The Wizards put their 11 home game winning streak on the line as Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers come to D.C. for a Martin Luther King Day matinee at Verizon Center:
When and Where: Monday, January 16, 2017 at 2 p.m. ET at Verizon Center
TV (D.C. area): Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic
Radio (D.C.): Washington Wizards App (on iOS and Android), Federal News Radio 1500 AM
The Wizards will miss Ian Mahinmi (knee) and Danuel House (wrist) due to injuries. Otto Porter is questionable because he suffered a minor hip injury on Saturday against the 76ers.
The Trail Blazers haven’t been able to play Festus Ezeli all season as he heals from a knee injury. Maurice Harkless is questionable due to a calf injury.
The Blazers are struggling like the Wizards
Last season, Portland was 44-38, ended up 5th in the West and made the second round of the playoffs. This season, they slumped to an 18-24 record and started their current five-game road trip with a 115-109 loss to the Orlando Magic last Friday. Like last year, their offense has remained of the NBA’s top 10 units based on team ratings. But their defense is currently ranked 28th in the league.
The Wizards need to start strong
In their last two home games, the Wizards allowed the Bulls and 76ers to build double digit leads early in the game. Yes, the Wizards — and especially John Wall — came back to win those contests. However, Damian Lillard is the best player they’ve faced in a week. If he gets going early however, that could very well be enough to end Washington’s longest win streak at Verizon Center.
Projected “Wizards Killer” of the game: Meyers Leonard
Leonard is a stretch center who averaged 14 points and over two made threes a game against Washington last season. Needless to say those averages surpassed his 2015-16 overall averages. This season, Leonard’s production has dropped from 8.4 ppg last season to 5.4 ppg so far this season. Therefore, he’s someone you want to keep an eye on besides Lillard and 2015-16 MIP C.J. McCollum.