Open Thread: Game 6
Regular Season Game 6
Nets (2-2) vs. Wizards (3-2)
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The Wizards close their three game homestand against the New Jersey Nets tonight at 6 PM. After sweeping the first two games, the Wizards look to capitalize and go to 3-0 on their homestand tonight.
I apologize for not recapping last night's game, as I've been really busy with college newspaper stuff. Essentially, the Milwaukee Bucks are the Wizards lite, except that they don't have a certified #2 and #3 options at this point. Their frontcourt has promise, but has been soft as a donut all season. They give Washington problems offensively because Michael Redd is the single most underrated player in basketball. Now that he scored 57 points to just keep his team in the game yesterday, people will understand. He only had 28 against the Wizards, but his drives allowed a guy like Dan Gadzuric to get 6 offensive rebounds and score 15 points. It speaks to Milwaukee's terribly inept perimeter defense that the Wizards were able to get back into this game and win it. In the end, the Bucks were only 4 of 18 from three-point range, which allowed the Wizards to escape with a win.
Nets blogs: Nothin' But Nets, Joe Nets Fan, Matt McQueen's Nothin' But Nets
The big news for this game is that the Nets will be without Richard Jefferson for a significant amount of time after he sprained his ankle against Miami on Friday. They are saying 2-4 weeks right now, but it's a Grade 2 sprain, meaning RJ could miss as much as 7 or 8 weeks. No matter how severe the injury is, he won't play tonight, which robs the Nets of a key offensive threat.
Without Jefferson, the Nets become infinently easier to defend. Throw two defenders at Vince Carter, stop Jason Kidd on the fast break, and force them to beat you with a million Nenad Kristic jumpers, and the Nets can be stopped. Marcus Williams has been very solid so far, but he's not the type of guy you have to desperately worry about. The Nets will start Antoine Wright tonight, and I don't expect him to be such a big threat in the offense.
On the other side of the ball, New Jersey actually had a pretty solid defense last year, although much of that has to do with Jefferson's perimeter quickness. Jason Kidd used to be a great defender, but he's lost a lot of his quickness. The Nets have an underrated interior defense, but they are still prone to quick guards like Dwayne Wade, who consistently torches them when the Heat and Nets play. Gilbert Arenas and company are exactly the type of players the Nets hate to defend.
In the end, I expect another Wizards win in a game that should be their best all-around performance of the season.
Prediction: Wizards 98, Nets 86
And, as a final reminder, I'm giving you guys until tomorrow to send in your Brendan Haywood trade proposals. Keep 'em coming.