The Washington Wizards are back on the winning track after getting a double-digit victory against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, but they’ll look to start another streak tonight at the Milwaukee Bucks. The game tips off at 9:00 (EST) from the Bradley Center.
Key Match Up:
It’s been a tough year for the Milwaukee Bucks, as they find themselves with a 12-49 record with hopes of securing a top pick in this upcoming NBA Draft. For a team that was supposed to compete for a playoff spot prior to the season starting, injuries and botched free agent acquisitions have completely derailed Milwaukee’s season. With that said, they still have a few promising players on their roster and it won’t hurt to add another one in a stacked draft this summer.
Khris Middleton previously torched the Wizards for a career-high 29 points, but that performance doesn’t seem to be an anomaly. Middleton scored 25-points last night against the New Orleans Pelicans and he’s definitely showed an ability to score the ball. He didn’t get much of an opportunity to showcase himself with the Detroit Pistons prior to getting traded, but now that he’s gotten the chance to play, Middleton has proven to be a solid player.
Trevor Ariza will probably end up guarding Middleton tonight and he can’t let him explode like the last time the two teams met. Middleton has made half of his attempted three point shots in the past five games, and Ariza will have to run him off the line. Marcin Gortat and Trevor Booker have done a decent job defensively this season, and I’m sure the Wizards will live with any contested shot Middleton makes, especially if it’s in the paint.
- Kevin Seraphin won’t play tonight, but Martell Webster is expected to be back in the lineup.
- Drew Gooden, who will accept another 10-day contract from the Wizards, was waived via the amnesty clause by the Milwaukee Bucks before becoming a free agent. He scored a season-high 12 points on Wednesday.
- The Bucks are 29th in points per game, 25th in rebounding, and 20th in points allowed. (via ESPN)
- Milwaukee is essentially tied with the Jazz for the worst defensive rating in the NBA. They also have the third worst offensive rating in the league. They’re pretty bad. (via NBA.COM/Stats)
Washington seems to have learned how to win games they’re supposed to win on paper, and I don’t think they’ll have a problem improving to 17-14 on the road tonight.
John Wall and Bradley Beal should be able to have dominant games against Milwaukee’s lowly defense, and Marcin Gortat has had his way with the Bucks this season, putting up over 20 points in each contest.
The Wizards have to get the win tonight, especially since they’ll face the Miami Heat on Monday. Tonight’s game could be considered a “trap game” since it has all the makings of an upset, but I still think Washington will pull it out.