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Open Thread: Playoff Game 2


The Essentials:
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 2 (Cavs up 1-0)
7 p.m. (That's 2 a.m. if you're in Israel. Load up on the coffee.)

Key Links (drop any others in the comments)
Arenas will play through sprained wrist.
Wizards will continue to play physical, Brendan will continue to become Robert Horry.
Tough Juice is ready.
TrueHoop bullets from Game 1.
More evidence that Mike Brown isn't exactly the greatest offensive coach ever.

Tonight's Lines:
Wizards at Cavaliers: Cavs by 2
Over/Under on Total Points: 179

They say it doesn't really become a playoff series until somebody wins on the road. In order for this series to become legitimate, the Wizards are going to need to look back to what they did in '06 in this same game to make it happen. They have to set the tone early (by which I mean, do this, but make sure it's clean), hit outside shots, and take LeBron out of his element if possible. It won't be easy but at least they won't also have to worry about Drew Gooden going for 24 points on 11-12 shooting, and we don't have to live in fear of how Eddie is going to distribute minutes to Billy Thomas (now he's Cleveland's problem!) and Michael Ruffin.

As far as what else needs to change to put a W in the books tonight, just go back to the Game 1 recap. Here are some cool facts from tonight's game notes (it's a PDF!) in no particular order:

  1. Tonight will be the 26th time that the Wizards have played the Cavs in the last 3 years.
  2. Eddie Jordan was the 33rd draft pick in 1977, where he was chosen by, you guessed it, the Cavs.
    More coaching connections: Mike Brown was an assistant to Bernie Bickerstaff for two years in Washington and Cavs assistant coach Chris Jent was a player at Ohio State while the Buckeyes were being coached by Wizards assistant coach Randy Ayers.
  3. Since the creation of the Southeast Division, the Wizards have finished 2nd every season.
  4. Just in case you needed more proof that DeShawn was really bad in '07playoffs (and in Game 1) his career playoff scoring high is 14 points. Adding insult to injury, that high came while he was with Utah.
  5. The Wizards played more overtime games than any other team this season.
  6. Which player had the single best rebounding performance against the Wiz this season? Dwight Howard? Marcus Camby? Tim Duncan? No, it was Nick Collison (21).
  7. Back to backs mean nothing to this team! They had a 9-11 record on the front end, and a 9-11 record on the back end.
  8. Guess which player had the best record as a starter this season. If you guessed Darius Songaila (9-4) you'd be correct.
  9. The player with the best one quarter scoring performance this season was...Roger Mason (17 in the 4th quarter against Seattle).

This is an open thread, so if you think taking LeBron's advice tonight would be a good idea, discuss it here.