It was a busy week for the young Washington Wizards, and with five games in seven days, the Wizards made the most of it, going 3-2 to string together their first winning week this season. The squad even managed to sneak in a rare road win to create their first two-game road winning streak of the year. As the season winds down, the District’s home team is still competing.

Wizards vs. Charlotte Bobcats:
Washington kick-started the week with a 97-91 road win over the Charlotte Bobcats on April 3. Forward Andray Blatche continued his inspired play, racking up 25 points, 17 rebounds and three steals. Rookie guard Jordan Crawford backed Blatche’s efforts with 23 points and five rebounds.

Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons:
The Wizards returned to the Verizon Center on April 5 for a home date with the Detroit Pistons. Although they battled back and forth through most of the night, the Wizards managed to hold on for a 107-105 win, giving them their first three-game winning streak in three years. Blatche and rookie point guard John Wall combined for 52 points, aided by 28 free throw attempts. Wall added a game-high 12 assists while Blatche snatched a game- and career-high six steals.

Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers:
But even a three-game winning streak couldn’t give Washington enough of a boost to avoid a 136-112 blowout from the Indiana Pacers on April 6. The Pacers scored 43 points in the opening quarter and never looked back, scoring 108 points through the first three quarters. Crawford led all scorers with 29 points and shot 10-for-10 from the free throw line.

Wizards vs. Boston Celtics:
A trip to Boston and a 104-88 shellacking awaited the Wizards on April 8. Washington trailed 59-56 at halftime but could only muster 32 second-half points. Blatche had another strong game with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The loss dropped Washington to 0-9 on the road against Atlantic Division teams this season. The Wizards, however, have been strong at home against divisional opponents as they currently stand at 7-1 at the Verizon Center against Atlantic opponents.

Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks:
Washington saved their finest performance of the week for the end as they shot down the Atlanta Hawks 115-83 on April 9. The Wizards put seven players in double figures and could’ve had eight if not for a rare off-game from Crawford, who scored just six points but still lead the team with eight assists. Blatche led all scorers with 23 points while Wall added 19 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. Prior to the game, Wall was awarded the Eastern Conference T-Mobile Rookie of the Month award for March.

Washington will play their last home game of the season on April 11 against Boston. It’s a game that the Wizards said they will be looking forward to as they close the 2010-2011 season. “That last home game is basically going to be for ourselves and for the fans,” Blatche said after the win against Atlanta. “ let know that even though it’s been a bad season, we are starting to grow into a great team.  Let them know that next year should be different for us.”

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO