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Wizards vs. Rockets preview: With rested Wall, Wizards look to get back on track

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NBA: Houston Rockets at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Monday, November 7th at 7 p.m. ET
Where: The Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee)
Rockets: Patrick Beverley (Out, Knee)

What to Watch For

Can Wizards Keep Up With Rockets High-Powered Offense

Through five games, the Wizards offense has struggled mightily this season. Only four teams, (Memphis, Orlando Utah, Philadelphia) average fewer points per game than Washington. The Wizards will have to be at their best if they want to keep pace with Houston, who can score with ease. The Rockets come into Monday's game averaging 108 points a game, which ranks seventh in the league. What's surprising is that Mike D'Antoni teams are usually known for their up-tempo offense. Thus far, the Rockets are only 17th in the league with 99.6 possessions per game. That being said, Houston is sixth in the league in offensive efficiency, averaging 107.9 points per 100 possessions. Finally, the Rockets rank second in the league in both effective field goal percentage (54.3) and true shooting percentage (57.5)

The Wizards may be best off slowing the game down to keep Houston out of a rhythm offensively. Houston has scored as few as 93 points in a win against Dallas, so it is possible to keep the Rockets from going off.

How well can the Wizards defend the three point line?

One of the Wizards biggest weaknesses this season has been opponents three point percentage. The Wizards are letting teams shoot 37.8 percent from three, ranking 27th in the league. The Wizards three point defense will be put to the test against the Rockets, who lead the league in three pointers attempted per game with 35.3 shots from beyond the arc. Specifically, the Wizards will need to keep a close eye on James Harden, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza, all of whom are shooting at least 37 percent from three and taking at least six threes a game.

Will The Wizards Resort To "Hack-Capela?"

One way the Wizards can drastically slow the game down is by intentionally fouling Rockets big man Clint Capela. Last season, Capela shot an abysmal 37 percent from the free throw line. If he had qualified among NBA leaderboards, he would have been second worst in the league behind only Pistons center Andre Drummond. Through six games thus far, Capela is 2-11 at the charity stripe. If the Rockets start out hot from the field, fouling Capela can slow the game down and keep Houston from getting rhythm.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Trevor Ariza

As was mentioned earlier, the Rockets aren’t afraid to let it fly from deep. Trevor Ariza is one of four Rockets who average at least six attempts beyond the arc per game. If the Wizards’ perimeter defense is off, he’s just one of many Rockets who could capitalize. Still, you’d have give Ariza the edge here considering he’s a little more familiar with how to shoot at the Verizon Center than other players on the squad.