Game Preview #11: Washington Wizards @ San Antonio Spurs

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Good with a little bit of yogurt and OJ in a smoothie

Why the picture of fruit, Cap? Because this is what I feel like doing: blowing razzberries, Bronx cheer, whatever you want to call it. And I'm out of beer. And the sports gods really, really hate me. More after the jump.

Warning: Massive amounts of crankiness and negativity ahead. Please keep your arms and legs within the car at all times as we plummet down the rollercoaster known as Spurs basketball fandom.

First, a musical selection that I feel appropriately symbolizes our current predicament:

Free Fallin'

Or to help you get through the next game, perhaps this is more to your liking:

Okay, this is really just for me.

And for the more hardcore, I present something completely different:

I am in awe.

Before I jump into the nitty gritty of the actual preview, let's take a little trip back to the summer:

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Delusion Dwellers (thanks, LD)

Remember when we were all gushing over the trade for RJ, ecstatic when DeBeast fell into our laps on Draft Night, giddy over Cubits' improvement and new role as Pop's favorite player? Well, throw that out the window. We stink. This is not "the glass is half-empty"; this is "not a drop of liquid was left in the glass before it shattered on the kitchen floor". We really, really suck.

So to steal from At The Hive, here's a visual recap of our season to date:

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Defense in the Paint

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Ability to Box Out and Grab Rebounds

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Free Throw Shooting and Turnovers


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Win-Loss Record

We need to win a freaking game. Not after Thanksgiving, but RIGHT NOW! Or even the annual Rodeo Road Trip won't be able to save us. I'm so depressed.

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Washington Wizards @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: November 21, 2009, 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: NBA TV; My35 (SA)


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How They Stack Up
4-2 Home 2-3
0-4 Road 1-5
99.2
Offense 95.6
98.8 Defense 98.1
45.8 FG% 43.6
34.3 3-pt% 34.6
73.0 FT% 75.7
41.2 Rebounds 43.3
12.7 TOs 15.4
4-6 Last 10 2-8
Lost 3
Streak Lost 1
Not Good Enough
Position 4th, Southeast

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 10:30 PM
Crazy Land
5:30 PM
Philippines 10:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 2:30 AM
Least Coast 8:30 PM
Drunken Time Zone
6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 8:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 9:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 11:30 AM

Spurs
(4-6)
Matchups

Wizards
(3-7)

George Hill
Foul Prone

Point Guard

Tony's probably out, along with our chances of winning this game. Sir Hotbod has done a decent standing in for him, except for the excessive fouling issue. Tonight he's going against Arenas, whose lack of defense is countered by his 23 ppg and 6 apg. Plus, our backup PG is Mason. It doesn't even matter who the Wizards' backup is - they automatically win the battle.

Advantage: Wizards

Gilbert Arenas
Finally Earning His Paycheck?

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Keith Bogans
Not Manu

Shooting Guard

Manu is definitely out. The Boogeyman almost fouled out last game and the SGs shot a combined 2-11 from the 3-pt line. Even before I saw that Miller is shooting 60% from the field (57% from 3-pt land), I knew we were overmatched.

Advantage: Wizards


Mike Miller
Get a Haircut

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Richard Jefferson
Shoot the frickin' Ball

Small Forward

Butler shoots over 80% from the FT line; RJ does not. Butler averages over 15 field goal attempts per game; RJ does not. Butler grabs almost 8 boards a game; RJ does not.

Advantage: Wizards


Caron Butler
Cap hates UConn

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Antonio McDyess
Only Option

Power Forward

Dice has played decently lately, but Jamison's season debut was out of this world. His first game back from injury, Antawn drops 31 points and grabs 10 rebounds in the Wiz' upset of the Cavs. He wins.

Advantage: Wizards


Antawn Jamison
He's Back

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Tim Duncan
The Big 1

Center

Haywood is actually averaging a double-double this year. (Yeah, that surprised me too.) However, he ain't Timmeh. The only one of the Big 3 left standing, Duncan has taken on more of the load, but at what expense to his body? 40 mpg during a SEGABABA ain't gonna help Duncan get to the playoffs healthy, Pop.

Advantage: Spurs


Brendan Haywood
Not Awful

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Michael Finley
No Defense

Bench & Role Players

Other than SAM, our bench played like crap against Utah. Blatche and Foye are providing good production off the bench. In addition, tonight marks the return of the tip out king himself, Fab.

Advantage: Wizards


Fabricio Oberto
ARGENTINE

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Gregg Popovich
Bring back The Beard

Coach

I thought Flip did a good job in Detroit, until he was unceremoniously shown the door. His job in Washington is still a work in progress. Even though Pop finally played Malik some minutes in the last game, his inconsistent lineups are driving everyone crazy. Pop needs to start taking the regular season seriously.

Advantage: Tie


Flip Saunders
No Caption
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

Both of these teams are below .500. However, the Wizards did pull a big upset this week against the Cavs, and the Spurs have been One Stud and a bunch of suck. Advantage: Wizards

Mojo

We have none. Advantage: Wizards

Winner: Wizards

We shouldn't lose this game; therefore, we will. Probably in a heart-breaking double OT loss where Timmeh plays 50 minutes. Prediction: Wizards win.

Keys To The Game

  • Defend the Paint - This matador defense is getting old. Allowing the other teams to waltz in and out of the lane with ease is not the way you win basketball games. The Spurs used to be known for their physicality. I have no idea where that toughness went.
  • Box Out - The first rule for rebounding is to find and box out the opposing players, thereby not allowing them to corral the ball for easy layups and tip-ins. There's a reason the FSM gave everyone a butt.
  • Make Free Throws - There's a reason free throws are called "freebies" - they're supposed to be easy. Making them at a better than 75% clip means possibly a different outcome vs. Utah. And it wouldn't hurt to stop with the sloppy turnovers either.

Strength of Schedule

The Spurs had a day of rest after a SEGABABA. Timmeh played waaaay too much in both of those games (losses). Tonight is a home game, so rest shouldn't be an issue.

The Wiz lost in Oklahoma City last night, so they're on a road-and-road SEGABABA. Brutal, but they're young and athletic - except for Fab.

Last Time They Met

The Spurs last played the Wizards March 6, 2009 (last season). Here's the boxscore for anyone who cares. We won. Yippee. Doesn't matter - they were decimated by injuries and were already out of the playoff race. We didn't suck at that time. We do now.

Some Other Reading

Wizards

Bullets Forever - The Wizards SBN blog. They are happy Jamison is back. And can we get some Bullets throwback unis going this year?
Truth About It - This is the TrueHoop network blog for the Wizards. They have some funny content over there and seem to worship LeBron as much as we do.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: I think Tim and Graydon are just as frustrated and disappointed about the season so far as we are. But they still kick ass with the blog.
Project Spurs: Now featuring live chats, call-in shows and podcasts (in Spanish too). I should call and see what they're drinking.

The (sort of) Daily Twitter

Cap was uncooperative on this section, so you're stuck with Tim C.

manuginobili

Good News: MRI was negative, so nothing serious. Will be back soon. Bad News: Out for a week and we lost again. //...http://bit.ly/2x5BxP

MoneyMase

Now its time to get back to some wins! Who's coming tomorrow?

And these are for Hipuks:

tp9network

Hey facebook world did anybody see new moon i was thinking about going??? http://bit.ly/07ai5rb

DeJuan45

LOL!!!!!!

You can also find all the official Spurs Sports & Entertainment Twitter accounts here: http://twitter.com/spurs/official/members

Other things of possible interest

As we in the States are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, I bring you The Thanksgiving Letter. If this woman were in my family, she'd probably have been brained by a can of jellied cranberries by now.

Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired nationwide on NBA TV (which means I get to watch it), and in the San Antonio area it will also be on My35 HD.

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area..

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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