Tonight, the Nets will play the Wizards at the Prudential Center. The Wizards are out of the playoff race, with the Nets closely following suit. The Nets haven't won since the Gerald Wallace acquisition and the Wizards are looking to play their new big man Nene. Fun times are ahead.
Joining Justin and I in the pregame 3-on-3 is Kyle Weidle from the Washington Wizards TrueHoop page Truth About It.
1. Let's start out talking trades. What are you anticipating out of Nene? What are you anticipating out of Crash?
- Chris Hooker: I expect a lot of Crash tonight, as Washington is weak at the three and the Nets suddenly have a quality starter. I think he will have his best game of the last three (yes, I am aware of Monday's double-double showcase) and help lead the Nets to victory. As far as Washington goes, Nene probably won't get a ton of minutes, and because he hasn't really had the opportunity to play with his new guys, my hope is that Humphries and Landlord will contain him. My hope.
- Justin DeFeo: I expect more production from Crash than Nene in this game. Wallace is already begun the meshing process required when moved to a team mid-season, Nene hasn't had that opportunity yet, therefore I expect more production from Crash.
- Kyle Weidle, Truth About It: Simply with the absence of Nick Young and JaVale McGee, the Wizards have become a much less selfish team. Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin have thus displayed multiple efforts to share the ball with post passes to each other. It hasn't always worked out, but the willingness is a sight to see for the sore eyes of Wizards fans. With Nene, the culture of sharing the ball on offense will be expanded even further. “He hit a couple of people in the head making a baseline cut,” said John Wall after Nene's first practice with the team (via the Washington Post). “They are not used to getting the pass back.”Anticipating out of Crash? I'm just hoping he doesn't injure a Wizard to the severe detriment of the franchise like Wallace did in his fateful encounter with Gilbert Arenas' knee on April 4, 2007.
2. With both of these teams seemingly out of playoff contention, who needs a win more tonight?
- Chris Hooker: I think the Nets need to lose more than the Wizards, so I guess that means the Wizards need the win more. I don't see how New Jersey makes the postseason, and if Deron is being honest in saying that the Nets have done all they can do to keep him, I say bring on the tank. Seeing Anthony Davis in new Jersey would be a fine consolation prize for Dwight, and if he is as good as advertised, I would go as far as to say he'd better for the Nets. I'm all in.
- Justin DeFeo: The Nets basically traded away their lottery pick in the Wallace deal, and a win puts them closer to the playoffs where that pick will no longer be a factor, so I'm going to say the win is worth more to NJ. If I was Washington, I'd be in full fledged tank mode.
- Kyle Weidle: I imagine that the Nets need the win less, especially if they want to get really bad and try to secure a top-3 pick in a deep draft so they don't have to surrender their 2012 selection to the Portland Trailblazers. Conversely, the Wizards need the win more, specifically, team president Ernie Grunfeld. He needs some affirmation, even if it's against a fellow lottery-bound team, that his risky youth-for-age trade (via his new, prized 30-year old "asset" who is owed $52 million over the next four seasons) is not going to give the appearance of a flop from Day 1.
3. And the winner is...
- Chris Hooker: Nets. Crash will dominate, Deron is better than Wall, Washington doesn't have rhythm with Nene and New Jersey has lost two straight against two mediocre teams. I think they will come roaring back and come away with a win. I'm looking for Deron to go HAM, he was especially angry after Monday and I predict a revenge game for him.
- Justin DeFeo:For the reasons I just stated above, I will say the Nets win tonight. Also, I just feel they have a stronger team top to bottom and they are playing at home. Oh wait, actually that may be a disadvantage. Nah, I'll still go Nets.
- Kyle Weidle: The Washington Wizards. Deron Williams is still out of John Wall's league, but I think the NBA soph has learned a thing or two since the first meeting between the two point guards in this season's opener. Otherwise, aside from Gerald Wallace, I think the Wizards have the advantage in tonight's game; Washington has been more competitive lately, beating a Hornets team in New Orleans that the Nets recently lost to at home. I expect them to be fueled by a new teammate, the absence of Andray Blatche (benched until further conditioning), and a reinvigorated sense of competitiveness.