When: Wednesday, February 28 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: ESPN, NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has a 29 percent chance of winning according to Kevin Broom’s Win Predictor and a 36 percent chance according to FiveThirtyEight.
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee)
Warriors: Patrick McCaw (Out, Wrist)
What to Watch for
How much more intense can this rivalry get?
The Wizards and Warriors may not be rivals in the traditional sense, they play on opposite sides of the country and haven’t played a playoff series in over 40 years. Still, they have more in common than your typical cross-conference rivals.
Remember, both teams started rebuilds around the same time as new owners came in to revitalize teams that had been stuck in mediocrity for decades. Both teams scouted many of the same prospects with their lottery picks from 2009 to 2012, and they’ve fought over free agents in recent years as they’ve pivoted to playoff contenders.
Golden State has come out on top in most of the battles for prospects and free agents, and it’s shown in the standings, but that hasn’t stopped the Wizards from trying to knock the Warriors off their perch. They’ve given the Warriors some tough games, and they haven’t been afraid to get under their skin. Remember when John Wall and Klay Thompson got into it? Remember when Brandon Jennings got heated over JaVale McGee taking a 3-pointer? Surely you remember Bradley Beal and Draymond Green getting into it earlier this season and getting poor Carrick Felix suspended.
So maybe the Wizards and Warriors aren’t exactly on the same level, but sometimes that’s what makes it all the more fun. Every time these two meet, Washington gets a chance to see where they size up against a team that has everything they want.
A random moment in Wizards - Warriors history: Arenas goes off for 45 against his former team
Gilbert Arenas was never the same after undergoing multiple knee surgeries and missing almost two seasons of his prime, but Don Nelson’s Warriors of the late oughts had a way of reviving players with their uptempo style and complete lack of defense. Arenas went off for 45 points on 25 shots against his former team to help Washington get a much-needed win after losing six in a row.
Sadly, this was Arenas’ last great moment in the NBA. He never reached the 40-point mark again in his career and only reached the 30-point mark three more times in his career.
Things went downhill for Washington as well. The Wizards lost to the Suns by 26 the following night. On the flight home after the game, Javaris Crittenton and Arenas got into an argument that boiled over two days later when GunGate happened and set the wheels in motion for the dismantling of Washington’s core.