Stop me if you’ve heard this before: It’s a battle of some bad teams.
Yeah, you’ve definitely heard that before. Still, let’s soldier on.
The bad teams in question are the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards. They square off in DC at 4:00 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area. Shockingly, this game isn’t on national television! Crazy, I know . . .
The Warriors enter with the league’s worst record (11-39) and second-worst net rating (-9.0, garbage time adjusted). The Wizards are 24th in record (17-31) and 25th in net rating (-5.6). By comparison, the Wizards are great! But otherwise, not so much.
But Washington is rolling. They’ve won two games in a row, which is as many games as the Warriors have won since December 27. The Wizards have also won four of their last seven, so they’re positively cooking. Relatively positively cooking.
The Wizards have been heating up behind Bradley Beal, a two-time All-Star who just missed the cut this year. Beal has scored at least 34 points in six straight games, and during that time is averaging 38.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game, while shooting 38.8% from distance.
On most days the Warriors could counter that with D’Angelo Russell, who has been stellar in his own right lately. But Russell - with trade talks lightly swirling - is out for the night with a right quad contusion.
D’Angelo Russell has been ruled out tonight vs. the Wizards.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) February 3, 2020
With Russell sidelined, and Ky Bowman out of eligible days on his two-way contract, Jacob Evans III will get a chance to slide into the role of starting point guard.
Jacob Evans will start at point guard for D'Angelo Russell.— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) February 3, 2020
Evans has played sparingly since returning from a concussion and broken nose that he suffered in January. But he has played well in the limited minutes that he’s been on the court. Particularly encouraging is Evans’ efficiency, which he has struggled with his whole (very short) career. In the four games that he’s played in post-face injury, Evans has scored 20 points on 8-13 shooting.
Watching how he plays should be, at the very least, intriguing. But if you’re looking for exciting, well . . . maybe remember other times when the Warriors played the Wizards on February 3: