Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Open Thread: Game 5

Regular Season Game 5
Bucks (2-3) at Wizards (2-2)
Verizon Center
7 PM
CSN and NBA League Pass

Coming off a shelacking of the Pacers two nights ago, the Wizards now host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at home. The Bucks have lost three in a row after starting 2-0, with the latest being a 97-93 loss at home to the Rockets. On the bright side, the Bucks' young frontcourt of Charlie Villanueva and Andrew Bogut has been solid, although both have been extremely inconsistent. On the dark side, Mo Williams has been up and down stepping in for T.J. Ford, and you have to wonder whether he's the best guy to develop their young frontcourt. Michael Redd has been their only consistent threat thus far in the season.

Bucks Blogs: Bucks Diary, 5 Point Bucks

The Bucks and Wizards are incredibly similar teams, with the only different being Milwaukee's youth up front. The Wizards have a clear advantage in the backcourt offensively, as neither Williams nor Redd are strong defenders. However, Milwaukee gave the Wizards problems last year on the other end because of Redd's perimeter shooting ability. He provides the Wizards a really tough matchup because of his ability to shoot and slash to the rim.

The Wizards did a great job of shutting down the perimeter against Indiana, but this will be a true test of their perimeter defense. I'm guessing that DeShawn Stevenson will draw the defensive assignment against Redd, and his performance will determine whether they can come away with a win. This is exactly why the Wizards got Stevenson in the offseason, but through 4 games, he hasn't really been told to guard the opponent's top threat. Tonight is his chance to show that he's a strong defender.

Of course, on the other end, I don't think the Bucks have anyone who can stop Arenas. Charlie Bell may have to play heavy minutes, but then the Bucks lose something on the other end. I don't know if Arenas will get his third straight 40 point game at home, but I think he'll come close. I also expect Jamison to have a big game, because Villanueva is not a very good defender. The Wizards should have more easy buckets than Milwaukee because of the Bucks' lack of a shot blocking presence, but they'll give it all back if they get lazy defending the perimeter.

In the end, I expect a really high scoring affair, with the Wizards coming away with a tight win.

Prediction: Wizards 122, Bucks 116

As a reminder, keep sending those Brendan Haywood trade proposals. I'm giving people the weekend before I decide which one is best. I also probably should have clarified, but try to make it only one or two per person, if possible. There are still a number of trades I thought of that nobody has mentioned, so there's still plenty of possibilities out there. Keep sending them in!

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