Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks Preview
Wizards 3-1 vs Hawks 3-1
When: Thursday, Oct 28th, at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCS Washington, NBA League Pass / Radio: The Team 980, WFED 1500 AM
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out, Left ACL), Rui Hachimura ( Out, Personal), Cassius Winston ( Out, Left Hamstring), Raul Neto (Out, Left Shoulder), Anthony Gill (Out, Right Calf), Daniel Gafford (Questionable, Quad Contusion)
Hawks: Lou Williams (Out, Ankle), Onyeka Okongwu (Out, Shoulder)
Keep an eye on:
Paint Battle: between these two teams. Washington was fairly thin up front already before Daniel Gafford went down in Washington's win over Boston, now with him possibly being out tonight (MRI is scheduled today), it leaves the Wizards with Montrezl Harrell and rookie forward Isaiah Todd as their only natural active bigs. The lack of depth up front will be a HUGE issue with the Atlanta Hawks coming to town. Atlanta's starting front court of John Collins and Clint Capela is among the best in the NBA. High flying Collins has been on a terror to start the season, averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1 block on 61 percent shooting from the field. He's one of the best lob threats in the league, deadly in transition and pick & roll actions while being a versatile defender. Capela (7.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2 blocks) while not as skilled as Collins, pose similar issues for opponents inside on both ends. When you add Gorgui Dieng who excels at doing the dirty work and Danilo Gallinari, who is a three level scorer and coming off a season where he averaged 13.3 points on 40 percent shooting from deep and 92 percent shooting from the free throw line, and you have a front court that can give not only Washington, but most teams across the NBA major issues. Trez is getting it done to start the season inside, he will need help to contain the Hawks front court attack or it will be a long night inside Capital One.
Cam Reddish: now healthy, is blossoming into one of the top reserves as well as one of the top young wings in the NBA. Reddish came into the NBA with a lot of hype due to his combination of size, skill and athleticism as a wing. It's a rare blend. However, he also has had his fair share of criticism, with some questioning his drive and intensity game to game. So far this season, he's silenced all the critics. Reddish is second on the Hawks in scoring (15.3 ppg) and tied for first in steals (1.3 spg) while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range and 84 percent from the line. He's getting it done on BOTH ends. He's become an x-factor for the Hawks that very few teams can match-up with and one Washington must pay special attention to tonight.
Brad Beal: has to break out of his early season shooting slump. For Washington to win, they will have to execute efficiently on both ends and that includes Beal shooting the ball by his usual efficient standards. Through three games, Beal is having the worst season of his career shooting the ball, shooting 33 percent from the field and 16 percent from 3-point territory. To make matters worse, Beal is attempting the most 3-pointers (8.3 3PA) of his career and attempting the LEAST amount of free throws (3.7FTA) since the 15-16 season. Washington has managed to start the season 3-1 despite Beals shooting struggles, yet, for them to continue to pile up wins, they will need their franchise player to find his rhythm and perform at his All NBA standard.