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Wizards vs. Magic preview: Washington looks to finish the week off strong against Orlando

NBA: Orlando Magic at Washington Wizards Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After a disheartening loss Friday night, the Wizards look to get back on track Sunday evening against the Orlando Magic at the Verizon Center. Even with the tough loss, Washington still has a chance to finish a tough week with an impressive 3-1 record before they head out west for a five game road swing.

These teams last met on December 6th, a night where John Wall scored a career-high 52 points but the Wizards lost, 124-116. Since that game, the teams have gone in opposite directions. Washington currently finds themselves in the thick of the playoff race while Orlando has fallen to the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference.

With a win, the Wizards would tie up the season series at 2-2 against a Southeastern Division foe.

Game Info

When: Sunday, March 5th at 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: The Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: None

Magic: Jodie Meeks (Out, Thumb)

What to watch for

Will the Wizards get off to a hot start?

The Wizards came out guns blazing in the first half against the Warriors and Raptors in their wins earlier this week. Against Toronto on Friday night, they found themselves in a 19-point hole early in the second period and exerted a ton of energy trying to climb back in the game.

The Magic come into the game as the second-worst scoring team in the league averaging just 99.7 points per game. The Magic are also worst in the league when it comes to field goal percentage and three-point shooting percentage.

Washington can’t sleepwalk through the first half. They need to jump on Orlando and jump on them early as the longer a team like the Magic can hang around, the more likely an upset is to occur.

Will the bench provide a spark?

There’s no reason that the reserves can’t provide scoring help against a not-so-great Orlando team. If the Wizards get solid production from the bench Sunday night, this one could be a blowout. After scoring 45 points in Toronto on Wednesday, the reserves scored just 14 points against the same Toronto team on Friday.

Washington is trying to work Brandon Jennings into the rotation who was clearly a little hesitant and resistant in jacking up shots in his first game. Meanwhile, Kelly Oubre’s offensive game is nowhere to be found.

Will Brooks continue to shuffle the rotations?

As expected, Jennings has taken all of Trey Burke’s minutes. However, Brooks has talked about getting Smith back into the rotation but has only played him in two of the games after the All-Star break. Outside of an outlier game in Toronto, the Wizards’ bench has struggled when four or more reserves are on the floor at the same time. So will Brooks continue to shuffle things up as guys like Oubre and Satoransky continue to be inconsistent, or has he found a rotation he’s happy with?

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Jeff Green

NBA: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Because… who else?