Game 17: Bucks/Wizards

If this was actually 14 years ago, I feel old. And I'm not old.

2009/2010 NBA Season

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@
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6-10 (3-4 home)
9-7 (2-5 road)
December 2, 2009
Verizon Center
6:05 PM
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Gilbert Arenas
PG Brandon Jennings
Nick Young
SG Charlie Bell
Caron Butler
SF Carlos Delfino
Antawn Jamison
PF Ersan Ilyasova
Brendan Haywood
C Andrew Bogut

103.4 (25th)  - OFFENSE - 104.6 (21st)
107.9 (20th)  - DEFENSE - 103.0 (7th)

92.6 (14th)   - PACE -  93.4 (12th)

Linkage

Bullets Forever / Truth About It / Agent Dagger / Washington Post

Shooting outside the box. No team in the NBA shoots more long jumpers (16-23 feet) than the Wizards, except the Bulls, that is. You wouldn't think losing Ben Gordon would have that effect.

Alas, in consecutive games the Bucks will have faced the two most long-jump-shooting-happy teams in all the league. Chicago attempts 30.7 per game, and Luol Deng entered the game leading all players averaging 8.4 shots per game from 16-23.

Of course, that didn't stop the Bulls from edging the Bucks in the paint 44-40 despite Bogut's post dominance. And Deng was just 1-3 on long jumpers, again doing the bulk of his work inside.

And while the triumvirate of Butler, Jamison, and Arenas is perimeter-oriented offensively, they aren't one-dimensional. Arenas makes plenty more free throws per game, 4.9, than any Buck (Jennings 3.6). And the free throw line is quite a problem area for Milwaukee. On the daily.

So ideally the Bucks will keep Washington shooting long jumpers, ideally it won't be one of those nights for Agent Zero. Scott Skiles spoke about trying to find someone for Jennings to guard after the game against Chicago, and with Bell still starting and Redd out, you have to figure that Jennings will try to match up against the sometimes-explosive-but-overall-far-less-explosive Nick Young rather than Arenas.

A new month. After a pretty stellar one for Brandon Jennings, who took home Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for November. However, Jennings hit 33.3 % (5-15) from the field against Chicago, and that was actually his best shooting night since Nov. 21 against the Bobcats. With Ridnour hamstrung, there is a fair share more pressure on the rookie to step on it.

Luc and Mike.  Luc Mbah a Moute practiced on Tuesday and will be with the team on their short road trip, raising hopes that he might return to the lineup tonight for the first time since November 16 against Dallas.  After his disappointing three game return from a strained patella tendon, Michael Redd has missed two straight and did not travel with the team for the Wiz and Piston games.  It's anyone's guess when he's finally back in the lineup--which may or may not coincide with him being back to the Michael Redd we once knew.

Lastly. The Wizards are last in the Southeast. Washington is right on their Pythagorean W-L at 6-10, and they have only played a couple more road games than home, so it's not really a matter of them being particularly unlucky.  Check out John Hollinger's piece from today for a good dissection of their struggles.  The high level summary: Arenas + Caron = bad; Haywood + Blatche = good.

But those names... Names that I don't even need to mention to casual NBA fans, not that they are reading this anyway. Those names still mean something. And they did last night in Canada when the Wiz picked up a 106-102 win over the marginally less disappointing Raptors. The Wizards have been curiously bad offensively this season, but the Big Three of Jamison, Arenas, and Butler combined for 71 points against Toronto as Jamison led the way with 30/12. They can't top Webber, Rasheed, and Juwon circa 1995 (see video), but they can still play.

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