Washington (14-6) at Orlando (9-14)
December 10, 2014 at 7:00PM
Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Following a thrill-infested back-to-back campaign against the Boston Celtics, the Wizards got a day off – to travel – and are gearing up for the Magic tonight in Orlando.
There was quite a bit to soak in from those matchups against the Celtics:
Paul Pierce is back to getting his. He hasn’t been terribly consistent for the Wizards. Towards the beginning of the season, Pierce suffered through a bad streak of shooting, missing 31 of 39 shots over three games. Over the three games prior to the home and away against Boston, Pierce had missed all nine of his 3-point attempts. But Pierce would regroup against his former team, shooting 15-for-22 for 44 points and going 7-for-11 from downtown. He also hit the game-tying 3 in the final minute of Monday night’s game to force a second overtime.
Kris Humphries is uber-reliable. Humph has proven his value as a stretch 4 in just about every facet that a stretch 4 must show value in to be … valuable. Wow that turned out ugly. But anyway, whether it’s curling to the top of the key as a second passing option off a screen to knock down a 17-footer; or whether it’s a textbook box for a board, Kris Humphries has established Randy Wittman’s confidence in him, something that’s been vital in the wake of Nene’s absence.
John Wall is a very good basketball player. 13, 16, 12, 14, 17. Four of those five double-digit assists games were double-doubles (he scored 9 in one game), and four of those games were wins (they almost came back against the Celtics). Wall’s continued elevation as a point guard has helped propel the Wizards into becoming a premiere passing team in the league (top 3 in assists and APG). Also, this find by TAI’s Kyle Weidie is important:
9 NBA players have 25+ FGAs in "clutch time" (last 5 mins, up or down w/in 5 pts). John Wall's 48.1% (13-27) ranks 3rd behind Dirk & Monta
— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) December 10, 2014
On the flip side, Bradley Beal needs to bounce back. Beal shot 4-for-18 in the first game against Boston. Then a tad bit better the next night, going 5-for-12. That’s a combined 9-for-30 and that sucks. Beal attempted just two 3-point shots in 46 minutes against the Celtics on Monday night. TWO. This is the league’s runner up in the 3-point contest. He needs to be taking at least, AT LEAST five to seven or eight a game. But alas, Beal is a young player who’s being coached/drugged into long 2’s and midrange jumpers, into giving in to defenses that want him to give in to those open midrannge jumpers, and then subsequently having to suffer from post-game amnesia so that he can start over the next night.
Last time they met was..
November 15, 2014 @ Verizon Center. The Wizards won 98-93
This will be the third matchup between these two Southeast divisionmates (I’m not calling labeling them rivals. Conference divisions are futile). In the most recent matchup, the Wizards’ bench had one if its finer games, outscoring the Magic’s 48-13. Humphries, Otto, and of course Rasual Butler led the way with the usual helping of Andre Miller and a small contribution from Kevin Seraphin. Wall didn’t shoot particularly well (6-17), but did have 10 dimes with most of them to a much-involved Nene who had 16.