Open Thread: Regular Season Game 60 vs. Atlanta Hawks

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The Essentials:
Hawks (33-26) at Wizards (14-45)
7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center
CSN

This year:
November 19: Hawks 91, Wizards 87
November 29: Hawks 102, Wizards 98
February 10: Hawks 111, Wizards 90

Notable Hawks numbers this season:
13th in expected winning percentage (.541)
21st in pace factor (90.3 possessions per game)
11th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (109.0)
16th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (107.7)

Key Links: (drop any others in the comments)
Peachtree Hoops
Hoopinion
Hawks BasketBlog
Sekou Smith
Game Day Atlanta
The Other Side: Hawks

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Hawks
Player filling in for injured starter
PG Mike Bibby
Tough Juice
SG The Armadillo Cowboy
Player filling in for injured starter SF Marvin Williams
The Last Man Standing
PF Josh Smith
Player filling in for injured starter C Al Horford

[UPDATE: Caron Butler is out tonight - tight hamstring]

Also: DeShawn Stevenson will undergo surgery on his back and is done for the year.

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Tonight your Washington Wizards host the Atlanta Hawks for the last time this season.  Like Saturday's contest against the Bucks, the Wizards will be trying to avoid a series sweep.

If you're a Wizards fan, you know the key to winning tonight: STOP THE ZAZA!

Let's review the reason why slowing down a backup center is critical to the Wizards' success tonight:

  • Zaza Pachulia's career high for points in a game came March 7, 2007 against the Wizards.
  • He had 18 rebounds, tying his career high, against the Wizards in the team's first meeting this season.
  • The man who's a native of the country of Georgia and plays in the state of Georgia has averaged 7.8 points and 5.6 rebounds on 45.6% shooting.  Against the Wizards, he's averaged 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds on 50.8% shooting.

If the Wizards still have some semblance of a defensive gameplan, it needs to center around stopping Pachulia.  If they can stop Joe Johnson and Josh Smith too, that would be nice, but the team's primary concern tonight has to be stopping the Zaza.


This is an open thread, so if you've ever bitten Danny Ainge's hand, talk about it here.

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