1 ) Added attention
It’s a nationally televised game on ESPN (10:30 pm EST). Actually, this is probably a bad thing for the Wizards.
2 ) It’s going to be a close game
- All seven of the Wizards’ games in December have been decided by four points or less.
- The Wizards have lost five in a row by a combined margin of 11 points. Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog reports that this is the lowest total five game loss margin in franchise history.
- So, the Wizards have obviously lost their last five by four or fewer points. The last team to do that in a single season was the 1979-80 Knicks. The most consecutive losses by four points or less is set at six games by the 1976-77 Suns.
3 ) Can’t go wrong with $1 dollar beer, can you?
There will be a hostile environment like the Arco Arena of the Chris Webber/Vlade Divac/Mike Bibby/Doug Christie days … Cowbells and beer baby, actually, dollar beer.
The Kings are doing a dollar beverage promotion, which includes beer. And as of 2pm on Tuesday, only about 900 tickets remained. However, the packed house of rowdy drunks doesn’t exactly make the California chapter of MADD happy.
It’s worth noting that in recent times, multiple Kings personnel have been stricken with DUI charges, including former coach Eric Musselman in October 2006 and current player Andres Nocioni just this past November.
With an ownership that’s “thrilled” at the idea of legalized gambling on the NBA, would you expect anything less?
4 ) Rook vs. Vet Match-up
Tyreke Evans vs. Gilbert Arenas … ’nuff’ said.
5 ) The Kings haven’t beaten the Wizards in 1,753 days
The Wizards have beaten Sacramento eight straight times, the longest current winning streak the Wiz have against an opponent and the longest current losing streak the Kings have against an opponent.
The last time the Kings won was on February 27, 2005 in DC. That night, Gilbert Arenas dropped 43 points on 32 shots and 7-11 from three-point land, Kwame Brown had a double-double with 10 and 10, and Steve Blake scored 17 off the bench.
But that couldn’t overcome 38 points from Mike Bibby and a paltry seven points (3-15 FGs) and three rebounds from Antawn Jamison. The Kings won 110-108.
6 ) Every Gilbert Arenas shot is an adventure
- 21 NBA players are averaging over 20 points per game this season. Arenas is the only one shooting below 40%.
- In fact, Arenas has attempted the most field-goals (396) out of any player in the NBA currently shooting below 40%.
7 ) Tyreke’s attempt to join elite company
Only three rookies in NBA history have averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Evans is trying to become the fourth to do so, and would join LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Oscar Robinson on that elite list.
8 ) Who will start for DC?
Flip Saunders has experimented more with his lineups this season than a mad scientist. Much of it has been due to injury, but a lot of it is him simply searching for a combination that works … which kinda pissed off some vets, as they blamed Flip’s substitution patterns for being one of the reasons they lost a 17-point lead to the Clippers on Monday. Really guys?
The Wizards have started 10 different lineups this year, only second to the 11 of the New Jersey Nets.
9 ) Antawn Jamison, the Gentleman Warrior
Jamison has been the only Wizard clearly playing his heart out each and every night. He still, perhaps naively, has championship aspirations. Also, he loves the long ball. Jamison has made at least one three-pointer in each of the last 13 games, one off the current streak of Jared Dudley (14 straight games with a three). Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have also made a three in 13 straight games.
10 ) Limited decision if you’re an NBA freak
The only other game that will be on at the time is San Antonio at Golden State. At 12-10, the Spurs aren’t doing all that great, but they’re certainly doing better than a dysfunctional Warriors team and are favored to win by 5.5, despite a 2-6 record on the road. Also, San Antonio has won eight out of their last 12 while the Warriors have lost seven of eight.
…. Just watch the Wizards-Kings.
I will be discussing the game on ESPN.com’s Live Dime Chat. You’re welcome to come join me and the other ESPN experts/TrueHoop Network bloggers if you’re up.
[Stats Source: ESPN Stats & Information/Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.]