Game 5: New York Knicks at Washington Wizards

When: 7 P.M.

Where: Verizon Center

Watch: MSG

Starting Lineups:

Wizards (0-3)

PG: Antonio Daniels

SG- DeShawn Stevenson

SF- Caron Butler

PF- Antawn Jamison

C- Etan Thomas

Rest of rotation: Andray Blatche, Juan Dixon, Javale McGee, Dominic McGuire, Darius Songaila, Nick Young

Knicks (2-2)

PG: Chris Duhon

SG: Jamal Crawford

SF: Quentin Richardson

PF: Zach Randolph

C: David Lee

Rest of Rotation: Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, Malik Rose

Injuries:

Wizards: OUT: Gilbert Arenas (knee); Brendan Haywood (wrist)
Knicks: OUT: Eddy Curry, Jared Jefferies (leg)

Keep an eye on:

Momentum: The Wizards are winless and have tough matchups with Orlando and Utah after tonight’s game. So with 0-6 as a realistic possibility, expect head coach Eddie Jordan and veterans Butler and Jamison to have them treating tonight’s game as a must-win. Washington has gotten little production from their starting backcourt of Daniels and Stevenson, so look for Juan Dixon and Nick Young to get the majority of the minutes if the starters don’t pick up their game. If the Knicks’ don’t match the Wizards’ intensity at the outset it could be a blowout.

Post Play: Etan Thomas is a game-time decision and must play if the Wizards are to have a chance tonight. The rail-thin Blatche was abused on the post by Kwame Brown of all people in the Wizards’ loss to Detroit and was benched in the second half for Songaila. Jordan has stated that he will give this year’s first-round pick Javale McGee some minutes tonight. If Thomas does not play, look for Z-Bo and Lee to expose the Wizards’ thin frontline.

The Other Blog’s Take: From truthaboutit.net

Andray Blatche is getting his fair share of chances and is not taking advantage of them.

    • He severely lacks blocking-out fundamentals — Somebody teach him….PLEASE!! Tony Massenburg? Wes Unseld?
    • Blatche is trying to do too much — I’m not sure what needs to happen for Andray to let the game come to him.
    • The starters are not working out. Something needs to be shaken up, and the obvious answer is to start Nick Young. But that’s the conundrum….who sits? DeShawn Stevenson and his consecutive games started streak (along with his defense)? Or Antonio Daniels and his steadying game management presence?
    • Well, Eddie Jordan started Stevenson and Young in the backcourt for OT against the Bucks……but the Wizards didn’t really have ball control issues, rather shot themselves in the foot with untimely turnovers and missed defensive assignments.
    • JaVale McGee is more than a talented athlete…..he’s a composed soldier. Now, I’m not ready to throw the kid into the starting lineup just yet, but it’s clear than he is doing everything to earn minutes…..the refinement will come in time. I loved this quote by McGee from a Hoops Addict article about him: “I never grew up to fear anybody or admire.”