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Warriors vs. Wizards Preview: Build off of Tuesday’s win

Golden State finally got back in the win column. Now they need to build on it.

Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors got back in the win column in a big and much-needed way on Tuesday night, beating the very good Milwaukee Bucks (even if they didn’t have reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo), and generally looking like an improved team.

Now they get a bad team handed to them, so the Dubs will either build on their success, or disappoint us.

Personally, I vote for the former.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors (24-27) vs. Washington Wizards (18-32)

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California

TV: NBA TV and NBC Sports Bay Area

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Wizards: Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura, Alex Len

Last results:

Warriors: Beat the Bucks 122-121 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
Wizards: Beat the Magic 131-116 — 1-4 in their last 5 games

The story

Apologies for repeating myself, but the Warriors are clinging to the play-in game spots, and part of it is because of an inability to handle business against bad teams.

The Warriors are running out of games on the schedule, but a lot of those games are against bad teams. The Wizards are one of them. Get to work.

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins played some solid defense in the Warriors win over the Bucks, but was dismal offensively, with just 9 points on 4-for-15 shooting.

As good as Steph Curry is, the Warriors can’t rely on him to shoot other-worldly percentages every single night. If their offense is to float, they need Wiggins to step up.

Wizard to watch: Bradley Beal.

What a season for Beal. He’s the only player in the NBA averaging more points than Curry, with 31.3 per game. He’s also dishing out 4.8 assists per game, and leaving his heart on the court every game, despite Washington’s inability to put a decent team around him.

Matchup to watch: Steph Curry vs. Russell Westbrook.

Unlike Curry, Westbrook is no longer the elite player that he was when he won an MVP. But he’s still capable of being that player in bursts.

During Washington’s win on Wednesday, Westbrook had 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 15 assists, while shooting 8-for-11 from the field. That’s capable of coming out on any given night. He also leads the league in turnovers, with 5 per game, and is 186th out of 193 qualifying players in scoring efficiency, per true-shooting.

And Curry is ... well ... he’s Curry. They’re each electric in their own way. Curry is certainly the better player, but Westbrook is capable of being the best player on any given night.

It’s always fun to watch them go at it.

Keys to victory

  • Carry over the things that worked on Tuesday, and use them again
  • Out-discipline and out-hustle a team with little discipline but a lot of hustle
  • Win the rebounding battle
  • Some bench contributions

Make it two in a row, Dubs.

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