The Wizards will host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night at 7:00 P.M. Friday’s game is the middle point of the Wizards’ five-game homestand, and will feature the debut of the team’s black City Edition jerseys. While the Wizards have won three straight, the Nets have lost three in a row and their top scorer Caris LeVert for the foreseeable future.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – John Wall, G – Bradley Beal, F – Otto Porter Jr., F – Markieff Morris, C – Dwight Howard
Nets: G – D’Angelo Russell, G – Allen Crabbe, F – Joe Harris, F – Jared Dudley, C – Jarrett Allen
Nets: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle – questionable), Jarrett Allen (illness – questionable)
Keep rolling and improving
Washington will look to build on their three-game winning streak after wins at Miami, vs. Orlando, and vs. Cleveland. In their last three games, the Wizards are scoring 117.3 points per game, shooting 48.8% from the field, and are outscoring opponents by 12.3 points per game.
The Wizards have also gone 4-3 since Dwight Howard was cleared for action, and they’ve improved their scoring, rebounding, and defense. Washington ranks sixth in the NBA in field goal percentage (47.8%), tied for fourth in free throw attempts (27.6), and 12th in offensive rating (109.7) since Howard’s return. The Wizards are 11th in offensive rebounding rate (28.4%) and 21st in overall rebounding rate (48.9%); before Howard came back, the team was last or in the bottom three in all rebounding categories. The defense has improved over the past three games, but the improvement from 114.1 points per 100 possessions to 110.3 points per 100 possessions is notable.
Battle of pace
This will be a game of contrasting styles, as the Wizards like to run and get out on the fast break, and the Nets like to slow the game down and grind it out. The Wizards enter Friday night’s game ranked sixth (103.44 possessions) in the NBA in pace – the average number of possessions a team has per game. On the other hand, the Nets rank 24th (99.54 possessions). Washington is sixth in fast break points (16.8), and Brooklyn is 29th (8.2).
One would think Brooklyn would not turn the ball over much, but they’re actually in the bottom half in the league in turnover rate, ranking 17th (14.6%). For a team that likes to slow the game down, the Nets do turn the ball over more than one would expect. Still, the team’s 3-point shooting (36.0%, 11th in NBA) allows them to stay competitive in games and keep defenses guessing.
– The Wizards have won 13 of the last 17 matchups with the Nets, including seven of the last nine games.
– John Wall and Bradley Beal have 19 combined games of 20+ points, the most among NBA backcourts.
– Beal has scored at least 15 points in the team’s first 14 games.
– Jeff Green is averaging 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 60.4% in the team’s last six games (4-2 record).