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Wizards vs. Nets preview: Washington tries to get back to .500 at home

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Friday, December 30 at 7:00 pm
Where: Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: Bradley Beal (Day-to-Day, Ankle), Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee), Danuel House (Out, Wrist)
Nets: Jeremy Lin (Questionable, Hamstring), Joe Harris (Questionable, Hip)

What to Watch for

Can the Wizards avoid the letdown game?

One of the Wizards’ biggest weaknesses has been taking care of business against weaker teams. They’re 1-3 against teams with less than a dozen wins this season. Their sole win came against the Nets in Brooklyn, and it didn’t come easy. The Nets had a 16 point lead late in the first quarter and they had a chance to force overtime with 19 seconds left in the game before Bradley Beal forced a steal that sealed the game.

This time around, it would be nice if the Wizards could get a more sustained effort from the get-go. Washington has a back-to-back in Texas next week and they’ll face a tricky Timberwolves squad next Friday. If they can put this one away early, it will give them some much-needed extra rest before a challenging week.

Defending the perimeter

The Nets don’t shoot the ball well from deep, but they shoot it early and often. That usually isn’t the best strategy, but when you’re lacking in the talent department, it gives you a chance to win that playing it traditionally doesn’t always offer. In the first meeting earlier this month, five different Nets made at least two three pointers. Washington needs to be prepared for anyone to let it rip when they get the chance.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Randy Foye

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The former Wizard has had a nice week. He hit a buzzer-beater to lift the Nets to an overtime win against the Hornets on Monday, and then he scored a season-high 11 points against the Bulls on Wednesday. If Bradley Beal misses the game, Foye will likely spend a lot of time facing off against the inexperienced Sheldon McClellan or Tomas Satoransky, who he could exploit for another strong game.