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Wizards vs. Hawks game preview: Time to rebound


Atlanta (9-8) at Washington (7-9)

November 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan


Projected starting lineups:

Washington Wizards
C- Marcin Gortat, PF- Jan Vesely, SF- Trevor Ariza, SG- Martell Webster, PG- John Wall

Atlanta Hawks
C- Al Horford, PF- Paul Millsap, SF- DeMarre Carroll, SG- Louis Williams, PG- Jeff Teague

Key matchup:

Jeff Teague v. John Wall


Before the season, less than 1% of the world’s population thought that John Wall and Jeff Teague would be the best two point guards in the East at this point of the season. Jeff Teague’s progression since joining the NBA in ’09 has been nothing short of impressive and every year his numbers improve. Wall will have to stay disciplined on defense and keep Teague in front of him, force him to shoot from outside where he’s 20% on the season. Wall, coming off one of his worst games of the season last night against the Pacers, needs to bounce back quickly.


NBA: Washington Wizards-Media Day

Jan Vesely. Weird right? Well, if Nene is still nursing his injury, Jan Vesely will start tonight against another very strong front court. He managed to pull in only two rebounds, with no shot attempts on the court last night, so you can almost say the Wizards starting lineup played 4 on 5 yesterday. At this point in Jan Vesely’s career, we just want a contribution, whether it’s playing volleyball on offense, rebounding, getting loose balls or whatever. If you start and give this team absolutely nothing, it kills the team. If Vesely starts tonight, he has to make some kind of impact on the court.

The X-factors:

Shelvin Mack and Cartier Martin. JUST KIDDING. The X-factor for tonight is fast break points. The Wizards HAVE to get out and run in this game. They scored 0 (ZERO) fast break points last night against Indiana, despite being top 3 in the NBA in that department. Atlanta turns the ball over 15 times per game, so there should be plenty of opportunities to get out in transition. 73 points (season low) is what they scored last night without any fast break points.

Rebounding. Both of these teams are mediocre rebounding the basketball. Atlanta ranks 29th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game. I’ll go out on a limb & say the winner of the rebound battle wins this game tonight.

What happened last time they played?

John Wall made his season debut after missing the first 33 games of the season and the Wizards beat the Hawks 93-83 at home. Five players scored in double figures, including Wall, who scored 14 off the bench in 21 minutes. The Wizards won this game despite shooting only 2-for-11 from three. Al Horford had 16 and 12 for the Hawks.

Who’s hurt?

For the Wizards, Nene’s status is day-to-day while Al Harrington, Otto Porter and Bradley Beal remain out. For the Hawks, their sharp-shooter Kyle Korver, who has a streak of 88 straight games with a 3-pointer made, is day-to-day and likely out.


This divisional battle is a big game for the Wizards as they face the 3rd best team in East at the moment by default. The Wizards are 4-2 at home this season, while the Hawks are 4-5 on the road. The outlook on this game hinges on the health of Nene. Going up against Horford and Millsap, Nene’s production in the front court will be needed to help Marcin Gortat. If Nene plays, Wizards win a tough, heart racing game. If Nene is out, the Wizards lose a tough, heart racing game.

Hoop District Staff

Collaborative efforts from the Hoop District Staff.

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