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Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 9 Open Thread

Jose Calderon reflects his fanbase's inability to stay awake watching their team.
Jose Calderon reflects his fanbase's inability to stay awake watching their team.

The Essentials:

Raptors (2-8) vs. Wizards (2-6)
7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable early Raptors numbers this season

25th in expected winning percentage (.357)
14th in pace factor (94.6 possessions per game
17th in offensive efficiency (105.6 points/100 possessions)
26th in defensive efficiency (110.1 points/100 possessions

Tonight's Starters
Raptors vs. Wizards
Jose Calderon PG Gilbert Arenas
DeMar DeRozan SG Kirk Hinrich
Linas Kleiza SF Al Thornton
Reggie Evans PF Andray Blatche
Andrea Bargnani C JaVale McGee

Sean will have more before the game (I'm watching at home), but for now, here's your conversation starter. John Wall isn't playing, so Gilbert Arenas will start. The porous Raptors are a good antidote for Gilbert Arenas' struggles, so we have that going for us.

Toronto is a little better than their record indicates, but they've also had an easy schedule. One guy to watch is DeRozan, a high-flying, but inconsistent youngster. The Al Thornton-Linas Kleiza matchup should be interesting, on some level, and the Raptors do bring a couple pieces off their bench (Leandro Barbosa, Jarrett Jack) off their bench. I also wonder how Flip Saunders plans on matching up with the Reggie Evans/Bargnani duo. Does he stick JaVale McGee on Evans? If so, McGee's boxing out issues might be exposed a bit. Then again, it's better than having him chase Bargnani around on the perimeter, and he can certainly help off Evans pretty easily.

There will be a second game thread at 8:30. GO WIZARDS!

Flip's Pregame Address

Nothing crazy to report from Flip's pregame comments. But here are the highlights:

- It is not know whether John Wall will be traveling with the team. His condition improved today, but they will take it slowly.

- Yi Jianlian is listed as day-to-day, but could be out for as long as 1-2 weeks.

- Andray Blatche is going to "give it a go," but could be limited due to knee issues.

- Gilbert Arenas' minutes will still be closely watched, though Flip indicated that 30 minutes was "a good sign."

- Expect Trevor Booker to definitely get time, and there will be possible time for Kevin Seraphin.