcast. I tuned into the second half, and they were letting the Knicks hang around.

The Wizards like to play close games. They don't blow a lot of teams out, and they frequently let lesser opponents hang around until they pull out a victory in the last few minutes. All Wizards fans should know this and be nodding their heads in agreement.

To avoid dissecting the whole game, the Wizards, as usual, blew a late 6 point lead in the last few minutes and gave the Knicks a chance to win the game. Late in the 4th quarter with the Knicks down by 3 and only 35 seconds remaining, Steve Francis, after gathering a loose ball, drives the paint. Now, there are two choices to make. The Wizards either needed to 1) let Francis get the layup or 2) foul him hard so there's no possible way he makes a layup.

So what happens? Obviously, a Wizard, this time Caron Butler, tries to strip the ball from Francis and he makes the layup. And 1.

The fact that Francis actually misses the free throw turns out to not be important. It might if he hadn't come down the court the next possession and hit a game winning 3-pointer. That part I'm not as shocked about because it was actually a nice play and the Wiz don't play defense. But I am surprised that, after he hit the shot, he then acted like he had just won the NCAA Tournament or just whined his way out of being drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies again.

When Francis played at Maryland for his obligatory single season, he was one of my favorite players. He played with heart and always wore his emotion on his sleeve. He played hard and seemed like a good guy. But today, I saw a different side of him. Maybe it's because he isn't playing for my team. That could be it. But after he hit the game-winning 3-pointer, Francis jumped up on the scorer's table in front of everyone and went nuts. Of course, Nate Robinson hurried over from the bench to jump on his back. And no, he didn't need 34 attempts to complete the task.

I can't remember the last time I saw someone act as crazy as that after a game. He showed up the entire arena. He showed up the entire Wizards team in their own building.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I know if I was playing them again, I would remember what he did. I would want revenge the next time we played.

Hopefully the Wizards feel the same way.

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