NBA Wizards 

Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks Preview

Wizard’s 14-23 vs Hawks 11-25

When: Wednesday, January 2nd, at 7 p.m.

Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.

TV: NBC Sports Washington, FSSE-ATL / Radio: 1500 AM, WZGC 92.9 FM The Game

Injury

Wizards: Dwight Howard (Day to Day/ Back), Otto Porter Jr (Day to Day/ Knee), John Wall (Out for the season/ Haglund’s deformity and chronic Achilles tendon injury), Markieff Morris (Day to Day/ Stinger,Neck Stiffness),

Hawks: Kent Bazemore (Out/ Sprained Right Ankle), Dewayne Dedmon (Day to Day/ Left Knee Soreness), Taurean Prince (Out/ Ankle Sprain)

Wizards –

112.6 – points per game

117.5 – points against

46.4 – Field goal %

Hawks –

109.4 – points per game

117.9 – points against

44.7 – field goal %

Keep an eye on:              

Brad Beal: Leading the charge. The seventh year all-star guard is having a great all around season, averaging 23.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assist per game, all career highs. With John Wall officially out, he is the undisputed leader of the team. One thing that’s standing out this season is that Beal is letting the game come to him. He rarely forces things, he instead takes what the defense gives him and is strategic with when and how he becomes aggressive. Include in his improvement defensively and Beal is one of the more dangerous all around guards in the game. He must continue to be if the Wizards want any shot at the postseason.

Hawks Three Point Shooting: Atlanta shoots three pointers often and from all ranges, so Washington will have to be aware at all times. The Hawks rank 6th in the NBA in three point attempts (34.8) and 9th in three point makes (11.6). In a 118-110 loss to the Hawks on December 18th, Washington allowed 37% shooting from deep with rookie point guard Trae Young shooting 50 percent for the game. Atlanta thrives off three point shooting and Washington has been inconsistent all season defending it. Something will have to give Wednesday night.

Trae Young/ John Collins Combo: is quietly becoming one teams will have to deal with on a nightly basis. After much skepticism on if his game would translate to the NBA, Hawks rookie guard Trae Young has quieted his doubters. Young is averaging 15.6 points, 7.4 assist and 2.9 rebounds on the season and his long range shooting and play-making has been a welcomed addition for Atlanta. Hawks quickly developing 6’10 forward John Collins has improved so much this season that there is All Star game conversation surrounding him. Collins is averaging 18.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.5 assist on 57 percent shooting from the field. Collins combination of athleticism, length and improved skill makes him a match-up nightmare for opposing bigs. In a win over Washington, Young and Collins combined for 39 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assist. Washington can’t afford another below average performance on defense or it will mean bringing in the new year with a loss.

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