Life comes at you fast. If you were an avid Wizards fan during the Wall-Beal era this past week has been an emotional rollercoaster ride that has ended up foreshadowing the beginning of what looks to be a long rebuilding process. This abrupt ending to what looked like a team on the rise is WITHOUT A DOUBT the worst case scenario I could have come up with if you were to ask me “Where do you think the team will be after the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2017?”
Exactly 2 years ago the Wizards were 31-21 and had just capped off a 17 game home winning streak only a few days prior (The longest since 1975). The team rode that wave into a 49 win season and a thrilling playoff run. Optimism was high, John Wall sent the team to Game Seven in Boston with a cold-blooded game winning three. Everything was headed in the right direction until Kelly Olynyk caught fire for 26 points to clinch the series and little did we know it was the beginning of the end.
Since the Olynyk snafu the Wizards have consistently played down to the level of their competition. They have also dealt with numerous injuries including one to All-Star John Wall that changed the focus of the organization and looks to be the incident that sparks a new rebuild. The once promising lineup that was primed to compete as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference has now vanished. All we can hope for now is luck in the lottery.