Simply put, things have been a chaotic mess since the Wizards fell apart in the closing minutes of Wednesday night's loss to the Pacers. There have been questions about Randy Wittman's strategies, Randy Wittman heading towards the exit before the game was over, roster construction and injuries. Oh, and in the midst of all that, the Wizards signed Will Bynum to defibrillate the team as they make their last push.
So there's a lot to be on the lookout for with tonight's game. The final score is still the most important thing, but here are the subplots we'll be watching closely this evening:
- Will the Wizards look ready to make a statement after Wednesday's debacle? After Wednesday's loss, the Wizards should be angry and play like it tonight. My gut feeling is that we're making a big deal out of nothing with the Wittman walkoff thing, but if the Wizards come out flat and disinterested tonight, it sends a pretty clear message on the state of the locker room, and that message is not good.
- Where will Bynum be used at most? The Wizards have desperately needed another player with the ability to create their own shot. Clearly, he'll be useful with the team's reserves, but he could certainly add a new dimension to certain lineups that feature the team's starters.
- Speaking of rotations, who gets bounced out now that Bynum has arrived? Rasual Butler makes the most sense here, especially considering how early Martell Webster has been entering games recently. But realistically, it's looking like Otto Porter (who has played 15 minutes or less in the last seven games) could be the fall guy here. If so, expect some very strongly opinionated pieces on bulletsforever.com in the coming days.
Where and when? The Wizards and Hornets tip off at 7 p.m. tonight at the Verizon Center. You can watch the game on CSN Washington or join the #radioparty on 99.1 WNEW.
Who's out? The Wizards are dealing with a slew of injuries right now. Kris Humphries and Garrett Temple are dealing with their injuries. DeJuan Blair won't be available tonight due to personal reasons, according to CSN Washington. Bradley Beal is still a question mark after hurting his ankle in Wednesday's game against Indiana.
The Hornets are also dealing with some issues. Mo Williams and Cody Zeller are questionable, and Al Jefferson is probable, as he continues to deal with knee soreness.
What's at stake tonight? The Wizards really could use a win tonight, because the fourth place Raptors are at home against the Lakers. So while it will be difficult to make up ground on Toronto, falling further behind because of a home loss to the Hornets would be disastrous.
But let's be clear, the Hornets still have plenty to play for in tonight's game. They're 11th in the Eastern Conference at the moment, but they're only one game back of the Celtics for the eighth seed. So while the Wizards have the talent edge this evening, the Hornets will probably come out a little more desperate this evening.
Key to tonight's game: Watch of for Lance Stephenson, he's struggled, but he can pop up out of nowhere and surprise you.