Pump Up Music: Jay-Z -- "Run This Town"
The Big Picture: The Washington Wizards have won two in a row, a one-point win over the 76ers and then last night over the Heat in Miami. Don't let that fool you, though. They're a team in disarray, still figuring out what works, much like the Bobcats.
I'm pretty sure they miss Mike Miller, out with a calf injury, but then again, I'm not totally sure. It's certainly possible that Gilbert Arenas can't co-exist with him, since both so desperately want the ball in their hands. With Miller out, maybe it clears things up for them. After all, Antawn Jamison has been their best offensive option, by far, and Caron Butler has totally fallen off a cliff. It's a good thing to have four good scoring options, but it's not a good thing to have four scoring options when at least one of them feels like he's getting the shaft, or is generally losing effectiveness because others are doing what he does.
Wasn't the whole point of starting DeShawn Stevenson and guys like Etan Thomas that they would be defensive presences alongside three scorers? Now, they've just got a bunch of offensively-minded guys. It's certainly possible they're better overall with the Outscore 'Em lineup, but their ceiling is limited if they can't stop anyone, and they're not getting the most out of Butler that way.
Key to Victory: Boris Diaw has been out of sorts the past few games, and he'll be charged with stopping Jamison. Ideally, part of that would involve making him work hard on the defensive end, and Diaw's best equipped to do that from the power forward spot. Gerald Wallace or Derrick Brown can post him up, but they won't be able to make him work on the block like Diaw can. On the other end, I'm worried that Diaw won't be able to deal with Jamison's variety of offense, from threes to putting it on the floor.
Detail That Might Interest .08% of You: Dominic McGuire started 57 games for the Wiz last year. This year? 49 minutes.