The Washington Wizards (26-31) play the San Antonio (31-27) on Friday night. Here’s the preview.
When: Friday, Feb. 25 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
How to listen: The Team 980 AM, 106.7-2 FM.
Wizards: Bradley Beal (Wrist, Out);Kristaps Porzingis (Knee, Day-to-day)
Spurs: Tres Jones (Knee, Day-to-day)
What to watch for
The Washington Wizards will return from All-Star break to face the San Antonio Spurs for the second time this season. In their first match-up on Nov. 30, the Wizards fell 116-99. Bradley Beal and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Wizards in that game with 18 and 17 points respectively. For the Spurs, Derrick White, who has since been traded to the Boston Celtics, put up a team-high 24 points. Both teams now look much different due to trades and injuries.
The Wizards are 4-6 in their last ten games while the Spurs are 5-5. Washington is coming off a win against the Brooklyn Nets, where they had 7 players score in double-figures. Kyle Kuzma had a tough offensive night, scoring just 5 points while Rui Hachimura put up a team-high 20 points. The Wizards’ bench showed out, combining for 65 points in the victory. With Bradley Beal out, every game will be a team effort and could have different leaders every night.
Some more pre-game notes
The final stretch begins— The Wizards were a roller-coaster of a team to watch this season. But every good thing comes to an end: we only have 24 games left this season, and it’s do or die time for a postseason run.
KP, where are you? — Will KP actually suit up for the Wiz after his long pause? The Unicorn has been inactive for about a month ... but it seems like he could be out for even longer. It will be entertaining to see what the Wiz got back on Bertans and Dinwiddie.
Will the Wizards have momentum?— It can actually be a positive thing if no one on your team is selected to the All-Star: all players should be fresh and recharged for the last stretch of the season. It’s not out of the question that the Wizards somehow place 10th, especially if they make a push during the part of the season where many teams are already in tank-mode.
It’s Becky Hammon’s last time in D.C. as the Spurs’ lead assistant coach — Gregg Popovich’s second-in-command recently took the job to be the Head Coach of the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team. Like Wes Unseld, Jr., she will get her first opportunity to lead a team, though her return to the WNBA after a 16-year playing career seemed to be a surprise when the announcement came.
Flashback: Wizards easily defeated by Spurs in November
The 99-116 loss to the Spurs signaled the beginning of the down-slide of the Wiz. Here are the highlights from that game in late November: