When: 7:30 PM EST
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee), Danuel House (Out, Wrist)
Nets: Jeremy Lin (Out, Hamstring), Trevor Booker (Questionable, Illness)
Keys to the Game
Road Court Advantage
The first two stops on the Wizards’ road trip were at Chesapeake Energy Arena and the AT&T Center, two places the Wizards have never won. They close their road trip at the Barclays Center, an arena where the team has had considerably more success. They’re 4-3 all-time in Brooklyn. Their only losses came late in the 2012-13 season when Bradley Beal was injured, and late in the 2014-15 season, when the Wizards opted to rest John Wall as they prepped for their playoff run. In other words, the Wizards haven’t lost a game at the Barclays Center when Wall and Beal have been healthy.
While Wall and Beal’s health hasn’t guaranteed success this season, it might be enough to help them get by the lowly Nets. Brooklyn comes into Monday’s game with a 5-14 record and they’ve lost 9 of their last 10. Oddly enough, their only win in that stretch came last week in a double-overtime thriller against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Washington’s talent should be enough to get them by here, but crazier things have happened already this season for both teams.
Destroy the glass
The Wizards are a fairly average team on the glass this season, but they should have a big night against Brooklyn. The Nets only grab 47.5 percent of rebounds, the worst rate in the league this season.
Why are they struggling? The team just doesn’t have many players who can clean the glass. To put things in context, Kelly Oubre is grabbing 15.5 percent of rebounds when he’s on the floor, a respectable amount for a wing player. Only three players on the Nets (Anthony Bennett, Trevor Booker, and Luis Scola) have a better rebounding percentage than Kelly Oubre this season.
The other issue is the Nets are putting a big emphasis on spacing under new coach Kenny Atkinson. Brooklyn attempts 33.5 threes per 100 possessions, the third-highest rate in the NBA behind the Rockets and Cavaliers. Unfortunately for them, they’re only shooting 32.6 percent on them, the 25th-best rate in the league.
It’s clear what Atkinson is trying to mold the Nets into for the future when they can add some more pieces, but in the present, the Wizards need to seize all the second chance opportunities they can get and make sure Brooklyn doesn’t get extra chances to fire from deep.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: Caris LeVert
LeVert, the 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft, will be available to play for the first time this season for the Nets. LeVert hasn’t played in a game since last December, when he suffered a foot injury while playing at Michigan.
If he gets a chance to play, you can bet he’ll be eager to show his injury issues are behind him and make a good first impression. Plus, the Wizards won’t have any recent game film to study going into the game, so it could be an adventure for everyone.