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Wizards vs. Pelicans Pregame: It’s Go Time

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Regular Season Game 55

Pelicans (22-33) at Wizards (25-29)

February 23, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

December 11, 2015 – Smoothie King Center, NOLA: Pelicans 107, Wizards 105


What to watch

Urgency.

During the course of this season, we’ve seen the Wizards dwindle from presumed contenders of the Eastern Conference title, down to a team suffering from troubling inconsistency, a plethora injuries, and a sore regression on defense. Yet, in spite of all this, John Wall “ain’t trying to waste a season.” Of course he ain’t trying to waste this season! He is having a monster one, his career best statistically in fact, and to have it wasted away due to the team’s inefficiency and failure to make the playoffs would demoralizing.

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Wizards were dealt a triple-night bundle of games and were almost able to fully withstand it, winning the first two games by substantial margins before inevitably burning out in Miami. Now, we get to see how the Wizards move forward following a few days of rest. Twenty-seven games remain on their schedule, they are 3.5 games out of the 8th spot in the East, go-time is NOW.

The Pelicans of NOLA have also dwindled this year. Coming off a playoff season in 2015 where Anthony Davis was an MVP candidate, expectations were naturally higher for them this season. Yet, go-time also looms for them as they sit at 22-33 and 6.5 games out of the 8th spot in the West. With Anthony Davis coming off that ridiculous 59-20 night, the Pelicans seem to be showing a similar sense of urgency as the playoff rush commences.


Key Matchup

The Wizards front-court vs. Anthony Davis

The Pistons rank in the top 5 of the league in rebounds per game, and in rebounds per game differential. This means they are also pretty good at disallowing opponents from getting a lot of rebounds. On Sunday, however, Anthony Davis absolutely obliterated any and all of whatever pride the Pistons frontcourt held as superior rebounders. Davis’ mobility and length wiped out the Pistons in the paint, not to mention 13 of his 24 made field goals came from within that range as well.

Don’t get it twisted, though. Davis will wreck you inside, but hes agile and nimble enough to wreck you from just about anywhere:


X-factor

Chief Keef.

Markieff Morris is a light work in progress as he finds his groove playing with his new teammates, but that progress will need to build quickly if the Wizards are serious about this late-season push. Keef is undoubtedly the guy to start at the 4 and through his first few games, he’s shown to be a promising fit. The quicker Morris gets comfortable, the more production we’ll see from him on the floor, particularly the production he creates with John Wall.


Fun Factor:

Any time you land on World Star Hip Hop as a human being, let alone a professional athlete, it’s likely a bad look. Shots of Anthony Davis being stripped and spanked will never stop being weird.

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Prediction

Go time is now. So let’s watch the Wizards GO.

we are Hoop District

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