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Wizards vs. Mavericks preview: Washington tries to end losing streak in Dallas

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Funny how expectations work isn't it? Lots of people pegged the Wizards to be at the forefront of a weak Eastern Conference. Instead, they're several games back of the ten team log jam at the top of the standings.

Meanwhile in Dallas, the Mavericks have exceeded everyone's expectations after missing out on DeAndre Jordan. They're 13-10 in the early going, and wouldn't you know it, they're actually ahead of the Clippers in the standings. Basketball is a weird sport.

Game Info

When and where: 8:30 pm on December 12 at the American Airlines Center in New Orleans.

Broadcast: CSN Mid-Atlantic if you’re in the DMV, Fox Sports Southwest if you're in Dallas. You can also listen on WNEW 99.1FM in DC and KESN 103.3 FM in Dallas. The game will be streaming on League Pass if you are out of market.

Injury Report

Alan Anderson is still out following ankle surgery. Nene and Drew Gooden did not travel due their lingering injuries and are out for tonight's game. Bradley Beal and Kris Humphries are questionable after missing Friday's game.

Most likely Wizard Killer tonight

This one's easy: Wesley Matthews. He's only shooting 33.8 percent from beyond the arc this season, but made 10 of 17 against Washington in their first meeting.

That said, if we saw a JaVale McGee revenge game tonight, we wouldn't be surprised.

Keys to tonight's game

The perimeter. Defend it.

We've harped on this a lot lately, but that's because it's a big deal. Let's not forget the whole reason the Wizards overhauled their offense was to create more three point opportunities. Now, the Wizards have to figure out how to keep other teams from teeing off there.

The Wizards are the only team in the NBA that has allowed three players to make seven three-pointers in a game against them this season, according to Basketball-Reference. Only one other team (Memphis) has allowed two players to make that many. If the Wizards can't make some adjustments tonight, the Mavericks, who are among the league-leaders in three-point attempts, will have a field day.

Stay in the Otto Zone

Otto Porter snapped out of his recent shooting funk with 15 point performance against the Pelicans on Friday night. If Bradley Beal is out again for Saturday's game, they'll need more of that.