Weekly Outlook: Only 2 Games For The First Week In DecemberPosted on December 02, 2013 by Trevor Jackson
Things slow down a bit for Washington after facing two sets of back to backs the prior two weeks. There are only two games on tap this week for the Wizards, and luckily for them as well as all the Verizon Center faithful, both games will be held in DC. The Wiz have been strong at home, currently hosting a 5-2 record at the phone booth. They are also riding a 4 game home winning streak as they disposed of the Timberwolves, Knicks, Lakers, and Hawks in that order.
Let's see if the home cooking will continue this week, starting tonight. Washington will host the Orlando Magic this evening and then face the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
Monday, 12/2: 7:00 PM - vs. Magic
If the season were to end today, the 6-10 Magic would just miss out on the playoffs as they would find themselves 9th in the week Eastern Conference. The Wizards on the other hand, while still under .500, currently sit in the 5th slot of the playoffs and if they win tonight at home and the Hawks lose to the Spurs, they would jump up to the 3rd seed. There is still plenty of basketball to go and no reason to start looking ahead to the playoff picture, other than to point out how awful the East has been this year and to show it is wide open at this point.
Washington has a chance to get to .500 for the first time since 4 games into their 2009 season.
Expect to see lots of rookie Victor Oladipo in this match-up since Jameer Nelson is currently injured. Whether or not he is at PG or SG, Oladipo will be the guy to keep an eye on. The Wizards will also have to try and slow Arron Afflalo as he has been hot as of late. Trevor Ariza will need to try and limit him from deep.
Key Match-up: Nikola Vucevic vs Marcin Gortat
Vucevic is one of the brighter young centers in the league, and Gortat will look to slow him down while facing his former team. Gortat has come on strong lately, and is averaging 7.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 1.8 BPG his last four games. Vucevic currently averages 15 PPG and 11.1 RPG. This battle between the big men will be the one to watch.
Friday, 12/6: 7:00 PM - vs. Bucks
As of this post, the Bucks are tied for dead last in the Eastern Conference with the New York Knicks at 3-13. The Wizards will have another opportunity to try and separate themselves from the East's bottom dwellers by handing Milwaukee a loss in DC. Without Larry Sanders after he went full Boondock Saints, there isn't much to be excited about with the roster. Sure John Henson looks like he could be a really good player, but coach Larry Drew doesn't seem to want to play him for some odd reason. This is the type of game in the past the Wizards haven't been able to win, you know, games they should win.
It features the return to DC of Caron Butler, who had a throwback performance on 11/22 dropping 38 points showing he can still chew straws with the best of them, as well as a homecoming of sorts for Gary Neal who played his college basketball up the road at Towson.
Key Match-up: O.J. Mayo vs Martell Webster
Mayo is the type of player who typically torches the Wizards, and slowing him down should be a big part of Washington's game plan. Mayo has been streaky, as evidenced by the fact that over his last 10 games he has either gone for 20+ or been held under 10 (5 games of each). Hopefully Webster can hold him to the latter. Martell himself will need to provide the perimeter offense as he continues to fill in for Bradley Beal. He has averaged 16.8 points over the last 5 games and his outside shooting will be relied upon in order to the Wiz to get the win.
Game of the Week:
Wizards vs Magic is your game of the week. The Wiz have the opportunity to push their home win streak to 5, and get back to .500 for the first time since these days. It gives Washington the opportunity to show they really mean business. Also, a win will give the guys a chance to get a little rest as they don't have to travel and have a few days off before the next game on Friday.