The Washington Wizards picked up a much needed win against the Orlando Magic last night, but they won’t have time to rest as they’ll bounce back tonight to play versus the lowly Milwaukee Bucks at the nation’s capital. The game will tip off at 7:00 PM from the Verizon Center.
Key Match Up:
With just a couple games remaining in the season, the Milwaukee Bucks’ miserable year will finally be coming to an end. After constructing a team that most thought could compete for a playoff spot, injuries and botched free agent signings resulted in another disappointing season for the Bucks, to say the least. At this point, the Bucks are essentially hoping to land a top pick in this upcoming NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going down without a fight. Milwaukee beat the Cleveland Cavaliers last night and they didn’t look too bad doing it. Brandon Knight has given Washington problems all season long and he’s coming off a 24 point performance against Kyrie Irving. He’s been solid all year long, but now that the Bucks added Ramon Sessions along side Knight, he’s been giving some more room to operate out on the perimeter and he’s certainly taking advantage.
John Wall has been racking up his assists lately, but his shooting has left much to be desired. Wall is passing up more and more open looks around the basket, often times kicking the ball back out to the perimeter even though it leads to contested shots. Of course, this probably wouldn’t be a concern if the perimeter players, mostly Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza, were knocking down their shots, but as of right now the Wizards are going to need Wall to become more aggressive. Milwaukee is arguably the worst team in the league and Wall will get his opportunities to shoot the ball, so when he does, he needs to take it. Brandon Knight is a pesky defender and Wall can’t underestimate him.
- Milwaukee beat the Wizards in Washington in December by 4 points. The Wizards can’t allow that to happen again tonight.
- The Bucks are in the bottom five in both offensive and defensive rating.
- O.J. Mayo, Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh aren’t expected to play tonight.
Every game could be considered a must-win for the Wizards heading into the playoffs and losing to the Bucks at home could be catastrophic. Bluntly put, Washington really can’t afford to lose to a team as bad as Milwaukee.
John Wall and Bradley Beal have to get it going offensively and they’ll certainly have a chance to do so tonight. Trevor Ariza hasn’t been able to find his shot in the past few games, but he is averaging over 20 points per game the first three match ups against the Bucks, so he might have a bounce back game today. Otto Porter, who scored 9 points and 9 rebounds last night in Orlando, will probably get another chance to play tonight, so Ariza’s performance might not matter much.
Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and even players like Jeff Adrien are capable of putting up some big numbers, so the Wizards can’t underestimate the Bucks. With that said, the Bucks are really, really bad and I’d expect Washington to get the win.