When: Friday, December 28th at 7 p.m. ET.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington
TV: Monumental Sports Network
Wizards: Danilo Gallinari, questionable (back)
Nets: Lonnie Walker IV, out (hamstring/illness); Dorian Finney-Smith, probable (knee); Ben Simmons, out (back); Nic Claxton, probable (illness)
What to watch for
Both teams are struggling right now, which means the Wizards have an opportunity to win. Washington has been among the league’s worst teams all season, but Brooklyn has joined them in the NBA’s cellar recently. The Nets are 3-7 over their last 10 games with two of those wins coming against the historically bad Detroit Pistons. According to Cleaning The Glass, the Wizards rank 23rd in point differential per 100 possessions over the last two weeks. The Nets rank 24th.
Brooklyn should be rested coming into the matchup. They sat Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Johnson, and Nic Claxton against the Bucks last night. In the previous two matchups between these teams, the Nets completely smothered the Wizards’ offense as they mustered just 94 and 97 points, respectively. Washington couldn’t buy a three or a defensive rebound in those games. Mikal Bridges scored 48 points across the two matchups. The Wizards had no answer for his pick-and-roll game in either game.
The Wizards are coming off another blowout loss against the Raptors. The result was not all that surprising given that Toronto was rested and the Wizards were coming back from a West Coast swing plus Christmas. But it was disappointing to see the team get run out of the gym again after putting up good fights in the previous three games. The Wizards’ guards could have good matchups to attack, especially if Dennis Smith starts again. If the threes start falling, Washington could have a good chance to steal a win against a pretty good team at home.