Who: Washington Wizards vs Charlotte Bobcats
What: NBA Basketball – Wizards Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
|Washington||40-37||103.0 (17)||102.7 (12)||95.5 (18)|
|Charlotte||39-38||101.2 (22)||101.4 (6)||94.8 (21)|
Washington: Nene Hilario (Questionable), Trevor Ariza (Probable)
Charlotte: Josh McRoberts (Probable), Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)
|PG||John Wall||Kemba Walker|
|SG||Bradley Beal||Gerald Henderson|
|SF||Trevor Ariza||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist|
|PF||Trevor Booker||Cody Zeller|
|C||Marcin Gortat||Al Jefferson|
|6th Man||Martell Webster||Gary Neal|
- For starters, if you haven’t checked out any of these links centered around the Bobcats, they’re a must-see: Al Jefferson talks to Marc Stein on ESPN’s TrueHoop TV about everything centered around this season and how Charlotte has helped his career blossom. Over at Hardwood Paroxysm Scott Rafferty portrays the Bobcats as the renewed product that they are and what lies ahead for the franchise.
- As for tonight, I don’t need to go into a ton of detail of why this is a huge game for both teams. A Charlotte win tonight seals the season series with the Wiz 3-1 and gives the Bobcats the tie-break with Washington with only four games to play.
- Charlotte goes for their fifth straight win tonight while Washington seems to be simply trying to keep their head above water – they lost by 18 at home to Chicago on Saturday night and only scored 26 total points in the first half of that blowout loss.
- Gerald Henderson was quoted saying that tonight’s game will be treated “like a playoff game” by the Bobcats.
- You have to wonder just how much the locker room is focusing on the collapse that’s going on with the Pacers right now – wouldn’t anyone in Charlotte and Washington’s shoes rather play the Pacers currently? Maybe. Kemba Walker was on ESPN radio yesterday, and when asked how much he’s paying attention to Indiana lately — “not at all”.
- Charlotte has created a locker room identity of confidence and a full focus on winning. That’s not going to change down the stretch regarding what’s going on elsewhere in the standings. If the Bobcats somehow run the table leading into the playoffs, let’s be honest here, does anybody want a part of these guys?
- The Wizards like to live from behind-the-arc and they can be very effective from there – Washington actually only averages 20.8 3PA/game on the season (about middle of the pack), but they convert on 38.5% of 3-pointers and that’s good for second in the entire NBA. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster have all been deadly from deep this season.
- Washington may also get Nene Hilario back from injury tonight and that drastically changes the dynamic of how they space the floor. Nene is multi-tooled post scorer, and with likely four shooters spaced around him at all times – well, you do the math on how dangerous the Wiz could be offensively.
- The Bobcats definitely want to win this game tonight, but I have to believe the Wizards are treating it as a must-win after the embarrassment Saturday night against Chicago. It would seem fitting that these two teams split the season series, so I’m going with Washington in a very competitive 98-95 game.