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Wizards vs. Cavs Pregame: A Reminder We Still Hate LeBron; Kyrie Vs. Wall, Finally!

5671_washington_wizards-primary-2016

Cleveland at Washington

January 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

December 2, 2015 – Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH: Wizards 97, Cavs 85
READ: Game Notebook 15, Wizards at Cavs: Therapeutic Basketball Making Things ‘Fun’ Again


What to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo. Lionel Messi. Kobe Bryant. Michael Jordan. There are still very few athletes that transcend their sport globally, and it’s always a little different when they come to your city. LeBron James is one of those athletes, and he’s coming to town.

And in DC, the hate is real. Ever since LeBron “crab dribbled” (traveled) his way past the Wizards in the playoffs, and ever since he tried to punk Gilbert Arenas at the free throw line, Wizard fans have truly, deeply hated LeBron. Let’s take a moment to rekindle that hatred:

F him.

Let’s look at a few stats at his expense:

  • LeBron is shooting 27% from three point range this season, yet still attempting 4 per game. 27% is the worst he has shot from three point range in his career, and his first year under 30% since his rookie year.
  • LeBron is shooting 70% at the rim this season aka on layups. Outside of three feet, LeBron is shooting under 40%, and is statistically one of the worst efficiency shooters in the league. Take a look at his shooting chart this season:

image

Keep LeBron away from the rim, and you can keep the Cavs away from the win.

  • LeBron is posting a Win-Share value of 5.1, the worst of his career since his rookie year, BY FAR. His 5.1 number ranks behind guys like Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Chris Bosh, and Kyle Lowry.
  • Lebron is averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.5 steals, and posting a PER of 26.4, 6th best in the league, behind only Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

Shoot, disregard that last one. Actually, just disregard LeBron. Because for one night only, LeBron will NOT be the main event (on the court). These guys will…


Key Matchup

John Wall vs. Kyrie Irving

“Its a joke.” – John Wall, when asked about Kyrie Irving currently in line to be voted in as an East All-Star Starter.

Now, Wall was not saying Kyrie is a joke. He was saying the fan voting is a joke, and he’s absolutely right. Kyrie Irving has played six games. John Wall was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Month in December. Then again…

“He’s a joke.” That’s probably what Kyrie Irving’s brain translated when he heard Wall’s quotes, because that’s what great players do. Irving’s absence from the Finals last season, and his absence to start this season left many people forgetting just how good Kyrie Irving is. Here’s a few reminders:

Here’s a move he put on the Warriors in only his third game back:

He may have the body fragility of his Uncle Drew character, but man, that boy can ball. He’s nearly impossible to keep out of the paint, and he’s as good as it gets as a finisher at the rim.

Clearly, Irving is still rusty. Routinely one of the better three point shooters in the NBA, Kyrie is shooting just 24% from three through six games this season. But it’s only been six games. And as we all know, nothing cures three point shooting woes like the Wizards defense.

He may not be deserving of an All-Star starting role, but Kyrie Irving is no joke.

Speaking of not joking around…..

JOHN WALL. Wall has been on an absolute tear for a solid month now. He’s been shredding defenses, breaking down defenses, and finding open shooters all over the court. Unfortunately, those shots just aren’t falling, making the assist numbers he’s posting (including 7 straight games of 11+ assists) even more impressive.


READ: How John Wall Destroyed December In Spite Of Inadequate Supporting Cast


And if don’t believe in numbers, then believe your eyes:

There’s this:

There’s this:

There’s this:

And then there’s this:

WTF?! Who even sees that lane? As we like to say here, your favorite point guards favorite point guard, that’s who.

These two are going to go at it on both ends all night: Wall showing why he’s the one deserving of an All-Star starting spot. Kyrie showing why the fans voted him in. Get your popcorn, cell phones, and DVRs ready.


X-factor(s)

Cavs at home vs. Cavs on the road. The Cavs are 15-1 at home (that ‘1’ in the L column is courtesy of the Wizards). The Cavs are just 8-8 on the road (let’s make that second 8, a 9).


Fun factor

(See Key Match-up)


Prediction

John Wall emphatically, boldly, and loudly states that All-Star Fan Voting is a complete joke. Using just a basketball.

we are Hoop District

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