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Open Thread and Contest: 65

Regular Season Game 65
Wizards (36-28) at Blazers (26-40)
Rose Garden
10 PM

Previous Results: Blazers 94, Wizards 73.

Wow, thank god that's over.  I've easily had more work these past few weeks than ever before in my life.  I know a lot of you have e-mailed me, so if I haven't responded, I sincerely apologize, and I don't want it to stop you from e-mailing again.  

Anyway, tonight the Wizards begin a key road trip with a date in Portland.  Of course, we all know what happened last time these two teams played, and since I've taken a vow of silence on the subject, I won't talk about it anymore.  Tonight's game will be Gilbert's last chance to drop 50 on both Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan, and even though the last go-around was a collosal failure, the subject is still on his mind.

I know coach is going to get mad for me saying this, but if I don't score 50, damn it, there's going to be a lot of shots to get to 50.

You know, last time I shot 15 shots.

At the end of the day, I want to win. It's harder in this situation now because it's winning time. Early in the season I can do that, I can go out there and just play reckless. But it's more of a team thing now that we get these wins and we don't droff - we don't drop off.

If I'm on fire, I'm on fire. If I'm not, just like last time, I'm not going to force anything.

It is true that he did only take 15 shots, but he's usually taking around 20-25 anyway, which likely won't get him to 50 unless he gets to the line.  Watching the last Portland game, it struck me how out of rhythm Arenas was.  Arenas scores best when he looks carefree, not when he tries to force things.  If he gets back to doing that, 50 may not be so farfetched.

The biggest difference, however, between the last Portland game and tonight is Antawn Jamison.  Last time, Jamison didn't play, and the Wizards offense really suffered.  Portland doesn't really have anyone that can stay with him, a fact Dave at Blazers Edge is particularly worried about.  

I'm really worried about Antawn Jamison.  I wonder how we're going to come up with a scheme that allows us to watch Fauxstradamus without letting Jamison pick up 40 himself.  You're going to have to leave one or the other single-covered, and that's trouble.  Somebody is going to have to step up defensively without a lot of help on one of these two guys.

(Fauxstradamus, by the way, refers to Arenas.  I think).

No word yet on who will get the start at small forward, but there's a nice article on Blatche in the Post today that included this really strange quote by EJ.  

"Our theme was to let the 12 veterans have some stability in playing time but now that Caron is out, Andray was the next guy on that list," Jordan said. "We know how well he played for us as a starter and again Saturday night."

Oh my god, I might vomit.  This is my philosophy, loud and clear.  If you can play, it does not matter how much experience you have.  This applies to everything, including college basketball and any club you do.  Experience certainly can make you better, but if you're already there at a younger age, you shouldn't have to wait around.  Age is a number, and you can't tell me Blatche is less valuable to this team than Michael Ruffin or Calvin Booth just because he's a lot younger.  I hope Blatche starts tonight, and I hope he's just as good as he was Saturday night.

On the other side, the Wizards catch a break, as Zach Randolph has some personal matters to take care of and won't play.  Surprisingly, they don't have to do with himself, but rather, his girlfriend's cousin.  The Wizards will still need to watch out for silky smooth Brandon Roy, who has emerged as the top rookie in the league, and promising big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who torched the Wizards in the last matchup.

Blazers blogs: Blazers Edge, Blazers Blog.

Your lines for tonight:

Wizards at Blazers: Wizards by 1.5.
Over/Under on Big 2: 48.5 points.

This is an open game thread, so any angry comments as to the late timing of this thread go here.  (I'm sorry guys.  Really.).