Washington Wizards vs Denver Nuggets Preview
Washington Wizards (40-31) vs Denver Nuggets (39-33)
When: Friday , March 23, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena , Washington D.C. TV: NBATV / Radio: 1500 AM
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee) , Jodie Meeks ( Day to Day, Illness), Mike Scott (Day to Day, Illness)
Nuggets: Gary Harris (Out, Knee)
The Wizards were defeated by the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night 98-90.
The Wizards recorded 25-or-more assists in a game for the 40th time this season, the ninth time in franchise history that the team had 40 such games in a single season.
Washington 25+ Assist Games by Season
1989-90 56 2015-16 47
1983-84 53 1982-83 46
1984-85 48 1988-89 43
1990-91 48 2017-18 40
1992-93 48 1991-92 39
Kelly Oubre Jr. had 21 points off the bench in the game, his fifth game this season with at least 20 points off the bench, the most by a Wizard since Jordan Crawford had seven games in 2012-13.
107.3 - points per game
106.0 - points against
46.8 - Field goal %
109.8 - points per game
108.4 - points against
47.1 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Nikola Jokic: Washington's front line will have to be on point defending Jokic who is a legit triple double threat every time he touches the floor. The third year center is averaging 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6 assist while shooting 50 percent from the field, 39 percent from three point territory and 84 percent from the stripe. Simply put, he's a match-up nightmare and capable of taking over the game in a multitude of ways. Washington's big's will have to be on the same page defensively and attack Jokic offensively. Against the Bulls in a blowout win for the Nuggets, Jokic was almost flawless, posting 21 point's on 9-11 shooting, 7 rebounds and 5 assist in 24 minutes. If Gortat and Mahinmi, bring their full repertoire, they can neutralize Jokic enough to increase the chances of a Wizards victory.
Will Barton: With Gary Harris out, Will Barton has taken advantage of the extra minutes. The Baltimore native and former Lake Clifton standout. is a dynamic scorer and play maker who opponents have to focus on. Barton is fourth on the Nuggets in scoring at 15 a game, and he also brings averages of 4.9 rebounds, 4.1 assist and 1.1 steals to the equation on 44 percent shooting from the field, 36 percent from deep and 79 percent from the line. However, that's just the beginning of Barton's potential impact. His biggest trait is his versatility. Barton at 6'6 can play the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions depending on the opponents line-up, which makes him a difficult player to game plan for. Washington perimeter players such as Sato, Beal, Porter Jr and Oubre Jr will all get their turns at dealing with Barton.
Offensive Rebounds: Denver Nuggets are relentless on the offensive boards. They rank second in the NBA at 11 a game with Jokie leading the team at nearly three a game (2.7). This means EVERY Wizards player will have to keep a body on someone and go get the rebound. Yes, it may create less fast break opportunities, but, it certainly takes away from possible second chance points from Denver. Washington is ranked 24th in defensive rebounding so they will have to mix it up to take away this x-factor for the Nuggets. Expect Washington guards to come down to help out on the boards.