The Wizards will conclude their five-game road trip tonight vs. the Utah Jazz (36-38) at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
They have played without regular contributors Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard for the past several games. Rookie Trevor Booker missed last night’s loss against Golden State Warriors with a sore ankle after he had filled in as a starter in the seven previous contests. Nick Young, injured when the road trip began, aggravated his bothersome left knee last night, and has been ruled out for tonight’s game reports Yahoo Sports, referencing the Washington Post.
This means the Wiz will be without five rotation players (if you count Howard who has appeared in only 18 games but averaged 22 minutes in those games) on the second night of a back-to-back on the road.
The odds are long on this one ending in triumph, but, with all of their veterans out, young legs are all that remain. It has been a familiar refrain around these parts, but if they can keep the turnovers down and win the rebounding battle, they can be in this game heading into the fourth quarter. Rookies John Wall and Jordan Crawford have proven more than willing to absorb the shots that the missing players would otherwise put up, and their energy and driving capabilities put pressure on any defense.
Still, regardless of who has been available, a season-long trend matter has reared its ugly head on this road trip and been the difference in the two games Washington was able to keep close. The trend is one that exists on both sides of the ball, compounding their ability to mitigate it. We will be watching tonight to see if this trend again manifests itself, and how it affects the flow of the game. Have you also noticed this trend? If you have, drop us a line in the comments, and watch for it along with us.. If not, return here for the recap and subsequent analysis as we’ll look into how it has hurt the Wizards, and how it affects them on both ends of the floor. In either case, consider this a game thread, if you will, to interact with us during the game. Tip-off is at 9 PM EDT.