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Wizards vs Nets preview: Paul Pierce and Co. look to stay hot against his former team

The Wizards host the Nets tonight before going to New York tomorrow to play them in Brooklyn. Beware the trap game!

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards are hot.

The Nets are not.

Brooklyn visits Washington tonight, hoping to end a seven game losing streak.

Washington hosts Brooklyn in hopes of winning its fifth of past six games.

This is the first game of four between the two - the second one coming tomorrow night in New York.

When and where? 7 pm. at the Verizon Center - Yay for Friday night entertainment! Catch it on CSN Washington, too.

Who's out? The Wizards have no injuries! Love when that happens. PG Deron Williams will miss tonight's game with rib pain, which is sad because I would have loved to see his matchup with John Wall.

Are they good? Hard nope. During its seven game losing streak, the team has averaged just 89.3 points. Overall, the Nets rank 25th in the league in points per game (95.5), 23rd in assists (20.7) and 19th in rebounds (42.2). Oddly enough, they are second in the Atlantic Division and eight in the Eastern Conference. They're also 8-10 away from Brooklyn.

Home court? The Wizards are still comfortable as hell at the Verizon Center, where they remain 17-4. Their last home loss was last year, on Dec. 23 vs Chicago. They also have the second best record in the Eastern Conference and continue to play a stifling defense that allows just 97.5 points per game.

PP vs. KG? Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were teammates in Boston. Then they were teammates in Brooklyn last year. The last time the two matched up? March 4, 2007, when Pierce was part of the Celtics and Garnett was on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Pierce had 27 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists vs Garnett's 33 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Celts won in 2OT, 124-117. This is also the first matchup Pierce will have against his former team, which will welcome back Garnett after he served a one-game suspension for head-butting Houston's Dwight Howard on Monday.


Wall, who is averaging team highs of 17.4 points and 10.2 assists (which is not just a career-best, but is the best in the league) averaged 23.7 points in all of Washington's games slash wins against Brooklyn last year. His match-up with Jarrett Jack, who is in a shooting slump, will be one to watch. In his past three games, Jack's shooting 30 percent from the field, while going 1-15 from beyond the arc.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins seems to be worried about matching up with Wall.

Who wins? Honestly, this could be a trap game. The Wizards just beat Chicago and San Antonio on back to back nights and getting cocky and complacent has been a problem for them this season. They play in Brooklyn tomorrow an then host the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday afternoon, so they need to be at their best. But, they'll win this one and I expect Washington's Marcin Gortat to get out of his weird slump tonight.