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Wizards vs. Nuggets Pregame: Bouncing Back On A #ThrowbackThursday

Regular Season Game 21

Nuggets (9-12) at Wizards (7-13)

December 8, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM


Last time they met was..

March 12, 2016 – Pepsi Center, Denver: Nuggets 116, Wizards 100


What to watch

John Wall, as we know him.

Johnny Franchise is coming off a 52-point performance in a home loss to the Orlando Magic 124-116. Yes, you read that correctly. John Wall dropped FIFTY-TWO points and the Wizards STILL lost. Now I’m more of a glass half full kind of guy but Wall’s impressive performance came in a less than half empty arena. What to watch is a fitting section for this preview because if there’s any reason you should be watching the Wizards, it’s John Wall. Enjoy it now, Wizards fans because with all the national speculation about his feelings, it’s hard not to wonder how much longer he will be here.

Wall passed his previous career-high mark of 47 points on 18-of-31 shooting and became the 11th player in franchise history to reach over 50 points. It was the first time this happened since Gilbert Arenas scored 60 points against the Lakers in the 2006-07 season. Now those were fun times.


Key Matchup

The battle of the boards.

The Wizards need to lock down on defense if they want any chance of winning tonight. On Monday night, the Wizards gave up 66 points to the Nets in the first half. If you thought that was bad, Tuesday was worse. The Wizards surrendered 65 points to the Magic, who are ranked 29th in offensive efficiency. Yes, that’s one point less but 40 of those points came in just the second quarter, an effort that Scott Brooks deemed “unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, the Nuggets offense is proficient at scoring second-chance points. This because they lead the NBA in rebounding, averaging 49.8 boards per game (including 13.3 offensive boards!). Last night, they out-rebounded the Nets 58-42. Five players that average at least 5.5 a game, led by Kenneth Faried with 8.5.


X-Factor:

Otto Porter.

Porter is having the best season of his young career thus far, averaging 14.4 points per game this season while shooting 54% from the field. However on Tuesday night against Orlando, he attempted a season low four shots in 27 minutes of action. Porter looks to have a much better outing tonight because the Wizards are a much better team when Porter puts up good numbers.


Fun Factor:

For at least one night we can root for the Bullets! That’s because it’s Wizards throwback night at Verizon Center. The Wizards will once again be wearing modern jersey versions of their Baltimore Bullets uniforms. Bullets alum Elvin Hayes, Tom Henderson, and Jim Cleamons will be in attendance. No better way to be inspired to win than looking back at the “good old days.”

Basketball: Baltimore Bullets Archie Clark (21) in action vs Los Angeles Lakers Gail Goodrich (25) at The Forum. Inglewood, CA 1/16/1973 CREDIT: John D. Hanlon (Photo by John D. Hanlon /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: X17403 TK1 R8 F29 )
Basketball: Baltimore Bullets Archie Clark (21) in action vs Los Angeles Lakers Gail Goodrich (25) at The Forum.
Inglewood, CA 1/16/1973
CREDIT: John D. Hanlon (Photo by John D. Hanlon /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
(Set Number: X17403 TK1 R8 F29 )

Prediction:

John Wall doesn’t score 52 points but Otto Porter will put up more shots, those shots will go in, and the Wizards will win.

we are Hoop District

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