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PREGAME: Wizards vs. Bucks

wizbucks

Regular Season Game 9

Milwaukee (5-5) at Washington (4-4)

November 17, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

October 30, 2015 – BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee: Wizards 118, Bucks 113
Game Notebook 2, Wizards at Bucks: The Night The Bradley Center Became BRADLEY’S Center


What to watch

Both ends. Being a complete player or a complete team requires being complete on both ends. Defense is just as important as offense. Don’t take it from me. Take it from John Wall and Bradley Beal.

In an ESPN interview that aired Sunday, Hannah Storm asked Wall and Beal, “Who’s the best backcourt in the NBA right now?”

Beal and Wall responded in unison, “we are.” When told that some people would argue Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are better, and asked what separates themselves, they replied, “Both ends. We play both ends.”

We could go in depth about everything there is to love about those comments, and we will, because that’s what we do!

1) Confidence: Calling yourself the best bakcourt in the NBA is a huge proclamation. You don’t make a statement like that without believing it 100 percent. You also don’t make a statement like that without fully intending to back it up. Can’t wait to play Golden State.

2) Walk the walk: Wall and Beal suggesting the fact they “play both ends” as the deciding factor between themselves and the Splash Brothers implies that Steph and Klay don’t play both ends. Unfortunately, I beg to differ. Klay Thompson established himself last year as one of the premier defensive 2-guards in the NBA, while Beal has yet to do the same. SO…that means that Wall’s tremendous defense is so far superior to Curry’s average defense that he takes our DC backcourt to the next level. Randy Wittman may beg to differ on that front.

Defense has been a problem this season, and that falls on everyone. If Wall and Beal are going to make such boisterous proclamations, and use defense as a defining trait, then the proof needs to be in the putting-clamps-on-opponents. Individually and as a team.

3) Pressure: Bold proclamations create pressure. The Wizards two-star backcourt just put pressure on themselves to put up five-star performances on a nightly basis. And I love it.

Backing up their statements starts tonight.


Key matchup

Kris Humphries vs. Reality

Seriously, what the hell got into Kris Humphries?? I know he worked on threes all offseason, but still! Going 5 for 8 is good enough. But three cold-blooded, Steve Buckhantz certified 4th quarter Daggers?! That’s what Bill Raftery would call, “Onions.”

Working on your stroke all offseason is one thing. Having the confidence to take big shots because of that work is another thing. But having the ability to MAKE those shots? That’s usually a multi-month and often multi-year process. And if Hump can continue to be a true shooting threat, the Wizards will have found themselves a true game changer.

Reality will be tested tonight. The Bucks love to pack in their D, and use their length to pester and intimidate opponents. The Bucks rank 11th in 3-point attempts allowed per game, yet rank last in pace. In other words, they give up a lot of threes in half-court sets, but allow only 33 percent shooting, good enough for 12th in the league. Humphries, among others, is sure to get some more good looks against Jason Kidd’s defensive scheme, at least until he proves his Magic against Orlando was no short-term spell.


X-Factor

Pace. The Wizards rank 1st in the NBA in pace, at over 104 possessions per 48 minutes. The Bucks rank last in the NBA in pace, at under 95 possessions per 48 minutes. Visually, the Wizards look like this:

image

While Milwaukee plays like this:

image (1)

But don’t be fooled. That obese Buck still has horns, and horns are dangerous. The team that gets this game to suit their style will come out victorious.


Fun factor

Jabari Parker. Any athlete and their corresponding fans are terrified of the following phrase: Torn ACL. The only two people on the planet who do not fear the words “torn ACL” are Adrian Peterson, and Chip Kelly.

Jabari Parker, the number 2 pick in last year’s draft, tore his ACL early in his rookie year. Even if you hate Duke (and if you don’t, there’s obviously something wrong with you), that’s awful. The kid had tons of talent, and already had a far more polished NBA skill set than most guys his age. So it was a shame to see his career derailed before he ever got started. But wait! What was that? A Bird? A Plane?

🏀🎥 @jabariparker slams over Love! #nba #ballup #ballislife #basketball #hoopfilms #hoopmixtape #jabariparker

A video posted by HoopFilms (@therealhoopfilms) on

Was that Jabari?

🏀🎥 @jabariparker monster dunk! #nba #ballup #ballislife #basketball #hoopfilms #hoopmixtape #jabariparker

A video posted by HoopFilms (@therealhoopfilms) on

That’s Jabari! Good for him.

I know he’s facing our Wizards, and we don’t want him to play well tonight. But when it comes to fun, the more talented, athletic, skilled NBA players we have in the NBA, the more fun for everyone.

UPDATE: While Jabari is nevertheless always fun, he has been ruled OUT for tonight’s game with a sprained right foot.


Prediction

DC’s FerRari outruns Milwaukee and Jabari. And visually, here’s my predicted video summary:

That’s what happens when you’re last in pace…

we are Hoop District

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