Washington Wizards vs Utah Jazz Preview
Wizards 15-11 vs Jazz 18-7
When: Saturday , Dec 11th, at 7p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCS Washington, AT&T Sportsnet-Rocket Mountain
Radio: The Team 980, WFED 1500 AM/ KZNS/ KTUB
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out, Left ACL), Rui Hachimura ( Out, Personal)
Jazz: Udoka Azubuike (Out, Right Ankle)
Keep an eye on:
Utah's Three Point Shooting: will be a HUGE factor in tonight's contest. Utah enters tonights game ranking 3rd in 3-point shooting percentage (37.4), first in 3-point attempts per game (42.7) and 3-point makes per game (16.0). The Jazz have SIX players shooting between 34% to 47% from deep. Washington must close out and defend the three better than they did in their overtime win over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. Detroit shot a ridiculous 54.2 percent from 3-point territory with guard Frank Jackson leading the way knocking down 5-7 from deep. Allowing Utah to get in a rhythm from 3-point range is a recipe for a ugly blowout loss. Washington early in the season were among the best in the league at defending the three, they've slipped more and more as the season has went on, currently ranking 12th in the NBA in defending the three, holding opponents to 34.2% a game. It is what it is, the Wizards have to get back to their early season ways defensively to pull out a win tonight.
Rebounding: is an area Washington has been fairly consistent in throughout the season, however, they'll have to step it up tonight. Utah comes in ranking 4th in the NBA, snatching down nearly 47 rebounds per game. To make matters worse, the Jazz also have NBA rebounding leader Rudy Gobert who averages 14.7 rebounds per game, and reserve center Hassan Whiteside who grabs 6.5 rebounds with the second unit. Look for Washington to send four and at times everybody to the basket to rebound by committee. They can't afford to give Utah extra possessions, they're too good and will make Washington pay.