Wizards 0-1 vs Magic 1-0
When: Saturday, December 26th, at 7p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCSWA, Fox Sports Florida / Radio: WFED 1500 AM, WYGM-FM/AM
Wizards: Rui Hachimura (Out/ Bilateral Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis)
Magic: Jonathan Isaac (Out for season/ACL), Al-Farouq Aminu (Out/ Knee), James Ennis (Out/ Hamstring)
107.0 - points per game
113.0 - points against
45.9 - Field goal %
113.0 - points per game
107.0 - points against
47.7 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Turnovers: simple as that. Washington lost a hard fought contest to Philadelphia to open the season and turnovers throughout the game, especially late in the game, gave Philly the edge they needed to win the game. Washington turned it over twenty times with their all star backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Brad Beal combining for twelve of those twenty. Saturday they face an Orlando Magic team that thrives off forcing turnovers. In a win over the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, the Magic forced twenty-two turnovers, resulting in 24 points. Washington can ill afford to duplicate what happened in Philly or the same result will occur.
Trust: each other defensively. This isn't talked about enough as being one of the biggest keys to having a strong defense as a team. If a player doesn't trust his teammate to do his job defensively, said player will overcompensate trying to do two jobs at once and more then likely, the team will pay the price for it. After holding Philadelphia to fifteen points in the third quarter to take a 83-73 lead going into the fourth quarter, Washington allowed 40 points in the final period thanks in large part to defensive breakdowns. A key breakdown occurred late in the game. Brad Beal had just hit a jumper to bring Washington within two with 34 seconds left. As Philly ran their play, Embiid set a screen on Brad Beal, who was defending Seth Curry, and popped out to the free throw line. Thomas Bryant hedged out to stop Curry from turning the corner, as Beal recovered to Curry, Westbrook who was defending Ben Simmons saw Embiid open. Westbrook next left Simmons underneath the basket to go to Embiid at the same time Bryant was rotating back to Embiid. The result was Curry finding Simmons for a wide open game sealing dunk with 21 seconds remaining. Westbrook didn't trust Bryant enough to do his job defensively and the team paid the price. Washington's effort and execution was there for most of the game on defense, however, Washington needs to bring that same level of focus during money time. Wins will surely follow.