Wizards Extreme: Finding The Rivalries

Wizards Extreme: Finding The Rivalries
August 13, 2010, 6:31 pm
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Friday, August 13, 2010 2:46 p.m.
By Joe Glorioso WizardsExtreme.com

With the 20102011 NBA schedule now released I think fans always start off by looking for the marquee games, how many games will be on national TV and when the NBAs superstars will be coming into town.

Then I believe you move on to the rivalry games. These games generally feature division foes, previous playoff matchups, players you cant stand, coaches you dislike or fan bases that give you heartburn.

With all those things in mind, I couldnt really come up with anybody whom the Wizards would be considered an arch enemy to.

In the last decade, the years they were in the playoffs, Washington played against Chicago, Miami, and Cleveland. I dont think you can necessarily call any of those a rivalry at this point in time, but they might be the closest things to it.

Heres a quick look at the potential match ups that I think could be worth watching for the upcoming season.

What once looked like it could turn into a budding rivalry turned out to be much adieu about nothing. This latest edition of the Wizards vs. Bulls rivalry began with the 2005 playoffs where the Wizards defeated the Bulls 4-2 to win their first playoff series in nearly 23 years.

Washington as many of you will recall ended up beating the Bulls at Verizon Center in game 6 but not before Gilbert had this famous moment in Wizards history in Game 5:

Or better yet...

Now the Wizards have both guys who were directly involved in that moment, Kirk Hinrich and Gilbert Arenas.

If Hinrich's revenge against his old team doesn't get you going, or the coach who turned his back on the Wizards Tom Thibodeau doesn't do it for you, Derrick Rose vs John Wall should.

The two Calipari coached guards will square off against each other on a few occasions and we'll get our first tastes of whether or not these super talented stars can create a rivalry that begs for National TV attention.

Nov. 13 Sat at Chicago 8:00
Dec. 22 Wed Chicago 7:00 NBATV
Feb. 28 Mon Chicago 7:00
Mar. 15 Tue at Chicago 8:00

Wizards vs Bulls All Time Series
Franchise G W L W-L ? PS PA PSG PAG
Bulls 194 90 104 0.464 19686 19907 101.5 102.6

The next closest rivalry would have to be Cleveland but the argument there is that the guy who was most hated on the Cavaliers is no longer there. Not to mention, one of Washington's most revered players in recent history, Antawn Jamison will be wearing the opponent's jersey.

It's kind of hard to hate on a team that's been through what Cleveland has this past year but I cannot forget the amount of trash talking and finger pointing we received from their fans over the past 6 years.

One part of me still hates the Cavaliers, the other just says lets combine fan bases to hate on LeBron.

So the storyline here is easy. The baddest gang in town lost its number one bully and now are forced to face all the teams they disrespected with their pregame rituals and antics. In case you forgot what those used to look like.

I'm not looking forward to the games against Cleveland the way I used to but would love to sweep the Cavs for the next four years. Let's start with these four games:

Nov. 6 Sat Cleveland 7:00
Feb. 13 Sun at Cleveland 6:00
Apr. 1 Fri Cleveland 7:00
Apr. 13 Wed at Cleveland 8:00

Wizards vs Cavs All Time Series

Franchise G W L W-L ? PS PA PSG PAG
Cavaliers 185 99 86 0.535 18698 18606 101.1 100.6

This takes us to the Miami Heat. The Heat have historically owned the Wizards franchise holding a 62 to 28 edge over 90 games. In their only playoff series against each other, the Heat dismantled Washington 4-0, and DWade had his way with Washington scoring 42 points, with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. If you're a sucker for punishment relive the moment here:

Based on those numbers and the ones outlined below you would think there is not much of a rivalry but as we all know because of "The Decision", the Heat now employ enemy 1 in DC, LeBron James.

I don't believe there was all that much care for the Heat before this season but the number of fans rooting against the Heat may multiply by a few with LeBron and Bosh deciding to form the Scheme Team.

We all know this will probably be the hottest ticket in town and rightfully so. It'll be DC's first chance to see the team that everybody is trying to hand the Larry O'Brien trophy to. We can now also thank Jeff Van Gundy for bringing the hype to new levels of insanity, all the more reason to root against them if you ask me.

The two games where Miami comes to DC will probably be the most in demand game around here in quite some time and if I were a betting man I'd say the December 18th game looks like a prime one for a Presidential appearance.

Even though no one outside the DC Metro area will give the Wizards a chance I'm looking forward to seeing John Wall and Gilbert Arenas get their first few cracks at Dwayne Wade and LeBron. Mike Miller will also be making his first appearances back in Washington and the Wizards can also avenge the way Miami treated local boy Michael Beasley.

Washington and Miami will meet 4 times with 1 game on National TV.

Nov. 29 Mon at Miami 7:30
Dec. 18 Sat Miami 7:00 NBATV
Feb. 25 Fri at Miami 7:30
Mar. 30 Wed Miami 7:00

Wizards vs Heat All Time Series
Franchise G W L W-L ? PS PA PSG PAG
Heat 90 28 62 0.311 8610 8954 95.7 99.5

The last matchup that I think will make for interesting watching is the Wizards vs 76ers. Washington gets both of it's home appearances out of the way in the month of November which includes the home opener on the 2nd of November.

Surely the big storyline here is the return of Doug Collins as a coach against the team that kicked him and his best friend Michael Jordan out of town.

If that's not what you were looking forward to then obviously you want to focus on the production of 1 vs 2.

Wall vs. Turner.

For the first few weeks after the lottery there was some discussion about whether or not Wall or Turner should be the first selection. Those conversations didn't last too much longer past that though.

From all I've heard and read about Turner and his demeanor, I fully expect to see him come out with a fire in his eyes with hopes of showing up Wall and the Wizards for skipping over him in the draft.

We don't really know how much we will get to see the two players matched up on each other but their futures will always be tied together and you can bet that both very driven players will do all they can to ensure that one gets the better of the other.

Nov. 2 Tue Philadelphia 7:00
Nov. 23 Tue Philadelphia 7:00
Jan. 5 Wed at Philadelphia 7:00
Feb. 23 Wed at Philadelphia 7:00

Wizards vs 76ers All Time Series
Franchise G W L W-L ? PS PA PSG PAG
76ers 270 104 166 0.385 28833 29518 106.8 109.3