The Washington Wizards had a chance to snap a two-game losing streak and head into the revamped NBA All Star Weekend on a high note. But with only two games scheduled for the week, the Wizards dropped both, and headed into the midseason honeymoon with a four-game losing streak and the NBA trade deadline fast approaching.

The mysterious play of JaVale McGee and the horrible play of the now-injured Andray Blatche could entice the Washington brass to strike a deal before the March 15 cutoff. While few trade rumors have been attached to the team, so have criticism and frustration. Could the Wiz force a move or will they stay pat? The AFRO recaps the week that wasn’t for the Washington Wizards.

Feb. 20—Phoenix 104, Washington 88:
A road trip to the Valley of the Suns handed Washington another loss. The Suns used a 32-13 third quarter to blow the top off what had been a relatively close game. Washington trailed 53-48 at halftime, but succumbed to a horrid shooting quarter and added another installment to what’s now a six-year losing drought to Phoenix. Reserve guard Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 20 points while forward Trevor Booker added 16 points and eight rebounds. Washington hasn’t beaten Phoenix since an overtime victory on Dec. 22, 2006.

Feb. 22—Sacramento 115, Washington 107:
The duo of guard Tyreke Evans and forward/center DeMarcus Cousins makes the 11-22 Sacramento Kings a dangerous team—a fact Washington found out the hard way. After exploding to their highest scoring half of the year, Washington let a 68-point first half go to waste, scoring only 39 points over the next two quarters as the Kings pulled away for a late road victory.

John Wall led Washington with 21 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks but couldn’t overcome a few boneheaded mistakes from his teammates. Frustrated after a non-call on the offensive end, McGee intentionally goal-tended the next Kings’ basket, swatting the ball into the first row in front of a puzzled Verizon Center. The arena let out a collective groan before interim coach Randy Wittman summoned McGee to the bench. The sequence was indicative of the Wizards’ season so far, which has been filled with its share of head-scratching plays. Washington dropped to 7-26 on the season.

Midseason thoughts:
It’s been pretty ugly for the Wizards. Despite an uptick in play since Wittman took over, Washington still lurches along as one of the worst teams in the league. Blatche is likely to get moved in some capacity, whether it’s through trade or release in the offseason. The 6-foot, 11-inch forward has turned into an ongoing target for boos from the home fans. McGee has continued to show promise in his short tenure with Washington, but the brain lapses continue to blackball his career. The team isn’t without talent, but such has not prevented casual Wizards fans shaking their heads as they depart the arena. Washington will return to action in a road trip to Milwaukee Feb. 28.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO