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Open thread and Contest: Game 63

Regular Season Game 63
Wizards (34-28) at Pacers (29-34)
Conseco Fieldhouse
7 PM

Previous Results:
Wizards 117, Pacers 91.

The Wizards hit the road for six of their next seven games, starting tonight against reeling Indiana.  The Pacers have lost 10 in a row, including last night's loss to Minnesota.  Jamaal Tinsley scored a ridiculous 37 points, but the Pacers still found a way to lose.  If there's one team struggling more than the Wizards right now, it's certainly Indiana.

There won't be any Jermaine O'Neal for the Pacers tonight, which is really good news for the Wizards.  O'Neal is the type of inside player that this team really struggles to stop, and without him, the Pacers turn into a perimeter-oriented team without a superstar.

Caron Butler remains a game-time decision with the knee contusion.   The early response from most of you is that you'd rather see him sit out a few games to get completely healthy.  I personally disagree, because I think the problem is more mental than physical.  Last year, Butler legitimately was playing through an incredible amount of pain.  He dislocated his thumb really badly, and he still was able to contribute pretty well.  But now, we're talking about a knee contusion, which hurts, but is also the type of thing players play through.  I think Butler is struggling to deal with new defensive attention, and he's using the injury as a sort of scapegoat.  

That's not to say the injury isn't affecting him.  It is.  It just shouldn't have to.

The Wizards really need this one, because Miami won again last night and is only half a game back.  Tonight's game and Saturday's home game against New Orleans are really key, becuase a tough 5-game road trip awaits afterwards.

Pacers blogs: Indy Cornrows is all you need.

Your lines for tonight:

Wizards at Pacers: Wizards by 2.5.
Over/Under on Big 3: 67.7 points.

This is an open game thread, so any JailPacers jokes go here.

Update [2007-3-14 19:13:27 by Pradamaster]: So apparently O'Neal is playing. Butler is as well, and he has the first bucket for the Wizards.