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Wizards vs. Blazers preview: Washington faces Portland in backcourt battle

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Sunday, November 18 at 6 pm Eastern Time
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington

Injury Report

Wizards: None

Trail Blazers: Seth Curry (Day-to-Day, Knee), Maurice Harkless (Day-to-Day, Knee)

What to Watch for

Will Washington go small again?

The Wizards didn’t have a lot of success going small while Dwight Howard was out at the start of the season, but it worked well enough to get a win on the road against the Blazers, who currently hold the second-best record in the Western Conference.

As good as Portland has been this season, they’re a bit thin upfront, which kept them from fully taking advantage of Washington’s weaknesses in the paint. Even though Al-Farouq Aminu and Jusuf Nurkic had big nights, they couldn’t slow down Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre, or Otto Porter, and that wound up being enough after the guards played each other to a draw.

Things are different now that Howard is back. He’s been productive offensively, but he isn’t as switchable as Morris on the defensive end, which is a bigger liability against Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum than it is against most other teams. As helpful as Howard has been in certain areas, this might be one of those times where it makes more sense to play small, especially if Jeff Green is having a good night.

A random moment in Wizards - Blazers history: Otto Porter shuts the door on Damian Lillard