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Wizards vs. Hawks Pregame: A Win Would Be Nice

Regular Season Game 4

Hawks (3-1) at Wizards (0-3)

November 4, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM


Last time they met was..

October 27, 2016 – Philips Arena: Hawks 114, Wizards 99
Quick Hits & Highlights: Wizards at Hawks, Regular Season Game 1


What to watch

A win?

The Wizards are 0-3. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Bradley Beal, the 130 million dollar glass man, is shooting 38%, and averaging just 14 ppg.
  • John Wall is averaging 6.3 turnovers per game.
  • The Wizards are ranked last in defensive rating, allowing 112 points per 100 possessions.

Tonight the Wizards play the Hawks, a team that is 7th in the league in offensive rating, and 2nd in the league in defensive rating through their 4 games. Stats are highly volatile this early in the season, and subject to dramatic changes based on just one game.

Hopefully that dramatic change starts tonight.


Key Matchup

Paul Millsap vs. Whoever is guarding Paul Millsap

If you play fantasy basketball, you already know Paul Millsap is a stat stuffing machine. Despite cruising under the radar among casual fans, Millsap is one of the most versatile players in the NBA, creating mismatches for the Hawks on a nightly basis. Stick a big guy on him, and he steps out to the three point line, or beats them off the dribble, just like this:

Stick a quicker guy on him, and he takes them to the block and gets layups. Double him, and he dishes to open teammates. He’s basically everything the Cavs hope to get from Kevin Love at their best, except he also plays defense, and can also finish like this:

(Note: That was on Hassan Whiteside)

Through 4 games, Millsap is averaging 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals.

At some point tonight, he’ll be guarded by Marcin. At some point he’ll be guarded by Markieff. At some point, he’ll be guarded by Otto. Every one of those match-ups favors Millsap. The Wizards can’t let him win them all.


X-factor

Turnovers. Specifically, John Wall turnovers.

Look. John Wall is great. We know this. And 6.3 turnovers per game is completely unaccepetable for a great player. No one knows this better than John Wall. Averaging 11 assists is meaningless when you’re giving the ball away 6 times along with it.

And 6 turnovers is especially unacceptable for a “true point guard.” I never thought I would say this, but look at James Harden. For the last 5 seasons, Harden has averaged about 4 turnovers per game. Playing point guard this season, Harden has upped his assists from seven to TWELVE, without increasing his turnovers., and still averaging 32 points per game.

I refuse to believe a wold exists where James Freakin Harden is a better “true point guard” and makes his teammates better than John Wall. Right now, that’s the world we live in.

The turnovers have got to stop.


Fun Factor:

Nothing. Being 0-3 sucks.


Prediction

Being 0-4 is even worse.

we are Hoop District

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