The Washington Wizards have had a hard time beating the Utah Jazz at home in the last couple years. Can they do it this time? The Wiz have been great at surprising top tier teams, as evidenced by wins against Miami, Denver, and Boston, all at home. Let’s hope for that home magic this time, too. And, a Sunday afternoon game, finally (free parking, yay!)!
When: Sunday, Jan. 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards:Rui Hachimura (Out), C.J. Miles (Out), Thomas Bryant (Out), John Wall (Out), Bradley Beal (Day-to-Day), Garrison Mathews (Out).
Rebounds matter — Previous to the Denver game I wrote that a key to the game would be limiting Jokic’s rebounds. And indeed big rebounding from Troy Brown, Jonathan Williams, and AP were key in the win. This time - can the Wiz reduce Gobert’s rebounding production for one night? Surely, it will be a team effort.
Something has to give — The Wizards have one of the best offenses in the league. The Jazz are famous for their defense. It’s one of those nights where something has to give. What will it be?
Troy Brown, Jr and Jordan McRae — If these two guys can have bigs nights, these might be the X-factor the Wiz need. When these two guys play well simultaneously the Wizards have a chance to surprise.
C’est la bataille de Normandie et Hauts-de-France! — This is the Wizards’ French Heritage Game. Unlike last year, Ian Mahinmi, a native of Rouen, Normandy, should be starting and playing significant minutes barring foul trouble.
He will be matched up against Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, a native of Saint-Quentin, Hauts-de-France. Hauts-de-France is the northernmost region of France which borders Belgium, a country we should be very familiar with because of Mystics forward Emma Meesseman and guard Kim Mestdagh.
Flashback: Ricky Rubio clutch time, Beal gets pseudo-blocked
The Wizards’ had a real chance to beat the Jazz two years ago. They led 99-98 with less than 2 minutes to go. But clutch shooting from Rubio and a weird turnover by Beal who had a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime let that one slip: