Gametime: 7:00 p.m. EST
Another year, another middling Wizards team, it seems.
Washington has some terrific young pieces but just can't take the next step in the team's development. John Wall's been improving year by year and has some decent jump shooting to go with the rest of his rather spectacular court vision and athleticism. He's no Bradley Beal, but 30 percent is even an improvement this year from where he was.
And speaking of Bradley Beal, the kid is shooting amazingly well from behind the arc, though inside it has been a sad adventure. Injuries have also taken him from the team a bit, unfortunately.
Despite their proficiency as a three-point shooting team, the Wizards struggle on shots not worth three points. They don't draw fouls anywhere near an average rate. Washington gets very few shots at the rim, which makes for inefficient offense due to being heavily reliant on jump shooting despite not being a great jump shooting team. Marcin Gortat and Nene should help a lot near the rim but injuries have made Nene's presence inconsistent and Gortat's turnover-prone and not a great offensive workhorse like Nene can be, though he's a nice target on the pick and roll with Wall.
Defensively, the Wizards can struggle at times and lack the system and focus that would make them a tougher matchup. They're not bad, but they're not good, especially given some of the talent they have. The Gortat-Okafor trade would have been a defensive net minus if Okafor had been healthy, but it's not that huge of a gap. I'm not sure why Randy Wittman has gotten so much rope with this team and the promise it has, but, hey, do you, Wizards. Go 'head and do you.