With the Wizards season set to begin, optimism abounds. Optimism? Really? For a team that lost a bazillion games last year.? Yes, really!
With Flip Saunders in charge, a healthy and fully motivated Gilbert Arenas and the big trade that brought the ex-Bullets both Mike Miller and Randy Foye, it's a different team than last year's Verizon Center Apocalypse.
The experts at ESPN's TrueHoops network say this is a dramatically improved team. Their collective wisdom puts 'em about 42-40. The network's 'Zards blogger is a bit more optimistic, thinking this team could go 55-27.
Amazingly, some have made a statistical case that the reality is probably closer to the homer's number than the wise crowd. With the amount of returning talent (thanks to Gilbert's rehab), this should be a better team.
But it all boils down to health.
Now if that doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice to you, consider his comments:
I lost 11 pounds this summer by giving up Mountain Dew. That's right Mountain Dew. A lot of people don't know I'm a Mountain Dew addict so I guess this is my confession.
To try and give this up was crazy for me! I was going through withdrawals. I was in the bed sweating. My wife would turn over in the bed and ask "Are you OK?" Honestly, those first two weeks without The Dew [were] the roughest two weeks of my life. I'm talking headaches, sweats and everything. Before that I drank at least six 12-ounce Mountain Dews a day.
It was so bad at one point that I had to have a cold one right there at the night stand before I went to bed. I had to get the coasters and let it drip a lil' bit and just have it waiting on me. Come 2 a.m., I'd wake up out of my sleep, I'd pop one open and hear the fizz sound ... and just down it! Then I always had to have another one in the morning when I woke up. Before practice I had one too and before games I would knock back two.
A healthy Gilbert and less Mountain Dew for Tough Juice? Can a Larry O'Brien be far behind?