John Wall's second game will be against the Orlando Magic. Here's a preview of tonight's contest.
Where, When, and What Channel: The game will start at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch it on Comcast SportsNet.
Why You Should Care: Because John Wall is back, duh. Also, with a win tonight, the Wizards would have their first two-game winning streak against the Magic since 2010, when Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were still on the team.
What They Do Well: Even without Dwight Howard, the Magic have managed to hover around the league-average defensively because they don't allow teams to get points in the most efficient areas and they swallow up defensive rebounds. New coach Jacque Vaughn has brought a lot of the same principles he picked up working under Gregg Poppovich in San Antonio and turned the Magic into a more respectable outfit than many were expecting this season, particularly on the defensive end.
What They Do Poorly: Orlando does not get to the free throw line at all. When your best foul-drawer is Glen Davis, you shouldn't be surprised when your team ends up dead last in the NBA in free throw rate. They get by offensively because they have some excellent shooters, and get more shots inside than you might think, but they won't be getting many easy points at the line. Defensively, as we've said, they're solid, but if they have one flaw, it's that they don't force a lot of turnovers, which gives John Wall one less thing to worry about as he returns to form.
How the Wizards Match Up With Them: The
first second time these two met, Washington won thanks to strong efforts from Nene, and newcomer Garrett Temple. Nene helped the Wizards win the rebounding battle and Temple created quality scoring opportunities near the rim for himself and teammates. Hopefully with Wall, they can exploit that even more tonight. However, they'll need to figure out a solution for Orlando's backcourt, who torched them the first time they played. Arron Afflalo and J.J. Redick combined for 49 points and Jameer Nelson added 16 points and eight assists. If they can put all of that together, the Wizards just might walk away with their first three-game winning streak of the season.