San Antonio Spurs At Washington Wizards: Game 51 Regular Season Open Thread

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UPDATE below the jump

Now that the possibility of the Toilet Bowl has been taken away from Washington Wizards, they are left with the reality of playing a back to back with first game taking place at 8PM ET against the team with the best record in the NBA. Hopefully, the late start time will allow the Wizards to wake up and come fully prepared against a team that has been slicing through the best competition the League has to offer.

In notable Wizards news, the team will enter tonight's game with no threes able to dress. Rashard Lewis will have to sit this one out due to sore knees, Al Thornton's knuckle is still swollen and Josh Howard still has no prognosis on when he is able to return. That means that Nick Young will be starting at SF tonight and Kirk Hinrich will take his place at SG. That's right, you will have more than your fill of the three guard lineup. Because of the lack of depth, Mustafa Shakur has been signed by the team for another 10 day in order to spell John Wall.

The odds may be against the Wizards tonight, but it should be noted that the Spurs are playing their fourth game in five nights. Further, in every game that I predict the opposition to blow out the Wizards, they go and do something surprising. (See Boston Celtics.) Beating the Spurs may be a tall order due to injuries, but stranger things have happened


Wizards Starters

PG John Wall

SG Kirk Hinrich

SF Nick Young

PF Andray Blatche

C JaVale McGee

Spurs Starters

PG Tony Parker

SG Manu Ginobili George Hill

SF Richard Jefferson

PF Tim Duncan

C DeJuan Blair

UPDATE, via Mike: Thought this was interesting, and worth sharing.

One thing that many of us want is for Flip Saunders to simplify things.  Today, before the game, he said he pretty much has.  I asked him about the Spurs' new style and whether that changes the way he would gameplan for them this year as compared to past years.  His answer was interesting.

"We got to worry about us.  We got enough problems worrying about us to worry about San Antonio.  We're going to do things that we do and try to do those things as well as we can.  We find that, with a lot of our young guys, when trying to adjust to what the other team does ..."

He then changed his train of thought mid sentence.

"We might guard pick and rolls one way when ideally you might want to do it another way because of how [the opponent] plays, but we haven't been able to adjust to that with our young guys.  So we're trying to simplify those things and do what we do as well as we can."

Essentially, Flip was saying that they don't really do many team-specific adjustments because they don't think their players can handle it.  I guess that's good that they aren't overwhelming the players too much, but it does seem a bit damming.  Maybe that's just me.

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