Archive for February 24th, 2008

Wizards notes

The Washington Wizards will visit the New Orleans Hornets tomorrow night (Monday, February 25th) in Louisiana on Comcast SportsNet and WTEM 980 at 8:00 pm.

This game marks the first of two meetings between Washington and New Orleans this season.  The Wizards and Hornets will conclude their season-series on March 2 in Washington.

Last season vs. New Orleans…The Wizards and Hornets split a pair of meetings, with each team winning at home…The Wizards’ loss in Oklahoma City on January 12, 2007 marked Washington’s tenth consecutive road defeat to the Hornets franchise; including games played in Charlotte, New Orleans and Oklahoma City…The Wizards’ 125-103 win at Verizon Center on March 17, 2007 was their third straight home win vs. New Orleans.

Washington last defeated the Hornets on the road on November 1, 2000 in Charlotte when the franchise was still the Charlotte Hornets.  That win came in the Wizards’ opening game of the 2000-01 NBA season.  None of the current Wizards played for Washington at that time.

This game marks the beginning of Washington’s 15th back-to-back set this season.  The Wizards are 6-8 to date in the first game when playing on consecutive nights.  Washington will conclude the back-to-back on Tuesday night in Houston.  The Wizards are also 6-8 in the second game of a back-to-back set.

Washington’s starting line-up of Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche and Brendan Haywood started their ninth game together as a unit in Washington’s last game, becoming Washington’s second-most frequently used starting line-up this season.  The Wizards’ most popular starting unit — Daniels, Stevenson, Caron Butler, Jamison, Haywood — has started 27 games as a unit, and holds a 16-11 record in those games.  In all, Washington has used eight different starting line-ups this season, as the opening night line-up that featured Gilbert Arenas, Stevenson, Butler, Jamison and Haywood started just eight games together.  Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson are the only two Wizards to have started every game this season.

Despite Washington’s sub-.500 record this season (26-29, .473), the Wizards have outscored the opposition by three points this season, 5,421 - 5,418.  The Wizards are the only sub-.500 team in the NBA that has outscored their opponent this season.  Two teams with a +.500 record this season — Cleveland and Portland — have been cumulatively outscored by their opponents in 2007-08.

In Washington’s last game…The Wizards defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 110-95, at Verizon Center on Saturday, Feb. 23…Antawn Jamison led five Wizards in double figures in scoring with 22 points…The Wizards improved to 7-2 this season when all five starters score at least 10 points…DeShawn Stevenson’s 20-point game marked his fourth game this season with 20+ points…Brendan Haywood finished with 15 points (6-12 FG, 3-3 FT), seven rebounds, a career-high five assists, and three blocked shots…Andray Blatche started his 12th game of the season, and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds…Antonio Daniels tallied 10 points, and improved to 20-17 as a starter this season…Oleksiy Pecherov finished one point shy of being the sixth Wizard in double figures in scoring, but finished with a career-high tying nine points and a career-high six rebounds…Rookie guard Nick Young grabbed a career-high five rebounds…Washington committed a team season-low seven turnovers…Caron Butler missed his eighth straight game with a left hip flexor strain.

Washington-New Orleans connections…Wizards forward Antawn Jamison was born in Shreveport, LA…Washington’s Antonio Daniels and New Orleans’ Bonzi Wells were teammates in Portland in 2002-03…Washington’s Caron Butler and New Orleans’ Rasual Butler were teammates in Miami from 2002-04…Washington’s Darius Songaila and New Orleans’ Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson were teammates in Sacramento from 2003-05…Wizards Head Coach Eddie Jordan and Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott coached together on the New Jersey Nets teams that went to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003…Hornets Assistant Coach Darrell Walker played for Washington from 1987-1991; was Washington’s Head Coach for a 38-game stint in 1999-00; and served in the team’s scouting department from 2000-04.

The Toronto Sun (Steve Buffery) reports: Jose Calderon has been saying it for months, and now T.J. Ford has emphatically jumped on the bandwagon. The two point guards want to stay together for as long as possible — even though they would have a lot more to gain from a personal standpoint if they split up. “Do I think it can continue to work? Yes I do,” said Ford this week, when asked about sharing duties with Calderon. “I think we both continue to make each other better. We set high expectations for one another (and) I think we do a good job supporting one another and I think our relationship is great.” Calderon is a restricted free agent at season’s end and GM Bryan Colangelo has made it known he will match all offers. But the question remains: Will Calderon be content to come off the bench once Ford is healthy? Or, for that matter, will Ford be happy coming off the bench?

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