When: 5:00pm PST - Wednesday, February 28th
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
How to watch: CSNBA, ESPN
How to listen: 95.7 The Game
Buddy blog: Bullets Forever
Warriors: Patrick McCaw (left wrist fracture), out
Wizards: John Wall (knee surgery), out
Wizards are trying not to hit a....Wall, coming off a back to back
John Wall has been out of the lineup since January 27th which now marks the one month mark. Over that span, the Wizards have caught fire going 10 - 3 over the 13 game stretch in Wall’s absence. The team has collectively been playing up to their potential with their superstar out, which has caused some commotion over the true value of John Wall.
Are the Wizards a better team without Wall? Is Bradley Beal a better leader than Wall? Maybe both answers to these questions are no, but with the injury setback, the absence of Wall has been a blessing in disguise as the Wizards have catapulted themselves back into a top four seed out East. The team talent is undeniable, yet they underachieved through the first half of the season remaining barely just above 0.500.
The Wizards are coming off a back to back heading back home from Milwaukee. The back end of a back to back always spells doom, especially when you have to go toe to toe with the Greek Freak and then face the Warriors the next night.
Warriors look fresh coming out of the all-star break
Coming out of the break, the Warriors are 3-0 and have shot nearly 50% from three-point range over that three game stretch! The team looks loose and refreshed after the week off. When the team is knocking down threes at a high percentage and limiting turnovers, they are unstoppable...baby!
The Wizards have found ways to get their role players more involved and have achieved a balanced offensive attack. Over the 13 game stretch with Wall out of the lineup, the Wizards have gone over 30 assists six times and weren’t far off from that mark a few other instances. In fact, they hit 40 assists in one of those games.
The Warriors will need to find a way to limit Washington’s ball movement which has been their success factor over this stretch. The key to defending Washington will be how the Warriors scheme around Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter, who both had great success in the first matchup earlier this season.
Speaking of that first matchup...
Of course we are going to talk about the fight. How could we not?!
Last time the Wizards and Warriors faced off, there was a bit of extracurricular activities that took place on the court.
Bradley Beal attempted to take Draymond Green down with some sort of Judo technique. It started with a hug and ended with a ripped jersey. Kelly Oubre came in with a couple of haymakers that connected with the back of Wall’s head and on Klay Thompson’s chin. Both Beal and Green were issued technical fouls and ejected for the game.
The Warriors were down by nearly 20 points in the first half and with Beal out, they turned the negative energy from the fight into an incredible second half come back.
Now with the teams facing off once again, will we see the same level of chippiness? Will we see some technical fouls handed out? Yes and probably yes.
The last two meetings with the Wizards have been memorable for different reasons: Last year in Washington, Kevin Durant went down earlier in the game as he caught Zaza Pachulia’s head to his knee cap in the opening minutes and was out for a month. Last meeting in Oakland, a fight broke out and ejections were handed out. Let’s just hope nothing too crazy happens tonight.