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DIME PREVIEW: Wizards at Suns

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foxsports admin

 
   
 

The Deal

After last night's trio of ridiculous runs, we move from contenders to pretenders for the Game of the Day between Washington and Phoenix. Both teams enter tonight's game on the outside looking in, barely. The Wiz are a half-game behind Milwaukee in the East for the 8th spot, with the only 2.5 behind them. Phoenix has faded recently, going 6-11 after the break to end up on the wrong side of a tiebreaker with for the 8th spot out West. Clearly this game is monster for both teams — Michael wants one last shot at the playoffs while Steph needs to prove he's a capable leader.

The Weapons

While Jordan can still take almost anyone, anywhere as a player, his moves in a business suit aren't so shifty. This roster, the one he bemoans on a nightly basis, was created by him, with the exception of the latest great center from , . Free agent signee has been used sparingly, leading one to think Jordan brought him to Washington just to relive the good 'ol days. Top draft pick has shown promise at times, but not enough to make him look like a worthwhile pick yet (the kid's still only 20 years old). With the rest of team generally disappointing as well, Jordan has had to be the beast of burden. Picking it up for all of his teammates who have dropped the ball, Jordan has excelled, upping his scoring average after the break to 22 per. In Washington's last game, MJ played a game-high 50 of 53 minutes. Obviously determined to leave everything on the floor, Jordan's effort should be inspiring the young to boost their play for the postseason run. While Phoenix is nearly as young as Washington, its stars are not 40 and 29 years old, as MJ and Stackhouse are, respectively. Instead the Matrix is 24 while Steph is 26 and having arguably his best year yet. A cast of other youngins has contributed at times for Phoenix, most notably . has been effective sporadically, while has, after a hot start, been relegated to playing the Phoenix version of former fellow Cardinal . If Amare can maintain his level of play, the should have enough firepower to get by and into the playoffs for the first time since there were Kidds in Phoenix.

The Drama

If all of the played with the determination of MJ, Washington wouldn't lose the rest of the way. While their roster is guard-heavy, Washington has enough talent — barely — to get into the playoffs. Should Phoenix make the playoffs, they would undoubtedly lose in the first round, as Washington would (barring another Jordan miracle). However just getting into the postseason would be a step in the right direction for each young team. Tonight Washington moves forward. The Forecast: 92-85
Tagged: Knicks, Suns, Houston, Washington, Amar'e Stoudemire

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