When: Wednesday, January 2 at 7 pm Eastern Time
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Markieff Morris (Questionable, Neck), John Wall (Out, Heel), Dwight Howard (Out, Back)
Hawks: Dewayne Dedmon (Out, Knee), Kent Bazemore (Out, Ankle), Taurean Prince (Out, Ankle)
What to Watch for
Can the Wizards share the wealth without giving it to the other team?
John Wall’s absence forced the Wizards to take a much more balanced approach to scoring in Saturday’s win over the Hornets. All eight Wizards that played scored at least nine points and registered at least one assist. They finished with 35 assists on 48 made shots, tying the most they’ve had in a non-overtime game this season.
On the other end, it wasn’t as pretty. They gave up 126 points and let Charlotte post their fifth-best true shooting percentage of the season. Remarkably, you couldn’t even blame Washington’s rebounding woes for their struggles. The Wizards won the rebounding battle over Charlotte on Saturday.
Washington just doesn’t have a lot of healthy players who can defend well right now with Wall, Howard, Porter, and Morris battling various issues. Trevor Ariza is great. Bradley Beal and Tomas Satoransky are solid. Everyone else can either be exploited or is so poor offensively that their defensive value is negated.
Thankfully for Washington, the Hawks have the second-worst offense in the league so they should have an easier go of it than they did ninth-ranked Hornets. Then again, that was no solace when they gave up 118 points the last time these two met back on December 18.