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Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic: Regular Season Game 48 Open Thread

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The Essentials:

Wizards (16-32) vs. Magic (33-16)
7 p.m.
Amway Arena
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Magic numbers this season

3rd in expected winning percentage (.689)
15th in pace (92.8 possessions per game)
12th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (108.4 points/100 possessions)
5th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (102.7 points allowed/100 possessions)

Pre-game links

Orlando Pinstriped Post, SB Nation's Magic Blog
Orlando Magic Daily
Howard The Dunk
Magic BasketBlog
Wizards Insider: Otis Smith talks Gilbert Arenas
Comcast Sports Net: Mike Jones on Caron Butler's season-long issues
OPP's game preview
Brandon Bass frustrated by his PT
GameDay Orlando

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Magic
Randy Foye PG Jameer Nelson
Mike Miller SG Vince Carter
Caron Butler SF Matt Barnes
Antawn Jamison PF Rashard Lewis
Brendan Haywood C Dwight Howard

I'm having trouble mustering up the enthusiasm to write much for these threads anymore, and the snow is depressing me, so this will be quick.

I'll only encourage you read two things: Michael Lee's post on Otis Smith, in which Smith responds to rumors suggesting his relationship with Gilbert Arenas means he'll pursue Arenas after his suspension by saying he's "not necessarily sure," or something; and Mike Jones' report on Caron Butler.  There's a particular line in Jones' report where he writes that the Wizards charted Butler in catch-and-shoot opportunities and found he was much better than Butler expected, yet Butler continues to play how he's played all year.  Sorry to make everyone angry again.

The Wizards beat Orlando a few weeks ago, but that was a different Magic team.  I think they've righted the ship by now, though obviously some chemistry questions linger.  Clearly, Orlando hasn't come together as easily as many (including me) expected, but they're still second in the East, with the third-best expected winning percentage in the league.  They've crushed Atlanta three times and taken two of three from Boston, so no East team wants to see them in the playoffs.  Just imagine what could happen when they really find their stride.