December 8, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards center Nene (42) defends Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) during a shot at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors (Key Match Up, Notes, and Prediction)

Instead of getting over the .500 hurdle for the first time since 2009, the Wizards have found themselves at two games below the mark and it wont get any easier this afternoon against the surging Golden State Warriors. Washington has struggled at home this season, but they’ll have a chance to pull off an upset tonight at the Verizon Center. The game will tip off at 6:00 PM.

Key Match Up:

John Wall is coming off one of his most disappointing games of the season against the Toronto Raptors, scoring just 11 points on 15 shot attempts. Wall, who’s been showing flashes of his elite defensive potential this season, will need to step it up defensively tonight against Stephen Curry. Curry is obviously one of the best shooters the NBA has ever seen, but his ability to create for his teammates is often times overlooked because he can shoot the ball at such a high level. When Curry gets it going from three, teams will inevitably begin to pressure him, making it possible for him to find his teammates for open baskets. Curry is currently second in the league in assists per game, so if John Wall allows him to have another big night on the road, expect this to be a long game for the home team.

As for Wall, he’ll have to do a better job at scoring the ball in the half court. Wall has a tendency to settle for jump shots, but he shouldn’t do that tonight against Curry and Co. Although Andrew Bogut is a good rim protector, Curry’s biggest weakness is probably his defense, so Wall definitely has to remain aggressive throughout the entire game against the Warriors. If he settles for jump shots and doesn’t exploit Curry’s weakness, expect another blowout loss.

Notes:

  • John Wall was ejected in the last meeting between the Wizards and Warriors. Trevor Ariza was ejected on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.
  • The Warriors have won 9 of their last 10 games, including a few buzzer beating victories via Andre Iguodala.
  • Bradley Beal hasn’t found his shooting touch since the new year begun, but he’ll have to find a way to be effective against Klay Thompson tonight. It’s the battle of the backcourts.
  • The Warriors are top 10 in points, rebounds, and assists per game. So yeah, they’re pretty good.

Prediction:

I think it’s safe to say that it will take a lot for the Wizards to pull off the upset tonight. They’ve struggled at home and they’ve certainly had difficulties against elite-level opponents this season. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the best shooting backcourt in NBA history and their frontcourt comprised of All-Star David Lee and Andrew Bogut isn’t too shabby either.

This game will basically be determined on how well the Warriors shoot the ball. The Al Horford-less Atlanta Hawks managed to compete with them before Iguodala hit a game winner, so the Wizards to have a puncher’s chance tonight. John Wall and Bradley Beal have to play great games and the big men have to compete on the glass.

I don’t see the Wizards sneaking out with the victory. There’s no such thing as moral victories at this point in the season, but it’ll be better than a blowout loss.

Tags: John Wall John Wall Stephen Curry Nba Game Preview Stephen Curry Wall Vs. Curry Washington Wizards Wizards Warriors Wizards Warriors Preview

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