When: Friday, November 4th at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Hawks: Mike Scott (Out, Knee)
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee)
As we saw against Toronto, the Wizards starting 5 of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieef Morris and Marcin Gortat put together their strongest performance of the season. The starters combined for 92 of their 103 points, led by Wall with 33 points on 13/19 shooting and 11 assists. Against the Lakers, Atlanta's starting 5 were led by Dwight Howard with 31 points on 12/16 shooting with 11 rebounds. Kyle Korver is yet to find his shot, while Dennis Schroder is off to a slow start in his first year as the starting point guard of the Atlanta Hawks.
The biggest issue with this team could arguably be the Wizards bench play. While the Hawks have Tim Hardaway Jr averaging 15 points on 52 percent shooting, the Wizards bench came off a performance where 5 players combined for 11 points. Coach Scott Brooks pulled the plug on Trey Burke's minutes by inserting Tomas Satoransky but is still struggling to find a center to run with the 2nd unit while we await the debut of Ian Mahinmi.
The Wizards are averaging the 3rd most turnovers per game in the league behind the Lakers and OKC. Atlanta is not much better, coming in at 23rd in the league in said category. Although Wall put on another great performance, he did commit 9 turnovers. Those will need to decrease for the Wizards to have a chance for a win.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: Tim Hardaway
As mentioned in "The Bench" portion of this preview, Tim Hardaway is off to a blazing start. He put up 21 points in 22 minutes on 8/13 shooting in the season opener against the Wizards. On Wednesday night, Hardaway put up 26 points in 20 minutes on 8/10 shooting against the Lakers. (Disclaimer, I was wrong with my first Wizards Killer prediction of the year with Cory Joseph, so I am hoping I am somewhat of a jinx.)