[Thanks to chibully_85 for today's game preview. We're at a new cycle of games, so if you're interested in doing one please sign up. Early start, gamethread up at 6:08 -ed.]
Alright, I’m tired of hearing about yesterday’s game, the dunk over JL3, moral victories, and all that jazz. It’s over, we’ll see them again and it will hopefully be a different outcome at the Madhouse on Madison.
Tonight, we head to Washington for game 2 of our 9-game road trip to take on the new look Wizards. Well, I take that back, they’re practically the same team sans Flip Saunders. Their new interim coach, Randy Wittman, is 2-1 (both wins against the Bobcats) and there is a new winning attitude in the nation’s.. Sorry, I can’t take that or these guys seriously. I mean last game at the United Center, we held them to 64 points, John Lucas III had the game high in points, and Derrick Rose didn’t even play! So if you don’t mind I’m going to get into the matchups.
Derrick Rose > John Wall
This was viewed as the perennial PG matchup last year with two somewhat similar point guards both coached under John Calipari. We already know how this story panned so far, and although Wall has great potential, he is not progressing as you think he would in Washington. Last year he averaged 16.4 PPG in the 20 games he played (14.0 against the Bulls), and this year he’s averaging 15.9 having his career high (38) in a loss to the Houston Rockets. Rose definitely wins this matchup, but the only issue I see will be Rose’s stamina. Coach Thibs went all Coach Thibs on Rose, and he ended up playing 45 minutes with little help from JL3 and C.J. out for that game. With C.J. hopefully playing tonight, Rose will be ready to play and show out again.
With Rip re-aggravating his groin (again), Korver might get the start over Hamilton. In the event this happens, Young can win this matchup. Don’t get me wrong, Korver’s defense has improved a little, but if matched against Young it most likely won’t be pretty. Korver has been slangin' hot sauce on and off all year so I don't see him having a huge game tonight. Jordan Crawford coming off the bench to give Young a rest could be our biggest exploit if the Wizards are smart in this. This could be a matchup to watch.
I’m one of Ronnie’s biggest supporters as a role player and filling in for injured players. Tonight he’s matched up against Lewis, a veteran wing player who can hit the three, but has been falling off this year with his PPG going from 11.4 last year to 8.4 this year. Ronnie on the other hand, has seen more game time increase as well as his points. I love “Chicago’s Finest Brew” in this matchup.
Booz didn’t have a great game against the Boshtritch (maybe that’s why his kids were rooting for the Heat…), but was still close to a double double in his 28 minutes. Our best friend and my 2nd favorite Wizard to YouTube, Andray Blatche left Saturday’s game against the Bobcats with a left calf injury and is day-to-day, having Vesely take his spot. And he did a good job at not sucking (2 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals). Unsure who will start for the Wiz, but then I’m unsure which Boozer will actually show up, so I’ll just be optimistic about that.
Noah started the year off kind of rough but has turned it around and could possibly make the All-Star team this week when votes are tallied. I’ve really enjoyed watching him play when he can stay out of foul trouble. He wins over this guy many times over on paper, but last game McGee out played Noah on the boards and in points. I really hope for Noah to play energized and outplay this guy tonight. By the way, he's my favorite Wizard to YouTube.
Game starts tonight at 6PM on NBATV at the Verizon Center. I was actually going to this game as of last week, but Blatche happens. Either way, I’ll be watching it and hope you will too.