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Washington Wizards vs Charlotte Hornets Preview

Wizards 13-23 vs Hornets 17-17

When: Saturday, December 29th, at 7 p.m.

Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.

TV: NBC Sports Washington, FSSE-CHA / Radio: 1500 AM


Wizards: Dwight Howard (Day to Day/ Back), Otto Porter Jr (Day to Day/ Knee), John Wall ( Day to Day/ Sore Left Heel), Markieff Morris (Day to Day/ Neck Stiffness), Sam Dekker ( Day to Day/Ankle)

Hornets: Tony Parker (Out/ Rest)

Wizards -

112.1 - points per game

117.2 - points against

46.3 - Field goal %

Hornets -

113.0 - points per game

110.8 - points against

45.4 - field goal %

Keep an eye on:

Interior Defense: Myles Turner – 18 points (8-17 FG), 17 rebounds. Andre Drummond (6-11 FG) 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assist. Wendell Carter 17 points, 13 rebounds on 8-10 shooting. Those are the numbers from opposing centers from the last three games. All losses. Teams are attacking Washington’s bigs in every way, but especially in the paint. The inexperience of Thomas Bryant, lack of feel of the game from Ian Mahinmi and Morris being undersized has allowed centers to feast all game long inside. In the loss to the Bulls Friday night, Chicago felt so comfortable they called iso plays for Robin Lopez and he scored three straight times from the post, finishing with 10 points on 5-7 shooting in 15 minutes of action. Lopez averages 6.2 points per game. At some point, it has to be about pride. Defense and rebounding is something Washington’s centers HAVE to excel at if they ever want to end this losing streak. Bryant and Mahinmi are capable if they bring maximum energy throughout the game. Charlotte’s bigs of Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller present match-up issue for Bryant and Mahinmi due to their ability to step out and shoot from deep. This means they may have to make a choice in to which to takeaway which should obviously be easy scores inside. Make Zeller and Williams shoot CONTESTED threes and that favors Washington. If Zeller and Williams get in rhythm inside, it will translate to getting in rhythm from outside and that will ultimately mean another long night for the Wizards. Stay tuned.

Help Brad Beal Score: Teams are focusing in on Beal and daring other Wizards players to make shots consistently more and more. Beal is seeing traps come from all directions with opposing teams sending their most versatile defenders to try and stop Beal. In last night’s loss to Chicago, Beal poured in a game high 34 points on 13-27 shooting from the field, the other four starters shot a combined 14-40 from the field. Washington needs more players to help carry the offensive load, especially, with John Wall, Otto Porter Jr and Dwight Howard all out with injuries. Tomas Satoransky has to be more aggressive shooting the ball, Jeff Green as well. Would love to see Trevor Ariza attack the basket more. No one is asking for a 30 point performance from either of them, although, no one would be mad at that type of production. All anyone is asking for is for someone other than Beal to keep the defense honest to allow Beal to close and win games. At 10 games under 500, it’s past time for Washington to start piling up win’s before this season is lost.

Kemba Walker: is playing this season at an MVP level. Walker is averaging 25.3 points, 6.2 assist, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game on 42 percent shooting from the field, 36 percent shooting from deep and 83 percent from the charity stripe. Simply put, everything starts and end with Walker. Slowing him down, which is easier said than done, will give the Hornets a major blow executing on both ends. Expect Brooks to throw waves of defenders and traps at Walker all night.

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