Wizards end five year playoff drought


Courtesy of washingtonpost.com

Beal and Wall talk during pre-game practice.

John Wall and the Washington Wizards celebrated as the final buzzer sounded at the end of Game Five against the Chicago Bulls. The Wizards had just advanced to Round Two by beating the Bulls 75-69. The crowd at United Center watched in disbelief as the inexperienced Wizards walked away winning the series four games to one, against one of the best defensive teams in the league.

The Wizards have not won a playoff series since 2005, when they beat the Bulls four games to two. The playoff drought in Washington dates back to 2008, and no current Wizard was even on that roster. Back then, the Wizards were led by all-star guard Gilbert Arenas, but due to numerous injuries and a gun incident in 2010, he is no longer in the NBA. Since then, Washington has had to rebuild through the draft, getting John Wall (as a replacement for Arenas) in 2010 and Bradley Beal in 2012. On top of this, they acquired Nene Hilario from Denver in 2012 through a trade. It seems as if all of the rebuilding was worth it now, because the playoff drought is over and the Washington Wizards are poised to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. With the backcourt duo of Beal and Wall, as well as Hilario, the Wizards were able to pull off the upset and beat the league’s best defensive team, the Bulls, in a convincing fashion.

Local fans are excited to see the Wizards advance to the next round in the playoffs.

“Seeing the Wizards make it to the next round feels good because I’ve been a fan for a while,” sophomore Dini Mohamud said. “I’m ecstatic to see them back in the bright lights in the NBA playoffs.”

“I’m very excited because they haven’t made it to the playoffs since I was ten,” junior Michael Velasquez said, “I’m hopeful they can go far because they have a talented group of young guys who are on a mission for a championship.” Velasquez was present at Game 4 of the series, played at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.

“The game was very exciting, loud and entertaining,” Velasquez said. “It’s something I will cherish for a very long time.”