I hope you weren’t expecting emotional stability this week, Wizards fans. After an impressive wire-to-wire victory in Cleveland (who currently have the third-best record in the league), the Wiz lost to the Lakers (currently the second-worst record in the league) in a sloppy, turnover-riddled game.
Washington and Phoenix currently hold very similar records (7-9 and 8-10, respectively). Because the league is weird this year, that puts Washington at 12th in the Eastern conference, and Phoenix 8th in the West.
In a lot ways, this is an intriguing matchup: Much like the Wizards, the Suns are driven by their backcourt (Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight). They are two of the fastest teams in the league in terms of pace (102.35 for the Suns and 101.80 for the Wizards, good for first and third.) They are also averaging near-identical turnovers per game (16.8 to 16.6). And much like the Wizards, the Suns are in the middle of a skid, losing 6 of their last 7 (including losses to Detroit and Brooklyn).
When: December 4 @ 7pm EST
Where: Verizon Center
TV: CSN Washington and FSAZ if you’re near Phoenix.
Radio: WNEW 99.1 FM / AZ Sports 98.7 FM
For the Wizards, Alan Anderson is out. Marcin Gortat will not play due to a family matter. Drew Gooden, Kris Humphries and Nene are unlikely, according to Jorge Castillo.
Dudley spoke as if Humphries isn't going to play. Said team only has 3 bigs tonight (him, Hollins, Blair).— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) December 4, 2015
Tyson Chandler is out and Markeiff Morris is questionable for Phoenix.
Things to watch for
How will Wall and Beal handle Phoenix’s two-point guard attack?
Wall’s former Kentucky teammate Eric Bledsoe is averaging 12.4 drives per game, second most in the league. It won’t be easy, because while Bledsoe is just shooting 43 percent on drives, he’s also shooting 41 percent from three and scoring 22.2 points per game. Backcourt mate Brandon Knight (likely Beal’s responsibility) is scoring 21.8 points per game, shooting 39 percent from three.
Will we see more Tiny Ball?
With Gortat, Nene and Gooden all possibly out for the Wizards, and Tyson Chandler possibly out for the Suns, look to see a lot of weird, small lineups on the floor for both teams. The Suns most used lineup against Detroit on Tuesday featured 6’10 John Leuer at center and 6’9" Mirza Teletovic at power forward.