Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers Preview
Wizards 29-36 vs Trailblazers 25-40
When: Saturday, March 12th, at 10:00p.m.
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
TV: NBCS Washington, Root Sports Plus
Radio: The Team 980, WFED 1500 AM/ Rip City Radio 620
Wizards: Brad Beal (Out, Left Wrist Surgery), Kristaps Porzingis (Out, Right Knee Injury Maintenance)
Trail Blazers: Eric Bledsoe (Out, Left Achilles), Joe Ingles (Out, Left Knee Recovery), Damian Lillard (Out, Core;Muscle Recovery), Nassir Little (Out, Left Shoulder Recovery), Didi Louzada (Out, Left Knee Recovery), Jusuf Nurkic (Out,Left Foot), Anfernee Simons (Out,Left Knee), Justise Winslow (Out, Right Achilles)
Keep an eye on:
Free Throw Shooting: killed Washington in their loss to the Lakers Friday night. Washington left eleven free throws out their, shooting 22-33 for the game. Kuzma, who shoots 70 percent from the line on the season, was especially off, going 3-9 from the charity stripe. That's tough for a team to overcome when the number one option is struggling to that magnitude. It was an uncharacteristic shooting performance for Washington, who comes in to tonight's contest 12th in the NBA in free throw shooting, converting 78 percent. Expect Washington to be more locked in tonight towards reaching their usual efficiency shooting from the line.
Team Defense: for the Wizards has been an up and down aspect of the team all season and the inconsistency was exploited in the second half of their loss to the Lakers, particularly by LeBron James. Washington saw James score 50 points, 19 of which coming in the third quarter, and the Lakers as a team, shoot 52.7 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from 3-point range. Resistance? There wasn't any from Washington. They face the ideal opponent in the Portland Trail Blazers, who come in wounded with a number of injuries, to potentially establish some sort of defensive standard to help them put wins together to secure a play-in spot. Washington is 24th in the NBA in defensive rating (113.6) so I’m not looking for them to become the 2004 Detroit Pistons, however, pride on the defensive end has to kick in at some point if they're serious about making it to the postseason.