Open Thread: Regular Season Game 66

The Essentials:
Hawks (28-38) at Wizards (33-32)
7 p.m.
Verizon Center
CSN

This Year:
November 11: Wizards 101, Hawks 90
December 21: Hawks 97, Wizards 92
January 11: Wizards 102, Hawks 98

Notable Hawks numbers this season:
18th in expected winning percentage (.411)
16th in pace factor (89.8 possessions per game)
21st in offensive efficiency/offensive rating
16th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating

Key Links (drop any others in the comments)
Hawks BasketBlog
Hawks Blog
Hoopinion
Impending Firestorm
DeShawn Supermans that Hov

Starting Lineups:
Hawks
PG: Mike Bibby
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Josh Smith
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Al Horford

Wizards
PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood

Tonight's Lines
Hawks at Wizards: Wizards by 7.5
Over/Under on Total Scoring: 195

Hey party people, I hope you're all enjoying your St. Patrick's Day.  I've heard in the past that I'm more understandable when the person listening isn't sober, so we'll see what happens today.

Playoff Picture: Both teams tonight are still in the thick of the hunt of the playoff race, so this should be a competitive game throughout.  The Hawks are tied with the Nets for 8th place, with both teams playing a game (the Hawks play tonight, the Nets play tomorrow against Chicago) before a big match-up against each other on Wednesday night.  Meanwhile, the Wizards now find themselves 1 game ahead of Philly for 7th and only half a game back of Toronto, who's really slid down the standing on this West coast road trip without Chris Bosh.  With another toughie tonight in Utah, it's entirely conceivable that the Wizards could be in 5th place by the end of the night.

Think Green: With St. Patrick's day comes all sorts of crazy promotions.  You may remember in recent years, that the Knicks, Bulls, and Celtics have all added some green to their jerseys for St. Patty's day in recent years.  Could the Wizards be the next team to join in the tradition?  The graphic that loads when you head to the Wizards' site would seem to suggest that it could be a possibility:


How bad do you think it has to be for the poor guy who forgets to wear green today?  Not only does he get pinched all day, now he has to pay full price for his ticket while everyone else gets in for $10.

Random Note of the Game: This has nothing to do with the game, but I felt it was worth mentioning that Bullets Forever was on Blog Show last week...sort of.  It's a start.

Keys to the game: More than anything, the health of Caron and Brendan is going to be huge here.  If Brendan's knee and Caron's wrist are back to full (or close to full) strength, Stevenson can slow down Joe Johnson (who's been on a tear recently), and the Wiz can keep the Hawks from getting second chance points, we should be able to pull out the win tonight.

This is an open thread, so regale us with some tales from Calvin and Roger's trip to Ireland.

GO WIZARDS!

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