Official Game #55 Thread

Statistical Breakdown:
Time: Tonight 6 p.m. CST
Place: Verizon Center
WAS record: 17-33
MIN record: 13-41
WAS home record: 9-16
MIN road record: 4-23
WAS record v. Western Conf: 4-14
MIN record v. Eastern conf: 6-15
WAS PPG: 97.5 (T-23rd)
MIN PPG: 97.8 (21st)
WAS opponents PPG: 101.7 (21st)
MIN opponents PPG: 106.6 (28th)
WAS RPG: 42.2 (T-12th)
MIN RPG: 43.4 (T-4th)
WAS RPG Diff: -0.6 (T-20th)
MIN RPG Diff: 0.4 (15th)
WAS AST/TO: 18.1/13.7
MIN AST/TO: 19.7/15.4
WAS FG%: 44.4% (24th)
MIN FG%: 44.7% (23rd)
WAS opponents FG%: 45.9% (16th)
MIN opponents FG%: 47.6% (26th)
WAS 3PT%: 34.5% (17th)
MIN 3PT%: 33.2% (26th)
WAS FT%: 76.9% (13th)
MIN FT%: 74.0% (22nd)
Last meeting: MIN 101-89
My prediction: MIN 109-108

Preview: Tonight Big Al has to come out and assert himself right away. He should be able to have his way with Jamison down low. The task at hand for Jefferson will be attempting to keep Jamison from dropping 30+ on him. Of course it might not be too hard if Jamison is traded prior to the game. Speaking of trades; tonight will be unpredictable considering Washington is a team in transition. Drew Gooden, Josh Howard, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton will all make their debuts for the Wizards tonight. Add that to the uncertainty of whether or not Jamison will be playing for Washington come this time tomorrow and you have the potential for disaster.

The point guard position should play a huge role in tonight’s game. Going up against Foye and Boynkins could result in big nights for Flynn and Sessions. Anytime Boynkins is in the game they need to attack him whether it is by posting him up or driving to the basket. As long as they do that, they should have ample opportunities to create plays for their selves or for open shooters.

I think Coach Rambis has to limit the minutes for Ryan Hollins, Damien Wilkins, Sasha Pavlovic, and maybe even Nathan Jawai (to an extent) while increasing the minutes for the starters to include Kevin Love. Crazy concept but the more you play your best players the better chance you have to win.

I am a little concerned with how they will handle Blatche and McGee. These guys bring a lot of length and athleticism to the table. If I am the Wizards I attack the Wolves the same way every one does; use your athleticism (especially in the frontcourt) and run. Make the Wolves play transition basketball and they will struggle to keep up.

Overall I still like Minnesota’s chances to depart Washington with a win tonight. They have the statistical advantage in almost every category and do not have the distractions Washington is faced with. I also like their strength and size better than Washington’s. We shall see though. If they come out and play like they did last night it might be the biggest flop since “The Next Karate Kid.”

Key Matchups: Jamison v. Jefferson, Howard v. Brewer, and Flynn v. Foye

Projected Starting Lineups:
Washington Wizards
PG Randy Foye 10.1 pts, 2.8/1.29 Ast/TO
SG Mike Miller 10.5 pts, 3.2 ast
SF Josh Howard 12.5 pts, 3.6 reb
PF Antawn Jamison 20.5 pts, 8.8 reb
C Drew Gooden 8.9 pts, 6.9 reb

Minnesota Timberwolves
PG Jonny Flynn 13.8 Pts, 4.3/2.76 Ast/TO
SG Corey Brewer 13.2 Pts, 3.7 Reb
SF Ryan Gomes 10.8 Pts, 4.4 Reb
PF Al Jefferson 17.7 Pts, 9.7 Reb
C Ryan Hollins 6.1 Pts, 2.9 reb
Go Wolves!!!!!!!!!!

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