NBA Playoffs: Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers Game 3 Preview
Wizards 0-2 vs Sixers 2-0
When: Saturday, May 29th, at 7p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: ESPN / Radio: WFED 1500 AM
Wizards: Russell Westbrook (Day to Day/Ankle)
Sixers: Seth Curry (Day to Day/ Ankle), Tobias Harris (Day to Day/Ankle)
106.5 - points per game
122.5 - points against
47.8 - Field Goal %
122.5 - points per game
106.5 - points against
52.5 - Field Goal %
Keep an eye on:
Russell Westbrook's Health: is huge. He rolled his ankle in Washington's game two loss at Philadelphia. Prior to him injuring his ankle, Westbrook was struggling greatly as the Sixers threw multiple defenders at him while clogging the lane to force him into being a shooter, as well as keeping a body on him to make sure he doesn't impact the game rebounding the ball. Now with an injured ankle, it will be more of a challenge for him to get his rhythm back. I have no doubts Russ will try to play and compete, he's as tough and competitive as they come, and any percentage of Russ is better than not having him at all. However, he will have to figure out a way to get going offensively to keep the Sixers honest or the end result will be more of the same.
Washington's Supporting Cast: stepping up is something to definitely watch. Brad Beal has been the only constant offensively and against a team as deadly as the Sixers, that won't be close to being enough. Westbrook has struggled all series, averaging 13 points on 33 percent shooting from the field and 66 percent from the free throw line. In addition, he hasn't made a 3-pointer through the first two games of the series.
Rui Hachimura has been deadly efficient (64% FG, 100% 3FG, 66% FT) shooting the ball, yet, he isn't being aggressive enough. In the first two games of the series, Hachimura is 9-14 from the field, 3-3 from deep and 2-3 from the charity stripe. If anything he needs to take MORE shots. He has to be more assertive if Washington is to make this a series over the weekend.
Davis Bertans was, lets face it, non existent in game two. In 23 minutes off the bench, Bertans finished with 0 points, 2 rebounds and 6 fouls. Like I said, he was non existent. For the series he's averaging 7 points and 3.5 rebounds on 35 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range. Bertans is too good of a shooter to be struggling like this and his struggles are amplified due to the struggles of others shooting the ball along with the Sixers targeting him when he's on defense to wear him down and get him in foul trouble. We've seen Bertans get hot and deflate opponents with his three point shooting. His role is to knock down shots from the perimeter to open the floor up for everyone else. Washington needs him to wake up or the brooms will be coming out Monday night.
Ish Smith, Robin Lopez, Alex Len all need to come with it. Game three is at Capital One, the Wizards play much better at home. Maybe a little home cooking is just what the doctor ordered to turn things around. Time will tell.