Washington (6-8) at Milwaukee (2-11)
November 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
TV: CSN Plus
Radio: 1500 AM
Projected starting lineups:
C- Marcin Gortat, PF- Nene, SF- Trevor Ariza, SG- Martell Webster, PG- John Wall
C- Zaza Pachulia, PF- Ersan Ilyasova, SF- Khris Middleton, SG- O.J. Mayo, PG- Brandon Knight
Wizards fans always lay out their pipe dreams of guys like Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony coming to play in D.C. when they become free agents. Then the sharp one in the group says, “None of those guys want to play in this area.” Then the whole group becomes somber and someone says, “man, why wouldn’t want you want to be the king of the city. Why wouldn’t you want to be one of the biggest attractions the city has to offer.”
Then I started looking at Milwaukee’s roster in its current and past state. Not only can these guys not draft good players, but nobody wants to go there in free agency. Just something I thought I’d share. It could be worse. I don’t imagine anybody wanting to go to Milwaukee at any point in time. I think if Milwaukee offered Jan Vesely a max deal he would be like, “No, I’m good here. I want to stay. There no Darna Lounge in Milwaukee.” — Zain Zaidi
The only thing we know about Milwaukee…
Dre: Martell Webster v. O.J. Mayo
When you look at the Bucks starting lineup, no one jumps out at you as a ‘player to watch’ per say. Ersan Ilyasova is having a very tough year although he usually kills the Wizards. But O.J. Mayo is a guy that throughout his career has shown he can put up big numbers on any given night. He leads this Bucks team in scoring this year but is currently in the middle of a terrible 4-game stretch in which he’s averaged just 6.3 ppg. The Bucks lost each of those games by eight or more points.
Meanwhile, Martell Webster joined the starting lineup four games ago and has been a big key in winning 3 of the last 4 games. He’s 9-for-18 from 3- point range the last two games, making it harder on the defense when John Wall attacks the basket. It’s important for Martell to consistently knock down the long range shot, especially with Beal sidelined to take pressure off of John Wall. The Bucks need Mayo to score if they want a chance in this game, so the focal point will be on this match-up.
Zain: John Wall v. victim(s)
The Wizards have won four out of their last five and Wall has recorded three consecutive 30+ point games, which is a first for him. Historically, in exception to last season, John Wall has struggled against Milwaukee. Before last year’s games, Wall was averaging 12.6 ppg on a 31% clip in his first seven matchups against the Bucks. Last year, he played well in both victories and I expect that trend to continue. Wall is scoring in bunches this past month and he should feast again tonight. He is averaging 2.1 steals per game which is amongst the league’s elite, and Milwaukee is giving up 17.8 turnovers per contest in the last nine games. Opponents are scoring 20.3 ppg a game off of these turnovers, and who better than John Wall to take turnovers and translate them into fast-break points? Knight and Mayo committed nine turnovers just by themselves against Detroit earlier this week. John Wall is averaging 33 ppg on a 61% clip, along with roughly six assists and 2.6 steals per game in his last three contests.
Dre: The Wizards bench, or lack thereof. The bench has been problematic all year and after losing Bradley Beal, the thin bench will be highlighted even more. The second night of back-to-backs is when you’d like to rest your starters that went hard the night before, but the way the Wizards bench has played, the Wizards just can’t afford to give their starters extended breaks. You could probably blame the Wizards bench for the reason Beal is injured now, because he was forced to play an insane amount of minutes per game.
Zain: See John Wall v. victim(s); Key matchup.
P.S., some stout Wall defense will also greatly increase the Wizards chance of winning tonight. The Bucks lack talent in the frontcourt and Milwaukee is 0-10 this year when scoring less than 100 points.
Dre: The Bucks bench. The Bucks 2nd unit could give the Wizards problems. Caron Butler, John Henson and Gary Neal pack a nice punch off the bench. Each player averages over 10 ppg, and the Bucks even have two backup point guards that the Wizards might kill to have in Nate Wolters and Luke Ridnour. It may be important for the Wizards to build a good lead while the starters are in, because the Bucks reinforcements could make life tough while Wall and company are grabbing a breather.
Zain: Points off turnovers. As we said before, the Bucks commit many turnovers per game and also let that turn into points for the other team. In contrast, they also score points off turnovers. The Wizards have also been effective scoring off turnovers. They scored 28 points off of the Lakers turnovers in last night’s contest, which likely propelled them to the win.