Washington Wizards vs Oklahoma City Thunder Preview
Wizards 1-6 vs Thunder 3-4
When: Friday, November 2, at 8 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: ESPN/ NBC Sports Washington / Radio: 1500 AM, WWLS 98.1 FM (OKC)
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Day to Day, Gluteal Soreness), Markieff Morris (Day to Day, Concussion)
Thunder: Andre Roberson (Out, Knee)
111.9 - points per game
122.4 - points against
43.3 - Field goal %
109.0 - points per game
110.7 - points against
42.8 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Dwight Howard Returns: Washington’s top free agent acquisition Dwight Howard will make his season debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder. This news is right on time. Washington is tied with Cleveland and Phoenix for the worst record in the league currently and the main cause for that is their defense. The Wizards rank 30th in the league allowing 122 points per game and the Achilles heel has been rebounding. Howard excels at that. Coming off an injury that has sidelined him the entire preseason and during the Wizards 1-6 start, expecting Howard to come in and set the world on fire is unrealistic, however, he should make a big enough impact to have Washington in a winning position.
Defense: Scott Brooks said they will go away from the switching on defense due to the team’s inability to rebound well. Obviously, having Dwight back makes that an easy decision, although, it’s probably the right move to make regardless. Switching on defense almost guarantees a mismatch somewhere and teams have exploited their mismatch with Washington ad nauseum. Getting back in transition, communicating, and rebounding, EVERYBODY has to take pride in doing these things or the losing will ultimately continue.
Make OKC Shoot From Deep:
OKC is clearly dangerous despite their slow start, any team with Russell Westbrook and Paul George is capable of beating you if you don’t come to play. With that said, the Thunder despite having scoring weapons, don’t shoot the three ball well. On the season, they’re shooting 26 percent from deep which is dead last in the league. While Washington has struggled defending the three, allowing teams to shoot 39 percent, each team they have played thus far is shooting 35 percent or better as a team. As it is across the league, winning the three point battle will go a long way towards ensuring a win.