John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Seeking a turnaround
The Wizards welcome the 49-9 Golden State Warriors to town at a time they probably wish they were playing somebody else. That's not to say they will be intimidated whatsoever by the Dubs. It's just they are in a bit of a slump right now and in order to break out soon, they will have to correct their course against the NBA's best team.
That is not ideal, but the Wizards have to play their way out of this one way or the other. After entering the All-Star break winners of 18 of 21 games, the Wizards have lost two straight. The second was understandable, against the Utah Jazz, the fourth-seed in the West. The Wizards just couldn't score against arguably the best defensive team in the game. Their first loss, however, was a big disappointment, a road loss to the Sixers who were without Joel Embiid, their best player. Defense was the problem against Philly, while offense was the issue vs. Utah. Can they put it all together against Golden State?
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Dealing with Durant and crew
Improving on defense will not be easy against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, three All-Stars who rank among the most talented offensive players in the game. All three score at least 22 points per game and shoot at least 47 percent from the field. They are a nightmare for any opponent and as a team the Warriors rank second in basketball at 118.1 points per game.
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks discussed the challenge of stopping them, specifically on the three-point line where they not only shoot at high percentage (38.9% as a team) but with unbelievable quickness on their release:
"I don't know, I really don't. I don't know how to guard this team. They've got so many weapons, but we're going to challenge ourselves to do it. We're not going to concede because they're the best team. They've got some of the best shooters and they take a lot of tough shots that go in... It's beautiful to watch; all of these threes and the passing."
As for Durant, whom Brooks coached for seven years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he had this to say:
"It's not going to be easy. He has the length. He has the shooting and the ball-handling. He has every part of the game that he can score at. He can go either way. We're going to make it hard on him, make his shots and his catches very difficult."
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Can Otto get going?
The Wizards could use an improved performance by forward Otto Porter to give them a chance against the Warriors. Porter charged into the break, averaging 16.3 points on 53.8 percent shooting and 7.8 rebounds per game in his last 10 outings. But in his two games since the All-Star break, Porter has scored just 13 total points, shooting 6-for-18 (33.3%) from the field.
When asked about this mini-slump, Porter said he needs to "just keep playing." He's right, there is no need to worry. He probably just needs to shoot more. Against Utah he only took two three-pointers. That is nowhere near enough for the most accurate three-point shooter in basketball.
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