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Will The “Pissed” Wizards Use Nets As Their Punching Bag?

Regular Season Game 52

Wizards (31-20) at Nets (9-43)

February 8, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Barclays Center | New York City, New York
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM


Last time they met was..

December 30, 2016- Verizon Center, DC: Wizards 118, Nets 95
RECAP: Trey Burke, Wizards Bench Nets For Eighth Straight Home Win


What to watch:

The Brooklyn Nets as the Wizards’ punching bag.

The Wizards recently had a 17-game home win streak (and 7 straight wins overall) snapped by the loathed top-seeded Cavs at Verizon on Monday night. The game, touted as arguably the best of the season, was one that the Wizards seemingly had in the bag up by 3 with 3 seconds left. The Cavs needed to go the length of the court to get a shot at tying the game, and that’s precisely what they did, as Love’s full court inbound launch was received by LeBron James, who banked in a wild shot at the buzzer Nick van Exel style over Bradley Beal to send the game into overtime where the Wizards eventually lost.

The post-game reactions from the locker room varied. Bradley Beal voiced the team’s angst:

While John Wall confirmed LeBron’s respect for the team:

The mentality confessed by both players is exactly what they need in approaching tonight’s game in Brooklyn. For John Wall, that statement made to him by Bron testifies to the stature the Wizards have reached: an elite team that garners respect. Tonight in Brooklyn, the he and his Wizards will play pissed, they will play fierce, they will play with little to no regard, and they will play to remind the masses of the respect they’ve earned and continue to deserve. All at the expense of the 9-win Nets.


Key Matchup:

Brook Lopez vs. Marcin Gortat

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This is undoubtedly the most intriguing matchup because it features Nets player that you don’t actually have to Google search. However, it’s still not a favorable matchup for Brooklyn as recent history has proven Gortat to be an adequate defender of Brook. Brook’s slow-processing post-game is the result of a lack of mobility inside which gives Gortat, who is a tad bit more agile, an advantage defensively. In their previous matchup, Lopez finished with just 11 points on 9 shots, constantly getting draped by Gortat under the rim and unable to get a good look.

What’s tricky about this matchup is Lopez’ knack for the 3-point shot which will force Gortat to hang around the perimeter more than he’s used to. The good thing is that Lopez is a sub-35% shooter from long range, which helps if Gortat is unable to close out on him.


X-Factor:

The bench.

The Nets have a trash roster. Their starting 5 is barely second-unit worthy on any other team. Which basically makes their second-unit D-League worthy. Their rotations fluctuate from game to game with players being mix and matched, with the slimmest of odds of finding somewhat of a functioning lineup.

The Wizards don’t employ the proudest bench either, although since the emergence of Jason Smith and the shelving of Marcus Thornton, things have gotten much better. Listen, the Nets are so bad they gave Trey “Chef” Burke his own highlight reel on December 30 after he poured in 27 points on 10-12 shooting and 5-5 from downtown.

While the Wizards starters will have this one in the bag on their own, the bench will be in position to zip them up and toss them over the Hudson.


Fun Factor:

The fascinating mystique of Jeremy Lin’s hair.

The common man-bun:

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The expanded sumo-range man-bun:

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The Bone Thugs:

brooklyn-nets

The Troll doll:

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Prediction:

The Wizards punch the bag off the chain; win big in Brooklyn.

we are Hoop District

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