Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 31st game of the season against the Brooklyn Nets in D.C. are TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) and guest Justin DeFeo (@JustinDeFeo), who contributes to The Brooklyn Game.
Wizards Starters (4-26):
Garrett Temple, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor
Nets Starters (17-15):
Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Brook Lopez
Q #1: What have you done for me lately?
(What’s the status of the Nets over the past week?)
@JustinDeFeo: Now that the dust has somewhat settled after the Avery Johnson firing, the Nets are in decent shape and trending upwards. Set aside a stinker vs. the Spurs, they’ve won three of their last four, including an impressive win on Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Brook Lopez looks to be getting back to his pre-injury form. The only lingering questions that remain is if the Nets can get consistency from Deron Williams. He looked great against the Thunder, but now it is about stringing good games back-to-back.
Q #2: Who threw out my alarm clock?
(Which player(s) are we sleeping on?)
@JustinDeFeo: Gerald Wallace. He’s not exactly a “sleeper” type of player, but there is no measuring the kind of impact Crash has had on the Nets this season. Tangibly, he’s been a strong defender and a complimentary rebounder, but intangibly his energy, effort and competitive fire has been invaluable to the Nets and I’m just not sure a casual observer notices that type of impact.
Q #3: What game-within-the-game counts most?
(What matchup between two players or between each team in a particular statistical category is most important.)
@JustinDeFeo: For the Nets, it’s third quarters. All season the Nets seem to be able to build first half leads, only to give it all and more back in the third quarter. It’s been a bugaboo for them all season and it came to a severe head with their five-point third quarter vs. the Spurs. If the Nets can manage to get on top of the Wiz early and then maintain that lead in the third, I think this game will likely go to Brooklyn.
Q #4: How it’s going down?
(TAI’s general key to the game.)
@JohnCTownsend: Everybody has something to say about Andray Blatche’s homecoming, but Deron Williams will be the show-stopper. In his last three trips to D.C., Williams has averaged 23.7 points and 10.7 assists. And he’s coming off a 19-point, 13-assist, five-steal game against the Thunder—the best team in the Association. Who is going to check him? <crickets chirping/>
BONUS: Describe the Andray Blatche Experience in one sentence.
@JustinDeFeo: Very similar to my experience with the “Gangnam Style” video—at first I was horrified and perplexed, but I’ve now learned to love it.
The Nets are favored by 5.5 points over the Wizards. The over/under is 185.5 points (via USA Today).
@JohnCTownsend: The Wizards are probably better than their record says they are … but so are the Nets. Brooklyn wins, 97-89.