Wizards Vs. Cavaliers: How Washington Can Get Back On Track Against Cleveland

Washington Wizards Troy Brown (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Troy Brown (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After defeating the Pistons in the confines of Capital One Arena on Monday evening, the Wizards hit the road and probably wish they’d never left the district after suffering a 15-point loss to the Pacers at Bankers Life FieldHouse on Wednesday night.

After an ugly loss in Indy to the Pacers, the Wizards will look to bounce back against the Cavaliers. Here’s how:

Score, Score, Score

Through seven games the Wizards rank sixth in the NBA in scoring averaging a shade above 115 points per game. Their counterpart this evening in Cleveland, however, ranks in the lower third of the league averaging just 106.1 PPG, and are losers of their last three matchups. The Wizards will look to push the ball in transition allowing sharp-shooters Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans to line the three, creating easy scoring chances on fast breaks. Down low, Rui Hachimura will look to get back on track after his worst performance as a pro in Indy where he failed to register a point on five FG attempts.

Limit Kevin Love

One of the most versatile and dominant front court players in the NBA, Love could post an eye-popping performance if the Wizards don’t account for the five-time All-Star. An addition in Cleveland to initially compliment LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Love has remained in a Cavs uni as the latter have departed. He is Cleveland’s clear number one scoring threat while also serving as the team’s top rebounder on both ends of the floor. The former UCLA Bruin and Minnesota Timberwolves product currently averages 14.4 rebounds per game ranking in the top five among all NBA players. Young Wizards bigs in Thomas Bryant and Hachimura will have more than their hands full when trying to stop Love.

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Solidify the Rotation

Happy Birthday Isaac Bonga, your minutes have been subtracted. After Wednesday’s loss, head coach Scott Brooks stated there would be a new starting small forward, or “three” in his starting five tonight against the Cavs. Bonga just simply hasn’t gotten the job done. An arrival from the LA Lakers this offseason, the now 20-year-old Bonga has averaged just 4.7 PPG in 21.3 minutes of action per contest. His high scoring game of nine came on opening night in Dallas, and has slowly regressed to score a total of just eight points combined his last three outings. Now, who starts?  The obvious answer seems to be Troy Brown Jr. who provides a much larger threat as a scorer while finding a nack for the passing lane recording six steals his past three games. Brown, who missed the first three games of the season, has solidified himself in the Wizards rotation in his second season, and his insertion into Scott Brooks starting lineup could see an even larger jump in his numbers, similar to former Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. in his initial years in the district.