Monday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies was so heartbreaking. The Wizards, after falling behind by almost 20 points in the fourth quarter, fought back valiantly but just weren't able to get the job done as they snapped what had been a six game winning streak. Now they get the chance to get back on track as they host a far worse Western Conference team in the Utah Jazz.
Where and when? Gametime is 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center.
Are they good? Nope, not at all. Utah is 21-39 with the point differential of an 18 win team. Even if they were in the East, Utah would probably be looking at a top five pick in the next draft.
What are they good at? The Jazz are pulling down 25.3 percent of all available offensive rebounds, good for 17th in the NBA. That's not great, and in fact is by definition below average, but at least it's something. Having young, athletic players like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter in the frontcourt helps, and bit players Jeremy Evans and Rudy Gobert are among the best in the NBA at cleaning the offensive glass.
What are they bad at? Defense. Utah is 29th in the NBA in defensive rating and a lot of this can be tied to the team's youngsters. Favors and Kanter simply haven't become good enough at positioning and using their length to alter shots rather than go for blocks, and Kanter in particular isn't very fleet of foot. They play Marvin Williams at power forward a lot, largely due to his ability to space the floor, but he's over-matched against most power forwards. Meanwhile, the perimeter players, with the exception of Richard Jefferson, are all young and prone to taking the kinds of lumps that players new to the NBA usually have to deal with.
Who's going to win? I'm going with the Wizards tonight. They're playing at home against a bad team. Even at half strength with Nene, Seraphin and, more likely than not, Webster on the bench, Wall should be able to slice this team up and create a lot of open looks for Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza. If Utah's going to have a fighting chance, it will likely be due to Favors overwhelming the Wizards with his physical gifts and/or a hot shooting night from Trey Burke.