Paging Morris Almond

Paging Morris Almond
April 16, 2013, 10:15 am
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Even knowing the Wizards' record would finish upside-down, the overall season had the look of ending glass half-full because of the team's rise from their 4-28 depths to playing winning ball over the final three months. No matter what happens Wednesday night in Chicago against the Bulls, in time the positive prism likely will indeed be the one in which the masses view the Wizards 2012-13 campaign.

It would just be a lot easier to get there if Washington could blow into the Windy City and get a win already.

It's five straight losses and counting after Washington blew a 17-point lead and lost 106-101 at the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Should the Wizards fall against the Bulls, they would take a half-dozen game losing streak into the offseason -- or the exact opposite finish from the previous year when they closed the season with six straight wins.

Nene's presence and the absence of others on the roster were credited with that finishing kick. Because of that spurt and the difference overall with Nene on the team, the Wizards organization believed a playoff push was indeed possible in 2012-13. Injuries and 4-28 ruined such plans. Not having Bradley Beal for the last couple of weeks, Trevor Ariza and Nene for the last few games certainly hasn't helped the recent cause, though the Nets essentially played with a backup lineup off their own.

Just don't forget that a random free agent addition joined the roster for those final six games and indeed finished with a 6-0 record. Considering all that is at stake in the finale, the Wizards would be wise to figure out where in the world is Morris Almond even if it means getting Matt Lauer on the case.

What's at stake? Some symbolism and some positivity.

*With a win, the Wizards will have at least 30 in a season for the first time since 2007-08 when 43 victories put them in the postseason.

*With a win, the Wizards will finish 25-24 since Wall's return from a knee injury on January 12. Even with a loss, the record with Wall will be dramatically better than without the point guard. Yet so much was made about the team's improvement with him. All the praise is legitimate, just slightly less interesting if both ends of the comparison are under .500. The actual record since the 4-28 start would land exactly at 25-25.

*With a win, the Wizards will avoid running their current road-losing skid to eight games. The recent nine-game winning streak at home ranks as one of the season's highlights. Would be a bummer to have the one run still going be the dubious version. Currently the Wizards 7-33 road record is second worst in the NBA behind Charlotte. Even a win on Wednesday would not end concerns about the team's play away from the Verizon Center.

*With a win, the Wizards wouldn't enter the offseason with a six-game losing streak, which would be their longest since dropping eight straight from Dec. 12-Dec 26.

Even if a somewhat dubious goal, there was something noble about the Wizards admitting they were playing for a ninth place finish. Ninth would have meant no playoffs, but going from the worst of the worst to atop the Eastern Conference's non-postseason teams since January would indeed have been noteworthy. It's just not necessarily a cool factoid to mention at dinner parties. Talk about a winning record with John Wall in the lineup, now that is something folks will eat up.