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Washington Wizards vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Regular Season Game 67 Open Thread

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The Essentials:

Wizards (21-45) vs. Blazers (41-28)
10 p.m.
Rose Garden
TV: CSN
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Blazers numbers this season

11th in expected winning percentage (.612)
30th in pace (87.8 possessions per game)
6th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (111 points/100 possessions)
17th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (107.4 points allowed/100 possessions)

Pre-game links

Blazers Edge, SB Nation's Blazers blog
Rip City Project
Bust A Bucket
Portland Roundball Society
Blazers Edge's game preview
Portland Roundball Society pins for Gilbert Arenas
Michael Lee on Shaun Livingston, Andray Blatche

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Blazers
Shaun Livingston PG Andre Miller
Mike Miller SG Brandon Roy
Al Thornton SF Nicolas Batum
Andray Blatche PF LaMarcus Aldridge
JaVale McGee C

Marcus Camby

Michael Lee reports that Andray Blatche will play despite a sore ankle and that Earl Boykins did not make the trip because he's sick. I mean literally sick, not "he makes fans sick, so he's staying behind" sick.

The Wizards beat the Blazers back on Martin Luther King Jr. day, but much has changed since then. Obviously, we know what's changed here, but a lot has changed with Portland too. Brandon Roy is back, and while he's not 100 percent healthy, he's clearly still one of the best guards in basketball. He's learned to play off the ball more, so his skills are starting to blend with Andre Miller's. Nicolas Batum is also back, and he's emerged as a legitimate scorer in addition to being a fantastic defender. Marcus Camby is now on board at center, and LaMarcus Aldridge has picked up his play. There's a reason Portland's playing really well lately, and it has something to do with getting pieces back and maintaining continuity.

This is going to be an interesting test for Andray Blatche. His game is very similar to Aldridge's, except Aldridge has more of an ability to deal with double teams and get the shot he wants. I think Blatche can be better than Aldridge eventually, but he's got to prove it in games like these. I wonder whether Portland will play him straight up or send double teams his way.

For those of you watching Maryland, feel free to stop by Testudo Times. They're replaying the Wizards' game on Comcast at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

GO WIZARDS!