Washington Wizards vs Portland Trailblazers Preview
Wizards 9-17 vs Blazers 18-10
When: Saturday, February 20th, at 10p.m.
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
TV: NBCSWA, NBA League Pass / Radio: WFED 1500 AM
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out/ Left ACL Surgery), Ish Smith (Out/ Quad)
Blazers: Zach Collins (Out/Ankle), Harry Giles (Out/ Calf), CJ McCollum (Out/Left Foots), Jusuf Nurkic (Out/Wrist)
113.9 - points per game
119.5 - points against
45.3 - Field Goal %
115.8 - points per game
115.1 - points against
44.7 - Field Goal %
Keep an eye on:
Dame Lillard: has been on a terror lately, especially in the clutch. At this point, we shouldn't be shocked at the high level of play from Lillard considering this has become the norm. Lillard is averaging 29.8 points, 7.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds on 45 percent shooting from the field, 38 percent shooting from deep and a career high 93 percent from the charity stripe. In other words, Lillard is doing whatever he wants, however he wants. Washington will have to be smart in how they get up into Lillard to try and slow him down, he's not just a crafty scorer and playmaker, he's also very good ay drawing fouls and getting to the line. Closing out with purpose and staying tall on contests on the perimeter and at the basket will be key for Washington tonight.
3-point shooting: may end up determining the game tonight. Both teams rely heavily on 3-point shooting, although, Portland is among the best in the league at it while Washington is streaky. Portland ranks second in 3-point makes and attempts, and is 5th in 3-point percentage, knocking down just under 40 percent. Washington on the other hand is among the worst in the league in 3-point shooting, yet, they can get hot in spurts and turn the game in their favor, similar to what we saw in their win over Denver. Washington is 23rd in 3-pt makes at 11.7 per game, 18th in attempts at 34 a game and 28th in percentage at a little over 34 percent a contest. Portland has five active players ( Gary Trent, Anfernee Simons, Dame Lillard, Carmelo Anthony, Harry Giles) shooting 37 percent or better from deep. Wizards forward Davis Bertans has came on strong lately with his 3-pt shooting and is shooting 37 percent from deep, while Garrison Mathews, Raul Neto, rookie forward Deni Avdija and of course the NBA's leading scorer Brad Beal are all capable of getting hot from deep. Something will have to give tonight. Whichever teams has it going from the outside will more than likely pull out the win.
Offensive Rebounding: is a weapon for Portland. They rank 9th in the NBA, grabbing 10.7 offensive boards a game. Blazers forward Enes Kanter is especially great at offensive rebounding. He is third in the NBA, snatching 4.1 offensive rebounds a game. Washington's bigs must be aware of Kanter at all times when shots go up.