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Open Thread and Contest: Game 74

Regular Season Game 74
Bobcats (29-46) at Wizards (39-34)
Verizon Center
7 PM
CSN News Channel 8

Previous Results:
Wizards 121, Bobcats 109.
Wizards 114, Bobcats 107.
Bobcats 122, Wizards 102.

We already did this yesterday, so I'm going to use this space to tie up some loose ends.

First off, the Wizards most important player down the stretch is close to returning from injury.  The Post is reporting that Andray Blatche may come back for this weekend's key game against the Cavs.  Simply put, Blatche has become an essential piece for this team.  With Jarvis Hayes limping on two bad knees, and Antawn Jamison sucking it up defensively, Blatche is the only Wizard who can be an above-average defender.  Put Blatche in on Gerald Wallace, and I think you'd see Wallace neutralized.  As it stands, he's not there tonight, but once he comes back, Eddie has no choice but to start him and play him 25-30 minutes every game.

Speaking of Hayes, David Thorpe actually fielded a Jarvis question in his chat today.

Sean (DC): If you were working with Arvis Hayes, what would you do to help him get the "J" back?

SportsNation David Thorpe: Great stuff. I'd start from the beginning-clean up his form while building confidence making shots. Start in close and slowly move outside.

The answer doesn't really say much, but it makes a great point nonetheless.  Jarvis just needs to shoot shots he can make, and then start shooting tougher ones.

Finally, amidst lambasting the Wizards defense, Ivan Carter sings praises for Darius Songaila, who looks like a guy who needs to play 30-35 minutes a game for this team.

The more I see of Songaila, the more convinced I become that Ernie Grunfeld made a wise move by signing him to a five-year deal last season. The guy simply knows how to play. There were two defensive plays that illustrated this last night. First, Emeka Okafor came in from the baseline and wanted to hammer down a two-handed dunk. Songaila shuffled over to his left, allowed Okafor to get slightly past him and the reached up and swatted the ball off the backboard without fouling.

Later, Okafor wanted to throw down a one-handed dunk so Songaila, who can't get three inches off the court, took a step forward and blocked the shot early before Okafor could get elevated. That play sparked a break that ended with DeShawn Stevenson's three-pointer which drew the Wiz within 12 in the third. The guy simply knows how to play. The same scout I mention above told me that had Songaila been healthy all season, the Wiz would be 5 to 7 games better right now. I have to agree with him.

Again, it's hard to tell where you play him, but Eddie has to find a way to get him more minutes.

Your lines for tonight:

Bobcats at Wizards: Wizards by 7.
Over/Under on Big 2: 48.2 points.

This is an open game thread, so to steal a joke from Jake, be sure to brainstorm which Georgia forward MJ will draft and break down next.