After starting the season 2-0 for the first time in a decade, the Wizards dropped a close one to the New York Knicks this past weekend in their home opener.
So who better to face when looking to rebound than the San Antonio Spurs, one of the worst teams in the NBA?
And dare I say, that although it's early in the season, but could we be watching a future NBA championship matchup between these two teams?
At 3-1, the Spurs are sitting atop the Southwest and remain that ever formidable Western Conference team. I mean, when Gregg Popovich is your leader, do you ever actually lose?
An up and coming team with championship(s?) looming in the horizon (Washington) vs. a team that is a thoroughbred winner and looking to continue on that success this season.
Ah, did we mention the backcourt of Wall and Beal?
When: November 4 @ 7:00 PM EST
Where: The Verizon Center in downtown DC
TV: CSN Washington, Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: WNEW 99.1 FM if you're in the DMV area , WOIA 1200AM in Texas
For the Wizards, Alan Anderson is out, while Garrett Temple and Nene are both day-to-day. Tony Parker is day-to-day for the Spurs.
Storylines we're following
Offense vs Defense
Bear with me, as I understand this is the key to any basketball game. But when you look at the stats, the Wizards are 10th-best in offensive efficiency, while San Antonio's offense is average at 15th in the NBA. The Wizards' defense is subpar (18th in the NBA), while San Antonio's defense (3rd) is clamping down on opponents. One has to give, correct?
There are also the turnovers! Yay, turnovers. We've given the Wizards some flack for turnovers, but the Spurs aren't much better. They're both in the bottom-third of the NBA in turnovers per 100 possessions.
Wizards' John Wall leads the team with 2.0 steals per game, while the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard averages 2.3. Let's see what young star will be speedier tomorrow night, shall we?
Sure, they play different positions, but comparing John Wall and Kawhi Leonard is fun - both have been in the league since they were 20 (Wall is 25 with five years experience, Leonard is 24 with four years) and are undoubtedly the face - and future - of their franchise. They are performing like top players in their respective positions - Wall is average 22 points and 6.7 assists per game - adding in 2.7 blocks, 2.0 steals and 3.7 rebounds per game. Leonard is averaging 21.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game - adding in 2.0 blocks, 2.3 steals and 1.0 assists per game.
Okay, I know I'm boring you - especially because these are all numbers that don't and can't mean much after the first games of the season. It's more their game time play that gives us insight what they did offseason to improve themselves, and what they are looking to give to the table as the season goes on.
Wall has had a pretty outstanding first few games. He's churned it on as the minutes have ticked down in the games they won, putting the team on his (and Bradley Beal's) back to get the wins. He's been putting his athletic prowess on showcase the open the season, definitely elevating himself to be - yeah, I'm gonna say it - one of the top three players in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Leonard has been clamping down on defense, rebound and shooting well - reminding us why he became Popovich's go-to guy the past few seasons. He's also got Lamarcus Aldridge dominating by his side.
Anything else? Damn.
I've typed a lot, haven't I? I didn't even make any lame pop culture reference jokes ... I can't say much about who I think will win this game, or who needs it more, based on the fact that we are so shortly into this season. A win's a win, however, and getting the first win at home against the Spurs would be a good one for the Wizards. This is also a good opportunity for those Wizards players who have been struggling (Hi Kris Humphries, Hi Nene, Hi Marcin Gortat) to step up and play well - especially against a seasoned, successful (and BIG) team such as the Spurs.