0-2. Milwaukee opens a home-and-home against the last-place Wizards, which qualifies as good news. Except, of course, that they are already 0-2 against Washington this season.
In the first matchup, in Washington, Earl Boykins juked Brandon Jennings in the clutch to escape with a 104-102 win. A few weeks later in Milwaukee, Boykins and the Wizards tormented the Bucks again to score a 109-97 win at the BC.
Both losses marked, and were in the midst of, some of the lowest points of the season. The first loss dropped Milwaukee to 9-8 and came in the middle of losing eight of nine, spoiling that 8-3 start. The second loss to Washington was Milwaukee's third home loss in a row and came in the middle of a different stretch when they lost seven of eight.
December (3-11) was the roughest of times.
Change is bad, or good. So is it good or bad that Washington doesn't really have any of their good players from when they twice beat Milwaukee earlier in the year? Difficult to say.
Washington has an entirely new starting five from the last time they played Milwaukee. Boykins/Arenas/Butler/Jamison/Haywood has turned into Foye/Miller/Blatche/Thornton/McGee. The only holdover still on the team from the first lineup is Boykins, which should be a good thing, but of course it's not.
And whereas the Wiz underachieved miserably with the star lineup, they are playing some ball with the starless lineup. They have won four of seven since dealing Butler and Haywood, including wins against Denver and Chicago.
'Dray Day. Andray Blatche is my age, a few months younger even. This is his fifth NBA season. I am not old. He opted to skip college, I didn't, and well, you see how that's worked out for us.
Anyway, it took some time, but time is on his side.
And judging by the last couple weeks, he figured it out with plenty of time to spare. Blatche has led Washington in scoring five straight games, topped off most recently with a 36/15/4 night in a low possession (92) win over the Nets on Sunday.
In those last five games: 27.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.4 steals. Oh, dear.
Now, Blatche has shown signs of stardom before -- he averaged 21.0 points and 6.3 rebounds on 71.8 % shooting in the first three games of this very season. He followed that start with three months without reaching 21 points in a game. So, five games does not a season make, but this recent run looks rather real.
Blatche can play a few positions, so it will be interesting to see how the ballcoaches play the matchups. 'Dray stands 6-10 and 260, and he will likely see Mbah a Moute (6-8, 230), and perhaps Ilyasova. Game-planning for Andray Blatche, what a wonderful, mystifying world.