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Open Thread: Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks, Regular Season Game 1

The Essentials:

Wizards (19-63 last season) vs. Mavericks (50-32)
8:30 p.m.
American Airlines Center
TV: Comcast SportsNet, NBA League Pass
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Mavericks numbers last season

10th in expected winning percentage (.568)
16th in pace (91.5 possessions per game)
5th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (110.5)
17th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (108.4)

Pre-game links

Mavs Moneyball, SB Nation's Dallas Mavericks blog
The Two Man Game, Dallas Mavericks blog, the source for top-notch first-hand Dallas Mavericks news and analysis
Mavs Moneyball's season preview
NBAMate's Mavericks season preview
The Two Man Game's season preview
Mavs Moneyball game preview
GameDay Dallas game preview
Truth About It game preview, with more links
Chat with Kyle from Truth About It on

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Mavericks
Gilbert Arenas
PG Jason Kidd
Mike Miller
SG Quinton Ross
Caron Butler
SF Shawn Marion
Fabricio Oberto
PF Dirk Nowitzki
Brendan Haywood
C Erick Dampier

We've done enough previewing and anticipating for this season, so this game preview is going to be brief. Just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Josh Howard is out for Dallas with ankle problems, hence Quinton Ross getting the start tonight. Obviously, Antawn Jamison and Javaris Crittenton are out for the Wizards.
  • Still no word on who starts at shooting guard or power forward for the Wizards. As soon as we find out, I'll update this post. Marc Stein says Oberto gets the nod at power forward, while Michael Lee says Mike Miller gets the start at shooting guard.
  • If you haven't already, tune into the first episode of The Dagger Report, the new podcast of Bullets Forever and Truth About It. Tune in at the end when we talk to Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game about tonight's game.
  • This season, Kyle and I will occasionally be chatting on during games. We use the CoverItLive software, which is the same Ball Don't Lie uses. Kyle is chatting tonight, while I will be chatting on Friday when we play the Hawks. I realize a lot of you will probably be talking in this thread, but if you have a moment, I encourage you to check out as well.
  • My key to the game? Gilbert Arenas has to be aggressive. Rob, Kyle and I talked about this on the podcast, but Dallas' biggest weakness is keeping small, quick guards out of the lane. They have no answer for Arenas' type. However, for Arenas to take advantage the most, he has to be aggressive driving to the basket. We can't see the passive Gilbert Arenas tonight.

That's all for now. I'm going to post a second thread at halftime so that the live commenting doesn't slow down from too much activity. If you're new here, use this space to chat about the game with fellow Wizards fans in real time. The comments load automatically, so there's no need to refresh the page. It's literally like a live chat. Pretty much anything goes in game threads, as long as you keep it relatively clean.


UPDATE: Second half thread is here.