The Wizards head to Phoenix Tuesday night to kick off their first West Coast road swing of the season. Washington is coming off of one of their best weeks in recent memory and will be looking to keep that momentum rolling against Phoenix.
The Suns on the other hand, currently sit second to last in the Western Conference standings but are riding a three-game win streak that was punctuated Sunday evening with a Tyler Ulis buzzer beater to beat the Boston Celtics, 109-106.
These teams last played on November 22nd, a night in which Bradley Beal scored a career-high 42 points en route to a 106-101 Washington victory.
When: Tuesday, March 7th at 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic, and NBA VR (THAT’S RIGHT THE WIZARDS IN VIRTUAL REALITY WELCOME TO THE FUTURE)
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Suns: Dragen Bender (Out, ankle)
What to watch for
Will the Wizards come to play, or play to the level of their competition?
Since the All-Star break, the Wizards have shown up for the big games (Golden State, at Toronto, Toronto) but have played down to the level of competition against some of their lesser foes (Philadelphia, Orlando). If Washington is looking to get this road trip started on the right foot, they must be focused from the opening tip. As mentioned, Phoenix is currently on a three-game win streak and just knocked off Boston. Sometimes the most dangerous teams at this time of year are the young ones who have nothing to lose.
Washington needs help from the frontcourt
Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat have struggled for the Wizards these past two games and dare I say, Otto Porter may be regressing back to the mean? Fortunately for the Wizards, Phoenix comes into this game allowing 112.5 points, the second-worst in the NBA. Phoenix ranks dead last in opponent’s three-point field goal shooting and third to last in overall opponent’s shooting percentage.
If there were a perfect opponent for these guys to get their shots falling again, this is it.
Will the first quarter continue to indicate the rest of the game?
When the Wizards win the first quarter, they usually end up winning the game. When they get off to sluggish starts, that’s when they find themselves in dogfights down the stretch. As of late, the first quarter has been the tell all on how the rest of the game plays out.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: Jared Dudley
Although he’s in a different uniform, Dudley continues to knock down threes at a high rate as he connects on 41 percent of his threes this season. Someone better get a hand in his face before he can get going.