Wizards 14-24 vs Kings 15-24
When: Wednesday, March 17th, at 7p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCSWA, NBA League Pass / Radio: WFED 1500 AM
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out/ Left ACL Surgery), Ish Smith (Out/ Quad) , Raul Neto ( Day to Day/ Left Rib Contusion)
Kings: Marvin Bagley (Day to Day/ Fractured Left Hand), Chimezie Metu (Out/ Fractured Wrist), Hassan Whiteside (Day to Day/ Health and Safety Protocol), Robert Woodard (Day to Day/ Hamstring)
114.6 - points per game
120.1 - points against
46.0 - Field Goal %
114.8 - points per game
120.0 - points against
48.1 - Field Goal %
Keep an eye on:
Battle of the Backcourts: will be the main thing to watch and what will ultimately decide this game in my opinion. In years past, this would be a no brainer as far as which backcourt to favor between Washington's Brad Beal and Russell Westbrook and the Kings De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. The issue now is Fox and Hield have grown up and they are fully capable of dominating this game if Beal and Westbrook aren't on their game. Yes, Beal is leading the league in scoring and Russ is once again nearly averaging a triple double, yet, the impact that Fox and Hield bring to the floor warrants full attention.
Fox, who is one of the most lethal point guards in the league in transition and on both ends of the floor, comes in averaging a career and team high in points (23.6) and assists (7.6) while shooting 47 percent from the field and Buddy Hield is his usual efficient self from deep, shooting 37.5 percent from deep while averaging 16.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. Containing these two will go a long way towards getting Washington back on the winning track.
Richaun Holmes: is quietly having an impactful season inside for the Kings. Holmes, who is coming off a monster 17 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks, 2 steal performance in a Kings loss to Charlotte, is averaging 13.5 points, team high 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks on 65 percent shooting from the field. He's a tough, athletic big who gives opponents issues due to his versatility on both ends. He's especially a hard cover for opposing big's when in pick & roll sets with Kings guards. The Wizards front court haven't had a good start to the second half of the season being thoroughly outplayed by opposing front courts. Washington front court will have to step up to contain Holmes who is fully capable of being the x-factor in this contest.
Impact of lottery Picks: in Wizards rookie Deni Avdija and Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton. Deni, who was drafted 9th, has had an up and down season which is typical of being a rookie, nonetheless, he's relied on to be a impact player for Washington due to his versatility offensively and defensively. Deni can score from all three levels, defend multiple positions and is solid playmaker. He has a bright future in the league.
Tyrese Haliburton has had a smoother transition to the NBA n his rookie campaign and has become someone you have to game plan for when facing the Kings. Haliburton is averaging 12.5 points, 5.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while only turning it over a little over once a game. Once you add in his shooting percentage from the field (48%), from 3-point range (42%) and the free throw line (83%), you see that Haliburton is having a near flawless rookie season. Keep an eye on both rookies tonight.