Washington Wizards game previews between November 7 and November 13, including games against: Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets.
Monday, 7 November 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
Following a disappointing 1-4 start, the Wizards are kicking off a tough week with a Monday night game against the 3-3 Houston Rockets. Similarly to the Wizards, the team out of Texas is still trying to figure out its identity in Year 1 under a new head coach, Mike D'Antoni. What certainly helps is having an All-Universe guard James Harden, who averages 31.5 points (4th in the NBA) and 12.3 assists (1st) per game. He also happens to lead the league in Player Efficiency Rating (35.4) and Win Shares (1.7).
Stopping Harden is nearly impossible but after sitting out the Orlando game, John Wall should be ready to continue his impressive start of the season. Despite ranking only 25th offensively, the Wizards should have an easier time scoring against the 28th-ranked defense. Three-point defense will be key for the Wizards – no team attempts more shots from downtown than Houston and they are able to convert 36.3% of them.
Wednesday, 9 November 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
The Brad Stevens-coached squad is a clear favorite to finish the season as a top 3 team in the Eastern Conference, but the first couple of games have shown that much progress is still needed. While the Celtics lead the league in field goal percentage (49.5%) and are second in Offensive Rating (114.1), the defense is still a major issue as the team is ranked last in this category.
Despite acquiring Al Horford during the off-season, Celtics’ rebounding continues to struggle and they are currently second to last in the league, while Horford himself is averaging career-low 5.3 rebounds per game. Nevertheless, the team’s leading scorers Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley are off to a great start, and Jae Crowder is leading the league in true shooting percentage (70.7%).
Friday, 11 November 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
The Cavaliers have picked up where they left off last season, and they are likely to roll into the nation’s capital with an undefeated record. Their offense is already in mid-season form (1st in Offensive Rating) and they have shown no glaring weaknesses so far.
Kyrie Irving leads the team in scoring with 23 points per game and LeBron James is averaging 22.8 points, 10.7 assists, and 8.8 rebounds through six games. There are some questions regarding the backup point guard position and Cleveland does give up a lot of offensive rebounds, but that might not be enough for the Wizards to hand the reigning NBA champions their first loss of the season.
Saturday, 12 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
Entering the season, the Chicago Bulls were one of the most intriguing teams in the country. The Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, and Rajon Rondo experiment was supposed to fail even before the opening night tip-off. So far, though, the results have exceeded the expectations of many experts.
Just like all the teams the Wizards are scheduled to play against this week, Chicago is better offensively than defensively (ranked 3rd and 25th, respectively). One of the major surprises is that both Butler and Wade are averaging 47.6% from beyond the arc through six games. Do not expect the highest quality of play since this matchup will be the fourth game in six nights for the Bulls and the second game of a back-to-back for the Wizards.