By Cardell Dudley
Wizards (14-12) vs Nets (10-15) Preview –
Tuesday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
How to view/listen:
TV: NBC Sports Washington / Radio: 1500 AM
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)
Nets: Jeremy Lin (Out, Knee), D’Angelo Russell (Out, Knee)
Washington has won 12 of the last 14 games in the series, including seven in a row.
Washington has swept Brooklyn in two consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.
106.8 Points per game
104.0 Points against
45.9 field goal %
108.6 points per game
111.1 points against
44.3 field goals %
Keep an eye on:
Better defense to start games: When Washington allows 30+ points in the first quarter, it usually means it will be a long night. Against the Clippers, the Wizards allowed 30 in the first and 32 in the second, even though they fought back and had a chance to win the game, that deficit proved to be a bit too much as they fell 113-112. It’s the NBA, allowing teams to get confidence and in a rhythm is a hard thing to overcome night in night out. When the Wizards keep teams at 100 or less, they’re 11-2. That stat speaks for itself. Washington has to start taking it personal on that end of the floor if they truly want to make a run in the postseason.
Bringing the same intensity against teams with a losing record: Its a long season and wins against the mediocre teams in the NBA usually separate contending teams from playoff teams and playoff teams from lottery bound teams. The Wizards have lost games to the Hornets, Lakers, Suns, Clippers and Mavericks after going 27-9 against teams with losing record last season. Throughout the season, Washington didn’t bring the necessary intensity until they were down big and decided to play up their teams talent, with two losses coming to mind, a home loss to the Cavs that ironically, jump started Cleveland’s run from eleventh to second in the eastern conference. And of course, their humbling 116-69 loss to Utah. That lies the problem, Washington knows they have the talent and depth to make a deep run and use that as their security blanket at times. It looks as if they wait for the win to come instead of taking it. More energy, attention to detail and not playing down to the competition night in night out will ensure the Wizards go on a much needed win streak.
Hold on to leads: against the Clippers, the Wizards jumped out to a early 13 point lead, only to see LA comeback, and win 113-112. Washington is 1-5 in games decided by three points or less so far this season.