November 20: Oklahoma City 127, Washington 108
11th in expected winning percentage (.564)
20th in pace (92.1 possessions per game)
17th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (106.4 points/100 possessions)
8th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (104.5 points/100 possessions)
|Tonight's Projected Starters|
|Russell Westbrook||PG||Gilbert Arenas|
|Thabo Sefolosha||SG||Randy Foye|
|Kevin Durant||SF||Caron Butler|
|Jeff Green||PF||Antawn Jamison|
|Nenad Krstic||C||Brendan Haywood|
UPDATE: A few really, really quick notes:
- Don't expect to see any Randy Foye at backup PG. Flip reiterated again how Earl Boykins is the team's most effective bench player. "If you look at the games we've won, he's been the biggest reason why we won those games," Saunders said. I never got a chance to ask "But what about the games you lost?"
- We might see a lot more zone defense tonight. Flip implied that if it's what works, as it was at times vs. Memphis, they'll use it. This despite the players not always having their hands up like they're supposed to.
- I saw Mike Miller jogging around in those capri pants. He still looked like he was not ready to play soon, but I didn't get a chance to speak with him.
Okay, fine, one quick thought: I think Flip Saunders deserves a lot of blame for this loss. Strategically, the decision to go zone for basically the entire fourth quarter and overtime is pretty questionable when you're being killed on the glass. Memphis scored at will in overtime, and the only possession Washington stopped them and held them to one shot came when they were in man. The other issue I have is with subbing out both Brendan Haywood and Gilbert Arenas at the same time in the fourth quarter. Neither had foul trouble (Arenas had three, Haywood had four). Arenas eventually came back in quickly, but Haywood sat longer as Memphis' lead ballooned. As soon as Haywood returned for Earl Boykins, we got right back into the game. It's far better to rest Haywood and Arenas in the third quarter rather than the fourth.
(Also, the Wizards were outscored by 11 points in the seven minutes Arenas sat. Eleven points in seven minutes! I hate to sound like a broken record, but can we please just try starting Nick Young and making Foye the backup to Arenas instead of trotting out Earl Boykins for 17 minutes? Maybe that'll help eliminate the drop-off that often occurs when Arenas goes out of the game).
As for tonight, I'll be there with some pregame stuff later. Oklahoma City played last night too, but they played the Nets, who stink. I imagine there will be a lot of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green fans there, so prepare for a less than ideal home crowd.