Washington Wizards: One weakness the Wizards can exploit vs. each play-in team

Washington Wizards. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura.
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Hornets

Weakness the Wizards can exploit: Turnovers

It’s obvious that LaMelo Ball, the rookie phenom running the Hornets’ offense, is a magician with the basketball. In his first NBA season, he’s already amassed an impressive catalog of highlight-reel assists. Regardless, the Hornets have trouble taking care of the ball. They rank 26th in the NBA in turnover’s per game (15.0 per) despite running at a pace that ranks in the bottom half of the NBA. In pace-adjusted rankings, they actually fare a bit better, though. Their turnover percentage of 13.4 ranks 25th in the NBA. Better, but still bad.

The Wizards aren’t great at holding onto the ball, either. Their turnover per game and turnover percentage marks both rank in the bottom half of the NBA; 20th and 15th, respectively. And Russell Westbrook leads the NBA in turnovers per game. However, the Wizards make their opponents pay for their mistake like few other teams in the NBA do.

The Wizards rank sixth in points off turnovers (18.0), and lead the NBA in transition points per game (25.1). The Wizards like to get out and run, as evidenced by their league-leading pace, and if the Hornets can help them pick up steam by coughing the ball up, the Wizards will happily make them pay and turn this game into a track meet.

The Hornets’ tendency to give the ball away is something the Wizards must exploit if these two teams match up in the play-in tournament.