The reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, fresh off their visit to the White House, will be at Verizon Center Friday evening to take on the Wizards. The Cavs will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season against the Atlanta Hawks while the Wizards seek to carry over momentum from the blowout victory against the Boston Celtics.
Similar to last season, the Wizards have struggled to start the season. Their first game against the Cavaliers last season, a 97-85 win in Cleveland, kick-started the Wizards season after a rocky first month. Let’s hope that the Wizards bring that same mentality as they look to take down the top dog in the Eastern Conference.
When: Friday, November 11th at 7 p.m. ET
Where: The Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards: Bradley Beal (Game time decision, hamstring) Ian Mahinmi (Out, knee)
Cavs: Mo Williams (Out, Knee)
What to watch
John Wall vs. Kyrie Irving
Every year we seem to have this discussion. Who’s the best point guard in the Eastern Conference? We’ll get our first taste of John Wall vs. Kyrie Irving as both players come into this game leading their respective teams in scoring with 21.3 and 23.9 points per game.
John Wall has let his emotions get the best of him these past two games evidenced by two consecutive ejections. That can’t happen if the Wizards are going to beat the Cavaliers.
Biggest test of the early season for Porter
Otto had the best game of his career on Wednesday against the Celtics with 34 points and 14 rebounds. The Wizards will need another huge night from Porter if they’re going to win this game. Otto is in for a huge test as he’ll either be matched up against LeBron James, or Kevin Love if the Wizards opt to put Morris on James. Either way, the Wizards will need a strong performance from Porter as James is a load on the offensive end while Kevin Love is finally starting to click in year three with the Cavs.
Not only will Otto need to be active on the defensive end, they’ll likely need a big effort from him on the offensive end. Porter, currently the second-highest scorer on the Wizards with 16.9 points per game, will probably need another 20+ point performance if the Wizards are going to stay competitive as there’re too many question marks with Beal’s health and what type of scoring production the bench will provide.
Can the bench hold their own for a third straight game?
The Wizards’ bench has scored 24 and 44 points respectively over the past two games; their two best outputs of the season. The Wizards will need big scoring efforts again from (gulp) Trey Burke and Marcus Thornton if the Wizards are going to come away with the win. As mentioned, who knows what kind of production Beal will be able to provide as he’s hobbled with a hamstring injury. In addition, Tomas Satoransky has been great at setting his teammates up but will need to look for his shot and become more of a scoring threat to keep the defense honest.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: Channing Frye
Frye is shooting an impressive 48 percent from three-point range to start this season. It’s no secret that the Wizards struggle in guarding the three-point line. Also, he’ll likely be matched up against Jason Smith. This has bad news written all over it.