The Wizards (5-14) are in Charlotte to take on the Hornets (10-13) at 1 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. The Hornets are coming off a blowout loss to the Utah Jazz and the Wizards are coming off a blowout loss to the Miami Heat.
Rookie point guard LaMelo Ball had the best statistical night of his career, going for 34 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists. Ball should likely get the start with usual starter Devonte’ Graham out with a groin injury.
Russell Westbrook against Ball should be a key match-up as both guards like to grab the rebound themselves and push the ball in transition and neither are particularly adept perimeter shooters. Ball is several inches taller than Westbrook but not very strong at this point in his career. It will be interesting to see how much Westbrook tries to post him up.
The other key match-up will be who on the Wizards is able to slow to down Gordon Hayward. Rookie Deni Avdija or sophomore Rui Hachimura seem like the most likely candidates to draw the assignment. Limiting Hayward’s contributions will be crucial to the Wizards’ chances of leaving Charlotte with a win.