Let's talk about this Wizards vs. Trail Blazers game, the first game in a five-game set out West. Unfortunately, road trips aren't just about shopping sprees at the Nike Employee Store. And when it comes to work, business has not been good on the road this season. I needn't remind anyone of Washington's league-worst 1-31 mark away from the Verizon Center.
In Sunday's home win against the Nets, coach Flip Saunders had to yell at his players during halftime to wake up after Washington sleepwalked to a 13-point deficit at the break. If the Wizards hope to experience success on this five-game swing they'll have to compete.
"West coast trip is going to be tough, especially at this stage in the game," Mo Evans said with a smile after Sunday's win.
"It's late in the year, and a lot of these teams are in the playoffs," he said. "We just got to really strap up and give it our best effort and try and compete each and every night."
On Tuesday night, the Wizards will once again be with out the services of Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard. According to The Washington Post's Michael Lee, Young is "questionable" for Wednesday's game against the Clippers and Blatche could return on Friday against the Nuggets. Only Young made the trip to Portland -- no word on whether that had anything to do with the trip to the Nike Store.
Portland will be without Marcus Camby, so expect a smaller lineup, featuring LaMarcus Aldridge at center and Gerald Wallace over at power forward. It will be interesting to see how Washington counters that smaller lineup, since the Trail Blazers don't give up much rebounding even with Wallace -- a natural small forward -- shifting over.
For more, check out the game thread over at Bullets Forever and watch this interview with Flip Saunders from today's morning shootaround, if you're so inclined.