Following a hard fought 1-2 road trip against Western Conference foes to open the season, the Wizards head back to Capital One Arena where they’ll take on another Western Conference team, the Houston Rockets in their home opener.
When: Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Rockets: Gerald Green (Out), Nene (Out)
Who’s going to guard James Harden?
Through just three games so far, the Wizards do not look super concerned on the defensive end. This isn’t exactly a surprise as Washington was awful last year defensively and now inserts a bunch of young fellas who’re learning the ropes of the NBA.
Wednesday night will be Washington’s stiffest test yet and it all starts with stopping James Harden. Unfortunately for the Wizards, they don’t have many options to slow down the All-Star. They can try throwing Bradley Beal on him but Washington will need Brad to save his legs for the offensive end in what figures to be an up-and-down affair. If Beal isn’t checking Harden, that leaves Isaac Bonga as the next candidate to try and slow him down.
Bonga has the length to try and stay in front of Harden but that is a very tall task for the 19-year-old. It’s going to take a combination of a cold shooting night from Harden and team effort on the defensive end if the Wizards are going to pull away with the W on Wednesday.
Who’s going to guard Russell Westbrook?
The newest guy in town is as much of a headache to guard as Harden. With both Wizards point guards standing no taller than 6-feet, Washington doesn’t have many options to throw at Westbrook either. Starter Ish Smith isn’t nearly as quick as Westbrook and backup Isaiah Thomas isn’t big enough to deter the human tornado that is Russell Westbrook in getting to the hole.
Once again, the point guards are going to need a lot of help defensively if they’re going to stop Westbrook from cooking.
Flashback Highlight: The House of Guards take down the Houston Rockets
Feels like it was ages ago. But just last year, John Wall and Bradley Beal had a vintage House of Guards game where the duo combined for 68 points in a 135-131 win over Houston at Capital One Arena.