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Wizards vs. Magic game preview: When’s the last time you could say THAT


Orlando (6-10) at Washington (7-9)

December 2, 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

Orlando Magic
C– Nikola Vucevic, PF- Glen Davis, SF- Aaron Afflalo, SG- E’Twaun Moore, PG- Victor Oladipo

Key matchup:

John Wall v. Victor Oladipo

wa11-wizardsThe Magic are looking to continue grooming Victor Oladipo into their future starting point guard, and he faces a tough test tonight as he goes up against a red-hot John Wall. In contrast, this will be a tough matchup for John Wall. It’s rare that you can find another athlete at the ball-handler position that can stack up with Wall. Oladipo is a shade taller than Wall and has a similar pep in his step. Oladipo’s game reminds me a lot of a younger John Wall, with some shades of Wall’s current game.

Victor-Oladipo-picOladipo is not shooting the ball well and he is averaging nearly 4 turnovers a game. He has been borderline sloppy and is showing major growing pains in his rookie season. On the flipside, when Oladipo can channel his energy level into something positive it’s extremely infectious. He’s slowly but surely figuring out how to best penetrate into the lane and how to read the defense and properly get the most efficient shot when he gets there. He has shown flashes of great on the ball defense, at times hounding his opponent like a wild dog. We know Oladipo will savor playing in D.C., as to whether he savors one-on-one matchups against guys like John Wall is not something that I am aware of.

What I do love about John Wall’s progressing game is that he isn’t looking at the one-on-ones as a must win. He is doing whatever is best for the team to win. Whether he thinks that’s taking his guy off the dribble at will, looking to get his teammates involved, or devoting most of his energy to defense, he is making a concerted effort to get things done. As much as he doesn’t feed into becoming Teen Wolf against his rivals, Wall does savor these matchups.

Per J. Michael of CSN, Wall is looking forward to facing off against Oladipo.

“I just like how he has that dog. He has that A-factor, he’s backing down from nobody. Very strong. Very athletic. Quick with the ball. i think he’s still trying to find his way into this league, find his game.” — John Wall, when asked about Oladipo’s progress.

In the last game against Atlanta, Wall contributed to nearly every quality shot that guys like Ariza and Webster got, and that was when he wasn’t scoring 26 of his own points. In conclusion, Oladipo won’t be able to completely stop John Wall. Unless Oladipo can stop Wall in addition to the guys that Wall creates open shots for.



Martell Webster. Some people were confused when Martell Webster was signed to the huge deal (in relativity to what people perceived as his market value). More people were confused when he wasn’t slated to be the starter for the Wizards to open the season. Now that he has been reinserted to the starting lineup by default, we are seeing the positive effect he can have for the Wizards. Granted, nobody is saying that they would rather have Webster than Beal, but we obviously have the choice of having both on this team. The spotlight will continue to be on Webster as he excels in his starting role and builds a good drive and kick chemistry with John Wall. When Beal enters back into the starting lineup, Wittman needs to find more ways for Webster to be involved the Wizards offense.

The X-factors:

Bench play. The significance/detriment of the bench will need to be pointed out every game until they start contributing more than they have. If the bench isn’t getting one of their scorers in double digits, it is giving up double-digit leads. It doesn’t help that since Bradley Beal is out, Martell Webster has been stolen away from the bench and has been inserted back into the starting lineup. Webster was the good looking girl in the group of a bunch of 5’s and 6’s. Now that he left to hang out with better looking people, the others are having a hard time getting past the bouncers.

Coach Wittman stated this past weekend that he’s going to do whatever it takes to win, even if that means not waiting around for the bench to start producing:

“Some of these guys are reaching into 40-plus, which I don’t like to do, but you know what, if we have to go out and win a game, we’re going to go out and win a game.”

What happened last time they played?

Washington took an L at the Amway Center despite Wall’s 35 point and 9 rebound game. The Wizards were outscored 48-28 in the paint and shot 37% from the field. Tobias Harris, who will likely sit out tonight’s game, had 30 points and 11 rebounds in the Magic victory. The home team has won the last four meetings in this series.

Who’s hurt?

Al Harrington is out with a knee injury. Nene suffered an achilles injury but played against the Hawks and will play tonight. For the Magic, Jameer Nelson left last game with a sprained foot and is questionable for tonight. Tobias Harris had a setback in his attempt to return from a sprained ankle and is also listed as questionable.


The Wizards are turning into Cinderella overnight. The wicked stepsisters of the Eastern Conference might be bowing down to the Wiz Kids sooner or later. According to Trevor Ariza, the team has shown a lot of maturity lately, before saying that he thinks they are ready to be a playoff team. This is the best time of the season for the Wizards to go on a strong run. The Wizards losing to the Pacers was inevitable. Beating the Hawks was necessary. Handling the Magic at home is just another stepping stone. While Beal is out, the Wizards need to get as many wins as they can so that they can readjust him back into the lineup and pick up where they left off. These games are a great chance to get the bench more minutes and reintegrate Martell Webster back into the offense. Wall is getting better every game and showing flashes of brilliance on a quarterly basis. The Wizards are 5-2 at home this year and the Magic have only won one road game. The Wizards will win this one by double-digits and enter 3rd place in the Eastern Conference standings. When’s the last time you could say THAT?

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