Washington Wizards game previews between December 12 and December 18, including games against: Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons.
Monday, 12 December 2016 at 07:30 PM ET Away
On Monday night, the 9-13 Washington Wizards will try to win their third game in a row for the first time this season, while the 7-17 Miami Heat will want to avoid falling for the sixth straight game. Coach Erik Spoelstra's team plays slowly and deliberately (27th in the NBA in pace), yet ranks last in the league in True Shooting Percentage (50.6). Defensively, the Heat are seventh in Opponent Effective Field Goal Percentage (49.0).
These teams have already met once this season, with the Wizards losing at home 111-114 on November 19. Justise Winslow (11.6 points per game) and Dion Waiters (14.2) will not play in the rematch.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
In the first out of their three upcoming home games, the Wizards will face off against one of the biggest surprises of this season, the Charlotte Hornets. Despite having 10 losses entering this week, the Hornets are currently third in the Eastern Conference. Kemba Walker leads the team in scoring with 23.3 points per game on 47.4 percent field goal shooting and 41.8 percent three-point shooting, all career-highs.
When it comes to attacking the glass, Charlotte is 28th in the NBA in Offensive Rebounding Percentage (19.7) but leads the league in the same metric on the defensive end (80.1). In light of disappointing play by Washington's backup point guards this season, former Wizard Ramon Sessions, who now averages 6 points and 3 assists in 16.6 minutes per game for the Hornets, can expect a warm welcome at the Verizon Center.
Friday, 16 December 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
The Friday night game sees the Wizards matching up against the Detroit Pistons, one of Washington's direct competitors for a playoff spot. As expected, the team coached by Stan Van Gundy excels defensively —? they allow only 96.1 points per game and boast a 102.3 Defensive Rating, both good enough for second in the NBA.
With Reggie Jackson back from his injury and Andre Drummond continuing to play well, Detroit has won five out of their last eight games. They don’t play fast (25th in the league in pace), but they also have fewer turnovers because of their pace —? 10.9 per 100 possessions, second-best in the NBA. Defensively, the Pistons rank in the top five both in Opponent Effective Field Goal Percentage (48.3) and in Defensive Rebounding Percentage (79.5).
Los Angeles Clippers
Sunday, 18 December 2016 at 03:30 PM ET Home
In the third and last game of their Eastern Conference road trip, the Los Angeles Clippers visit the District of Columbia for the Wizards’ first daytime game of the season. Despite going 3-5 over the course of last two-and-a-half weeks, the Clippers are still a dangerous team. One of the few things that this veteran squad does relatively poorly is offensive rebounding —? their percentage (22.8) places them only 15th in the league.
Following their game against the Pistons, a team that has the fewest free throw attempts per game (going to the line only 17.9 times), the Wizards will play the Clippers, a team that gets there 27.4 times per game, a league-high. While the Wizards starting unit has proven that it can compete with anyone, the story of this game will be the matchup between the fifth-ranked and 28th-ranked benches in the NBA —? the Clippers’ secondary unit scores 39.5 points per game, whereas the Wizards backups barely reach 24 points.