Pregame and more as the Wizards head west

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Mike Jones has been a little bit under the weather the past couple days, thus the absence of a story in today’s paper (though you did get an Update from me, pasted below).

So with Mike on his way to Oakland for today’s game against the Golden State Warriors (true story: My wife thought they were a college team), here are a few links to amuse those of you stuck in the office, snowed in or just needing a pregame primer.

- The Oakland Tribune is having trouble with its blog software, but they have a breakdown of “who gets the ball in the fourth” for the Warriors on the blog.

- Today’s feature out of Oakland is on Jamal Crawford, which the team picked up in a trade earlier this season. Golden State assistant coach Keith Smart is trying to make Crawford into a more complete player.

- Meanwhile over at the San Francisco Chronicle, Janny Hu breaks down the Warriors Midseason Honor Roll (MVP: Andris Biedrins).

- And, at the cleverly named Golden State of Mind, they’re predicting (a) an entertaining game and (b) that the Warriors will win by 5.

- Back on the Wizards’ end of the court, any week when we get three posts out of the Wizznutzz is a good one, so they have earned their link and more. And, there’s music involved.

Today’s a matinee in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and here’s the info that appeared in today’s paper.

TODAY’S GAME: WASHINGTON WIZARDS at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.

TV/radio: Ch. 50, ESPN 980

Probable starters: Wizards — F Dominic McGuire, F Antawn Jamison, C Andray Blatche, G Caron Butler, G Mike James. Warriors — F Corey Maggette, F Anthony Randolph, C Andris Biedrins, G Stephen Jackson, G Jamal Crawford.

Injuries: Wizards — Out: C Brendan Haywood (wrist), C Etan Thomas (knee), G Gilbert Arenas (knee), G DeShawn Stevenson (back). Warriors — Out: G Monta Ellis (ankle), G Marco Belinelli (ankle). Day-to-day: C.J. Watson (toe).

Outlook: The Warriors, who have won two of three, have regained the services of do-it-all guard Jackson. He had 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists in his first game back Friday, a 119-114 win against Atlanta. This is the fourth game of a seven-game homestand for Golden State, which lost in Washington 124-100 on Nov. 25. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee is the first game of a four-city West Coast swing for the Wizards, who have lost five in a row on the road. Second-year guard Nick Young scored 13 in Friday’s win against New York; he has averaged 23.2 points the past five games.

- John Taylor

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