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Open Thread: Cleveland CrabDribbles vs. Washington Wizards, Regular Season Game 10

The Essentials:

CrabDribbles (8-3) vs. Wizards (2-7)
7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Early CrabDribbles numbers this season

6th in expected winning percentage (.682)
16th in pace (92.4 possessions per game)
11th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (107.7)
10th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (102)

Notable CrabDribbles numbers last season

1st in expected winning percentage (.787)
25th in pace (88.7 possessions per game)
4th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (112.4)
3rd in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (102.4)

Pre-game links

Fear the Sword, SB Nation's CrabDribbles Blog
Cavs The Blog
Stepien Rules, a Cleveland CrabDribbles Blog
Waiting For Next Year, the best site on the Net for the CrabDribbles (and all Cleveland sports)
Fear the Sword season preview
Competition Discussion: Cleveland CrabDribbles
Michael Lee: The Other Side: CrabDribbles
Brian Windhorst updates us on Cleveland's injuries
Eric Mangini wants LeBron to play for Browns - why is this a story, ESPN?
GameDay CrabDribbles

Tonight's Projected Starters
CrabDribbles vs. Wizards
Mo Williams
PG Gilbert Arenas
Anthony Parker
SG Mike Miller
LeBron James
SF Caron Butler
J.J. Hickson
PF Antawn Jamison
Zydrunas Ilgauskas
C Brendan Haywood


UPDATE: Fabricio Oberto is out tonight with a hamstring injury, says Flip Saunders.

The good news?  Cleveland is coming into DC on a second night of a back-to-back after struggling to put away Golden State last night, while the Wizards haven't played since Saturday.

The better news?  Shaquille O'Neal, who killed the Wizards when these two teams last played, will not play due to a shoulder injury.  Some are speculating that maybe he's sitting to avoid having to talk about the Gilbert Arenas fiancee rumors, because the Cavs are being pretty coy about his specific injury.  Nevertheless, he's out. 

The even better news?  Anderson Varejao, perpetually a thorn in everyone's side when he plays, will also miss tonight's game, as might Jamario Moon.  As we all know, Cleveland's also without Delonte West.

The even better news?  The Wizards are healthy.  Randy Foye is officially listed as questionable, but he's expected to play according to Mike Jones.  The Wizards' expected seven best players (Arenas, Jamison, Butler, Haywood, Foye, Miller and Blatche) will finally be on the court at the same time this season.  

The best news?  Sam Cassell turned 40 today.  Happy Birthday, Sammy!

The bad news?  There is none.  This is a game the Wizards need and it's a game that's ripe for the picking.  A win will be a huge confidence boost; a loss will be a big downer.  I'll never talk about "must-wins" in November, but this one is important.  Very important.


(Oh, and Cavs fans, relax.  The CrabDribbles thing is a joke.  Let it go).