Just days after dropping another game to the Indiana Pacers, the Washington Wizards have a shot at redeeming themselves tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. Oh yea, I forgot to mention; everyone’s favorite (former) Wizard, Andray Blatche is coming home.
Key Match Up
I usually take a look at the match ups which involve superstar players, but today I’ll take a different route. With Andray Blatche returning to D.C for the first time since the Wizards used their amnesty clause to rid themselves of the enigma called ‘Dray’, this game has all the makings of an instant classic.
In his time in Washington, Blatche was considered one of the most talented players on the roster. One thing that has held Blatche back from true success in his NBA career is his ‘knucklehead mentality’. Though Blatche is without a doubt talented, he’s also one of the biggest ‘knuckeheads’ in the NBA. His time in Washington ended after Blatche failed to live up to his 35 million dollar (!!!) contract extension. Blatche’s last straw in D.C came after he reported to the lockout shortened training came out of shape.
Today, Blatche has had a bit of a ‘resurgence’ in Brooklyn. It certainly doesn’t hurt to play with All-Star caliber players such as Deron Williams or Joe Johnson. Blatche is supposedly thankful for the veteran leadership which is available in Brooklyn, even though he himself is considered a veteran. Averaging close to 11 points and 6 rebounds per game, Blatche’s production may slightly go down as the Nets fired their head coach, Avery Johnson.
Blatche will have a handful tonight, as he’s matched up against one of the leagues top big men in Nene. Nene is the polar opposite of ‘Dray’. Unlike Blatche, Nene has a more reserved personality and has a reputation of being one of the most professional guys in the NBA. Nene has been a breath of fresh air since Blatche was exiled out of D.C. Andray Blatche isn’t really known for his defense, so Nene should get the best of him tonight. I sincerely cannot wait to see Blatche and Nene go at it tonight.
- Blatche was overwhelmingly booed by Washington fans every time he stepped out on the court. His confidence was severely damaged because of that, but Blatche supposedly won’t have a problem with all the booing that will inevitably go on tonight.
- Trevor Booker hopes Blatche leaves D.C alive. Word on the street is, the Wizards may even have some extra security at the Verizon Center.
- If you haven’t heard already, Bradley Beal won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. Even though he didn’t have a particularly stellar month of December, I guess it was enough to win him the award.
- John Wall is on the verge of return. (YES!!!)
- After suffering an ankle sprain, Kris Humphries is listed as ‘day to day’. Does this mean more Andray Blatche? Oh boy.
- The Nets are a pretty good rebounding team. They’re ranked seventh in offensive rebounding percentage. I’d attribute that stat to Humphries and Reggie Evans.
- Deron Williams, who was arguably the best point guard in the NBA, is having one of his worst statistical years in his career. Let’s hope that trend continues in Washington.
The Wizards have lost 11 of their last 12 games. The losing streak is bound to end, right?
The Nets have no shortage of talent on their roster. With Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, the Nets arguably have the best backcourt in the NBA. With John Wall still out, the Wizards will need as much production from their point guards as possible. Garrett Temple and Shelvin Mack will definitely have their work cut out for them tonight. Even though ‘DWill’ has struggled out of the gate, he’s still one of the best players in the NBA. His scoring and play making abilities are far superior than most players’ in the NBA. On top of all that, the Wizards will need to try and contain Joe Johnson, who’s also widely considered a top player at his position. ‘J.J’ is also having a down year, but with his scoring mentality, he’s able to explode any given night.
I believe that the Wizards have the edge in the front court, despite of Brook Lopez’s recent play. Lopez is without a doubt one of the best center’s in today’s game, but his lack of aggressiveness really hurts the Nets. Lopez is often labeled ‘soft’, and won’t have any success playing that way against Emeka Okafor. Okafor is also having a great stretch for Washington, and I can’t see why that won’t continue against Lopez.
With all that said, it’ll be tough for Washington to pick up a win tonight. It’ll be a victory in itself if Andray Blatche gets dunked on tonight. Let’s hope for the best.