Let's set aside the fight between the Wizards and Warriors and discuss the aftermath of the game itself. Was it a loss the Wizards can feel good about, or a bad one they will look back on with regret? Keely Diven and Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington debate...
Keely Diven: The Wizards' loss to the Warriors was a net win. It was positive column, if we’re making an Excel table out of this. Entertain my logic for a hot second—you haven't said anything yet but I know you won't like this borderline 'moral victories' take.
The game was good for the Wizards because 1) It was fun as hell. Can I say that? That's why we’re all here and stuff. Toss out the NBA analyst pocket square for a second. Fight-hugs, wild shots, jawing, thunder jams—those are basketball fan gateway drugs. I want to watch the Wizards more and more and not stop watching them. 2) The Warriors are the best team to stalk the league since Jordan’s Bulls. The Wizards beating the snot out of them for the first 3.5 quarters felt so good, I was able to stomach the fact that they eventually allowed a run without Bradley Beal. Oh I have one more point.
3) Beal is no punk. Everyone in the NBA will think twice before elbowing him in the stomach now. And let’s be honest: Everyone wants to smack Draymond. Beal just went and did the darn thing.
Chase Hughes: The Wizards measured up well against the Warriors, which many teams cannot do, but this is a loss that will stick with them because they know a win against the best team in the NBA slipped out of their hands. Plus, they lost an 18-point lead.
With Markieff Morris already out, they couldn’t afford also losing Beal. The fact they were close at the end will make Beal regret his actions even more.
In the fourth quarter, too much of the onus was put on John Wall and Otto Porter. If Beal was on the court, maybe they win. Now the Wizards sit 3-2 on the year and 1-2 on their road trip. Even if they Beat the Kings on Sunday and split this road swing, they will head home knowing they should have beaten the Lakers and could have topped the defending champion Warriors. Calling it a ‘bad’ loss may be strong, but it’s not a good loss in my opinion.
KD: Yes. One-hundred percent, absolutely no wriggling out of this, the Wizards should have won. It was right there! And they did some bone-headed things on the way down, too, like reach-around smack Draymond in the face.
Then Wall took that a heat-check 3 at the top of the shot clock with only a few fuzzy seconds at the bottom of my pocket left in the game. Woof. That's Wizards-era Nick Young territory. BUT, we had fun didn't we? Admit it, that's the most fun 3-2 start ever. And the reasons they lost are fixable.
CH: It has definitely been a fun start and the positive to draw from this game is that the Wizards have a new rivalry. It's, like, the seventh they have brokered in the last calendar year but this is already up there with the best. It's just a shame they don't play each other more often as members of different conferences.
The month of February in D.C. is objectively the worst because of the brutal cold weather. Anyone who says August can't be trusted. But the rematch between these teams on Feb. 28 actually gives us reason to look forward to February. Imagine that.