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Wizards vs. Hawks preview: Washington aims to snap losing streak in Atlanta

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Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Info

When: Saturday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has a 58 percent of winning, according to Kevin Broom’s win predictor and a 61 percent chance of winning according to FiveThirtyEight.

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)

Hawks: DeAndre’ Bembry (Out, Groin)

What to Watch for

Can Washington go small and protect the glass?

The Hawks outrebounded the Wizards 54-40 when Atlanta beat Washington in late December. It was a total team effort on Atlanta’s part. No one grabbed ten rebounds, but every Hawk grabbed at least one and eight of the ten who played grabbed at least four. On the other side, only four Wizards grabbed more than three rebounds.

If there’s one clip to encapsulate everything that went wrong with Washington’s rebound effort, it’s probably this one:

Morris’ effort on that rebound was suboptimal, but it also didn’t help that he was the biggest guy on the floor for Washington.

We saw on Thursday night how playing Morris at center opens things up offensively for Washington, but it also makes it a lot easier for opponents to attack the paint and crash the boards for second-chance opportunities.

Odds are, Washington will need to go to that small lineup again at points against the Hawks, who go small quite often. But when they do, they can’t get sloppy on the glass or else it’s going to be much easier for Atlanta to make things interesting.

A random moment in Wizards - Hawks history: John Wall’s 2013 return

It took 34 games before John Wall was able to take the floor for the 2012-13 season, but it didn’t take long for him to get up to speed. He had 14 points and 4 assists in just 20 minutes off the bench in his first game back.