Wizards (18-60) at Cavaliers (62-15)
Wizards starters: Javaris Crittenton, Dominic McGuire, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood.
Cavaliers: Delonte West, Mo Williams, LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Refs: Tom Washington, Eric Lewis and Haywoode Workman
Line: Cavaliers by 16.5
You can wipe out that 0.01 percent chance of Gilbert Arenas playing. He is not going to go against the Cleveland Cavaliers. I caught him briefly before the game and asked him why he didn't want to stick it to Cavaliers fans, who were hoping to see their team extend its own record to 38-1. "I already did," Arenas said, mentioning how he helped end the Cavaliers' 13-game win streak last week in Washington.
Before the game, Arenas sat in front of his locker room stall, looking at a calendar on his computer and plotted out his workout plans after the season ends.
... Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott was asked about Arenas before the game and his answer was similar to the one that he already gave me this morning: "We said he'd play selected games. The issue really is taken out of the context of the knee; the knee is fine. But you know when you haven't played in a while, your body reacts to playing at a real high level. Soreness and all of those other things come in. We didn't want to overtax him. So, we're going to stick to that plan."
... Arenas might be sitting this one out, but the Cavaliers are bringing back all the troops, especially since they can lock up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a victory. Ben Wallace is coming back after missing the past 21 games with a broken right fibula. Anderson Varejao also will play after sitting out against San Antonio with a right wrist contusion. Makes you wonder if they don't bring back Austin Carr, Brad Dougherty, Mark Price, Larry Nance, World B. Free and anybody else to really pile on the Wizards, who have won two in a row against them.
... Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown said that he may start resting guys like LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mo Williams and, possibly, Wally Szczerbiak in the last few games. But that will wait for at least one night. What Brown told reporters in Cleveland yesterday pretty much summed up the attitude of the team going into this game against Washington. Here's a hint: It won't be cavalier. "I think eventually we may end up getting to a point where we may sit some guys if I feel it necessary. But I just started to think of that last night. Having said that, I know we're going to go into [tonight's] game trying to play our guys and trying to win.''
... Another interesting note. The Boston Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season. Guess which team was the only one to beat them three times in the regular season.
I'm not sure if the Wizards are going to be 3-1 against the Cavaliers after what Cleveland did to San Antonio on Sunday, beating the Spurs by 20 points. The Cavs look pretty focused.
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