Wizards (26-44, 7-27 road) vs. Thunder (52-19, 31-5 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.3 (2nd), Wizards– 100.0 (30th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.6 (5th), Wizards – 102.4 (4th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.8 (8th), Wizards – 92.1 (14th)
View from the enemy: Truth About It
The Wizards without John Wall: 5-28. The Wizards with John Wall: 21-16. So if there are any thoughts that tonight’s game will just be another cakewalk for the Thunder, think again. The Wizards are still a bit dysfunctional, but they are an improving young team that can pose real danger.
And check this too: The Wizards against OKC without John Wall: 1-0. Yeah, remember that game? The Wizards, playing super shorthanded, shocked the Thunder in D.C. on a Brad Beal game-winner. One of the more infuriating and disappointing losses I can remember watching from this Thunder team in some time.
I don’t know if the Thunder have that on the brain tonight, but at least let it serve as a cautionary tale: Overlook the Wizards at your own peril.
Washington coming in: The Wizards have won seven of 10, including a beatdown of the Grizzlies Monday.
Three Big Things
1. Wall and Westbrook. I’m not sure if I’ve been quite this excited for an individual matchup this season. Wall and Westbrook are very different players, but both are brilliant attacking players. They are going to go toe-to-toe tonight.
2. Shorthanded Wiz. The Wizards wont’ have Beal or A.J. Price tonight. And could be without Trevor Ariza, Nene and Martell Webster who are all gametime decisions.
3. Offense/Defense. What’s interesting about the Wizards is that they’re a terrific defensive team. I don’t think many people realize that. What’s lacked for them is offense, but a lot of that has been corrected by adding in Wall’s dynamic scoring and playmaking ability. So the Thunder are going to have their work cut out for them in scoring tonight, with the Wizards locking in on the defensive end.
Tip at 7:00 CT.