Hoops fans get to usher in the the New Year with a matchup we've been waiting for all season: John Wall vs. Russell Westbrook.
Wait, no, that's not the one you were looking forward to? What about Kevin Durant welcoming his future team to his current team?
Well, regardless of what you're looking forward to, tonight's matchup between the Washington Wizards and the Oklahoma City Thunder is going to be a good one. - the first meeting of the season between the two.
It's a must win for both teams - the Wizards need to bounce back after being walloped by Dallas on Tuesday and the Thunder need to get in a good rhythm with their two stars healthy and together on the court.
Where and when? Head over to Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. at 7 p.m. CST - or just watch on CSN Washington or listen to 99.1 WNEW at 8 p.m. EST.
Who's out? Drew Gooden III (knee), Bradley Beal (toe) and Nene (ankle) are all questionable for the Wiz. Mitch McGary (leg) is out for the Thunder.
Are they good? Do not let that 16-17 record confuse you. The Thunder are still on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff picture (though barely) - and now that they're healthy, they're quite dangerous.
Westbrook is on a tear this season and arguably one of the NBA's best point guards. He's playing elite at both ends of the court. Durant has had some foot issues, but looked back to form in Wednesday's win against the Phoenix Suns. Their offense isn't the best (because of obvious reasons) but they are rebounding (2nd in the league with 46.4 per game) and defending (4th in the league with 97.2 points per game) exceptionally well.
Is this a must win for the Wiz Kids? In my honest and genius opinion, yes. Not only are the Wizards suddenly banged up, but they really need a rebound win after getting blown out by the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. They are also in the middle of their longest road trip of the season (this is game three of five) and their offset looks a little stagnant: they've committed 44 turnovers in their last two games. Though the Wizards won their most recent matchup with the Thunder, 96-81 on Feb. 1, the team has never won in Oklahoma City. They head to San Antonio and New Orleans next - crunch time, folks.
JW vs RW? These are arguably two of the best point guards in the league right now. In his last 10 games, Wall is shooting 50%, average 16.9 points per game, 10.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds. Russ is shooting 42.4 percent in his last 10, averaging 29.4 points per game, 7.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds.
But those are just stats. Both players mean different things to their teams. Wall runs the Wizards- when he falters, the whole team does. Westbrook, who has clearly carried the Thunder this season, has a lethal player in Durant, when healthy.
Wall has cooled off in recent games. Westbrook it seems is still heating up. These two young stars going head to head tonight will certainly be worth the watch.
Can we talk about #KD2DC? We can. But I'm not sure what else there is to say! Let's gaze at pictures of Kevin Durant doing something involving Washington, D.C.
Who wins? I honestly cannot predict this one. The Wiz looked decent when playing Houston and barely won. The Wiz looked awful playing Dallas and really lost. The problem is that OKC is clicking on a lot of cylinders and has more than one person who can really turn it up when someone's off - the Wiz don't necessarily have someone like that at that specific level. But as always, Go 'Zards!