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Wizards vs. Warriors preview: Washington faces tough test at home with Golden State

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards face potentially their toughest game of the season yet as Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors come to town on Tuesday night. This game couldn’t have come at a worse time, as Washington is in the middle of a mini-slump with two games against the Toronto Raptors later this week.

Last season when the two teams played in Washington, John Wall scored 41 points but it was Curry who stole the show with 51 points on 11-15 shooting from three-point range.

Kevin Durant will be back at Verizon Center for the first time since joining the Warriors, but he may not play after sitting out Saturday’s game against the Nets with a hand injury. Washington will need one of their best efforts of the season to knock off Golden State (with or without Durant), a team they haven’t beaten since January of 2014.

Game Info

When: Tuesday, February 28th at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: The Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic and NBA TV
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: None

Warriors: Kevin Durant (Game Time Decision, Hand)

What to watch for

Will the Wizards fall trap to the Warriors style of play?

When playing against the Warriors, the worst thing a team can do is to try get into a track meet and beat them at their own game. Golden State averages a league-leading 118.2 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field.

If the Wizards try to match them three-for-three it will lead to extra possessions for Golden State and more opportunities for their scorers to open up the lead. The Wizards should look to push the ball when they have numbers, however, if they fall victim to playing at the Warriors’ tempo, that favors Golden State.

Will Brooks continue to shuffle the rotations?

Coach Scott Brooks has been very creative with his substitutions and that will likely continue Tuesday night as the bench continues to underwhelm. Brooks is trying to incorporate Bojan Bogdanovic and Ian Mahinmi while also making sure that there’s enough firepower on the floor. Expect to see the starters play heavy minutes (what’s new?) and don’t be surprised if we see a lot of the Wall-Beal-Bogdanovic-Porter-Morris lineup that we got a glimpse of against Utah on Sunday.

What will the reception be like for Kevin Durant?

As we are well aware, Durant stiff-armed the Wizards this past summer by not even taking a meeting with the team when he hit free agency. Now that #KD2DC is officially dead, and the Wizards look to be a threat come playoff time, how will the fans respond? It’ll be interesting to see if the crowd boos Durant, cheers him, or does something in-between. Then again, it might be hard to tell as there are sure to be plenty of “Golden State fans” at the Verizon Center for the Warriors’ only trip to Washington this season.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: JaVale McGee

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

After 3.5 forgettable seasons in Washington, JaVale McGee looks to have finally come into his own with the Golden State Warriors. He’s only averaging 9.6 minutes per game, but is averaging an efficient 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in his limited time.