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Don't Wiz on the Cable Box (That's Tuuurrible...)

Two long days off to nurse Jamal Crawford-induced wounds, and now we're back at the Cable Box to host the Washington Wizards. Last year, the Wiz were a fantastically fun team to watch. Even without Agent Zero, they could pour it in with Roger Mason, Jr., at the point, Caron Butler doing Caron Butler things, and Antawn Jamison enjoying a mini-revival. Brendan Haywood was finally free of the Etan Thomas menace, and DeShawn Stevenson provided plenty of midseason comic relief. Oh, and he continues providing entertainment off the floor.

This year, there's still no Gil, Mason's off to San Anton, Haywood is out for a long time, and even Thomas is aching. That leaves rookie JaVale McGee or fellow young'un Andray Blatche to start at center alongside Jamison, and that's likely to be Blatche. I find that hilarious because, as recently as a year and a half ago, I was wondering if Blatche wasn't the perfect candidate to go play in the NFL as a goal line and field goal blocking specialist. No matter. Both are decent players who would do well to try to simply out-athlete Emeka, but despite Okafor's lack of sheer size, I still expect him to keep those guys in check.

That also leaves Mike James, newly acquired from New Orleans, as the starting point guard alongside Stevenson. Dude never was hot stuff to begin with, but he's more of a scorer than Antonio Daniels. Why they'd make that trade with Juan Dixon around doesn't make sense in the near term, but I'm assuming it was necessary in order to get poor Javaris Crittenton, who's been passed around like Thanksgiving stuffing the past few years. He hasn't shown anything at the top level, yet, but as long as he's a 6-5 point guard, he'll get his chances. Nick Young rounds out the backcourt rotation.

In the end, the key for the Bobcats is Diaw on Jamison. Caron Butler may get points on Gerald, but they won't be easy, and none of the Wizards' guards are likely to torch our susceptible back court. If Diaw can take advantage of Jamison's notoriously awful D and at least bother him at the other end of the floor, victory will be at hand. This is one of the few teams in the league with less overall talent than the Bobcats, so a loss would be extremely discouraging.

UPDATE 1:40pm -- One more reason to love Stevenson (he's my starting PG for my video game Bobcats, btw): He suggested a way to get better is to come off the bench until he proves he can play against starters again.