Psychic Powers, Paul, and a Game against the Wizards

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Published: December 30, 2008

I’m sure by now most of you have seen this.  A similar version of it was linked up in the news and good ol’ Toney Blare posted it in the comments of the Pacer’s Recap, but if you haven’t read about it you should go take a look.  It’s another one of those articles where a star, this time CP3, goes off to spite a heckling fan.

Personally, I’m always skeptical about stories of this sort.  I’d like to think that Chris Paul went off because the Hornet’s needed him to and he wanted to crush the Pacers, not because a fan heckled him.  Besides, Paul is a top 3 talent in the NBA due solely to my powerful psychic powers that channel skill, motivation and energy to Paul through the medium of shouting, grumbling, muttering and cursing at my television. 

Imagine. Some other guy thinking he could have an impact on Paul.  Jerk.  I bet he’s got palsy or polio or something – did you notice how he talked about his legs shaking when Paul walked away?  What a Loser.

Ahem.  Anyways, on to the game.

Fun fact:  Hilton Armstrong, Sean Marks, and Devin Brown are completely immune to psychic powers.

Matchup: Wizards(6-23) @ Hornets(18-9)

Off Efficiency: Wizards 101.3(23rd), Hornets 105.7(9th)
Def Efficiency: Wizards 108.6(27th), Hornets 102.3(11th)

A rivalry is renewed tonight as the Wizards arrive in New Orleans to take on the New Orleans Hornets.  Waving their wands and tossing incantations freely, the Wizards won both meetings last year against the magic-less Hornets, and the bugs can only hope that tonight they will be able to overcome the odds stacked against them and make a game of it.  The task may prove difficult, as some say that Merlin himself will be on the court, disguised in one of his many magically assumed shapes, this one called “Caron Butler”.  And while few can stand against the ancient mystical advisor of King Arthur himself, there is more bad news for the poor, tiny bugs from New Orleans.  Rumors abound that the Wizards have recently signed a black-haired boy with a strange lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead, and that he will be playing seeker . . . er . . . center for the Wizards.  Should that prove true, the Hornets will be Doomed.  Doooooommmmeedd.

(C’mon, I’m trying to make this game seem interesting. I mean, other than Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, this may be the worst collection of talent in the league outside of OKC.  Deshawn Stevenson shoots 31% from the field and still plays 28 minutes a game!   Mike James averages 30 minutes a game!  Seriously.  Mike JAMES.)

Both teams enter the game tonight with impressive two game winning streaks.  Watch, as one of those streaks will magically disappear!

Injuries

Hornets: None.
Wizards: Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler are fighting through nagging injuries, like they always do.

Positional Analysis

PG: Mike James v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Chris Paul is going to make like the Supernanny, and show Mike James how to take care of his business.

SG: Nick Young v Rasual “Phoenix” Butler
Advantage: Hornets
There were many who wanted the Hornets to take Nick Young in the draft that netted them Julian Wright.  All the statistical evidence pointed to Young being a pretty poor prospect, and this year he’s not done much to prove otherwise.  He does have some slashing ability, but his jumpshot rarely falls, and his rebounding and assist numbers are very bad.  Phoenix Butler will probably leave him to Peja and switch to Caron Butler defensively if Caron plays.

SF: Peja Stojakovic v Caron Butler
Advantage: Wizards
Butler is a good all-around wingman.  His slashing game is better than his shooting, but he gets a good number of free-throws, rebounds well, and is a solid ballhandler and passer.  While I wouldn’t rate him as spectacular in any skill, he’s good at so many that he’s hard to handle.  Normally, this would be a sizeable edge over Peja, but Butler is hurt and didn’t play last night, so Peja may end up going against Dominic McGuire, which would be really, really ugly for the Wizards.

PF: David West v Antawn Jamison
Advantage: Even
Antawn Jamison is David West if West didn’t work on his post game and instead worked on refining his mid to long range jumpshot.  Antawn loves the long two and the three ball, rarely works the post, and shows a fairly good ability to put the ball on the floor and score.  He can get hot if you don’t contest him, so once again West will have to leave the paint to track him, something he’s not always willing to do.  Still, I’m fairly confident the two will duel each other to a draw.

C: Tyson Chandler v Andray Blatche
Advantage: Hornets
For about three years there have been stories out of Washington that this is the year Andray Blatche will break out and become a great player.  From what I’ve seen of his game, he’s got some solid tools, but less discipline than JR Smith.  Perimeter players can get away with a helter-skelter game by drilling long range jumpers and driving and dunking, but Big Men without discipline rarely pan out due to their lynchpin defensive duties.  They also must have work hard on developing good footwork to be valuable scoring down low.  Blatche just doesn’t seem to have the temperment to refine those skills.

Despite what many people think about Tyson Chandler, he is a disciplined player, so even if he’s struggling a little this year,  he’ll outplay Blatche.

Bench
Advantage: Hornets
The aforementioned DeShawn Stevenson combines with Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Juan Dixon to make a bench that doesn’t rebound much, and shoots even worse.  It’s a pretty bad set, and Posey and Daniels will be enough to outplay them.

 

Enjoy the game, and I’ll go hope that my mockery of the Wizards doesn’t come back and bite me.

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