When: Friday, January 11 at 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Where: Capital One Arena
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Markieff Morris (Out, Neck), John Wall (Out, Heel), Dwight Howard (Out, Back)
Bucks: Giannis Anteokounmp (Doubtful, Quad), Eric Bledsoe (Questionable, Calf), Ersan Ilyasova (Probable, Quad), Donte DiVincenzo (Doubtful, Heel), D.J. Wilson (Questionable, Hip), Christian Wood (Questionable, Ankle)
What to Watch for
It’s the first time that both teams meet this season
What do both teams have in common? They are coming off wins. The main difference is that the Bucks are currently ranked second in the Eastern Conference and the Wizards…are not. Washington didn’t disappoint in their last bout as they outscored the 76ers in the first three quarters and tied in the fourth. Basically, if the Wizards can keep that same energy, there’s no reason why they can’t, at the very least, compete with the Bucks.
Who’s guarding Giannis?
In case you missed it, Antetokounmpo scored a cool 27 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds in his team’s 116-109 win against the Rockets Wednesday evening. To put rebounds into perspective, Ian Mahinmi grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds for the Wizards in their win against the Sixers. Whoever is guarding Giannis, they need to make sure they are boxing him out as well as guarding him as a scorer.
UPDATE: It might not matter. Giannis is now listed as doubtful for Friday’s game.
The Wizards can continue to count on Bradley Beal
Beal had no business taking a charge from Joel Embiid on Wednesday, but he did anyways. Whether it’s putting the team on his back or putting his body on the line, there’s no backing down when it comes to the shooting guard.
“He’s willing to do whatever it takes to win”, Ariza said after Wednesday’s game. “We all see that [Brad], being one of the leaders on this team, and everybody else just falls in line and plays the same way. When he’s doing things like that and playing on both ends of the floor, it’s contagious. You see what he’s doing and want to do the same.”
The Wizards can count on Beal to lead, no question.