When: 7 PM EST
Where: Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic and NBA TV
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards - Ian Mahinmi (Out), Danuel House (Questionable)
Spurs - Dewayne Dedmon (Out), Nicolas Laprovittola (Questionable)
What to Watch For
Road court advantage?
San Antonio is the only team in the NBA that has not lost a game on the road this season, and they haven’t racked up that record against cupcakes. The Spurs have already won in Golden State, Utah, Houston, Charlotte, and Boston this season.
The Verizon Center isn’t generally known for their daunting home court advantage, but they’ve given the Spurs some issues in recent years. The Wizards have won the last two against the Spurs in Washington, and took them to double-overtime in 2014 before losing to the eventual champs that season.
Can anyone on the Spurs slow down John Wall?
The Spurs have been a strong defensive team this season, but not quite as strong as they’ve been in recent years. Last year, they had the best Defensive Rating in the NBA by a pretty strong margin. This year, they’re hovering around the 8-12 range.
A big part of why their defense has slipped this season is their point guard play. 34-year-old Tony Parker isn’t staying in front of point guards as well as he used to, and Patty Mills isn’t exactly an All-Defensive candidate either.
Wall shouldn’t have any issues getting past the first line of the defense, but the Spurs are still one of the best in the league at providing help defense without sacrificing open looks to other players. The first step will be easy, and Wall has shown he can fnd ways to crack the Spurs in the past, but nothing is ever easy against San Antonio.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: Kyle Anderson
Whenever the Wizards and Spurs clash, it’s a clash of styles, but it will be no more evident then when Kelly Oubre is matched up against Kyle Anderson. Oubre has made it by in the league thanks to his athleticism. Anderson’s nickname is Slo-Mo, because he’s made it almost entirely through craftiness and guile.
Anderson is off to a slow start this season, but he and the rest of the Spurs eat players like Oubre for breakfast. He’ll need to dig deep and stay disciplined defensively to keep Slo-Mo from making the game a long, painful slog for the Wizards.