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Wizards vs. Hawks preview: Washington hosts Atlanta in battle of top Eastern Conference guards

Will Beal and his new cast outperform Trae Young and Atlanta’s depth?

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics
A team victory in Boston had Bradley Beal, left, all smiles.
Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Game Info

When: Thursday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

How to Listen: The Team 980 AM/106.7-2 FM

Injury Report

Wizards: Raul Neto (Shoulder, Day-to-day); Cassius Winston (Hamstring, Day-to-day); Rui Hachimura (Non-Injury Related, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out); Anthony Gill (Calf, Out) Daniel Gafford (Questionable; Right Quad Contusion)

Hawks: Lou Williams (Right Ankle, Day-to-day); Onyeka Okongwu (Shoulder; out)

Pregame Notes

Despite some rocky moments against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday — mainly Bradley Beal missing two wide-open looks before halftime and Montrezl Harrell losing the ball on what would have been a thunderous dunk — the Washington Wizards (3-1) pulled away in the final minutes of the match.

The Wizards won’t get much time to rest as they immediately board a flight home to host the Atlanta Hawks (3–1) at Capital One Arena on Thursday evening.

After leading the Wizards in scoring in 47 of the 60 games he played in last season, Beal has been the top bucket-getter in two of four outings so far. Offseason acquisitions Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell have lessened the Atlas-level scoring burden on Beal’s shoulders.

Against the Celtics Wednesday night, Beal shot 7-for-25 from the field and 0-for-6 from three, and Washington secured a road win in Boston against a talented squad backed by a rowdy crowd.

Harrell led the team in scoring with 25, Dinwiddie put up 22, Beal had 17, Kyle Kuzma had 12 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope logged 11. Of the Wizard’s five leading scorers in Boston, four are new to The District.

Moving forward, Washington could be without center Daniel Gafford, who sustained a right quad contusion after colliding with Boston’s Jaylen Brown in the second quarter.

For the Hawks, a team that was two wins from the NBA Finals last season, Trae Young continues to light it up, leading the team with 25 points and 10 assists. But Atlanta is no one-trick-pony of a club. Cam Reddish is starting to break out with 18.7 points a game.

John Collins (14.7 points, 9.3 rebounds), De’Andre Hunter (11.5 points) and Clint Capela (8.7 points, 11.7 rebounds) round out an impressive top five. And that’s in addition to Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter. Also of note, the Hawks are without Lou Williams and Onyeka Okongwu due to injury.

Atlanta is coming off a 102–99 win against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night.