The Washington Wizards play at the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS at BROOKLYN NETS
Where: Barclays Center
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Beal is on a roll
The Wizards are off to a disappointing start this season at 6-12 through 18 games, but the single most positive development for them this year so far is the emergence of Bradley Beal as a consistent and efficient scorer. The talent has always been there, and Beal has put up strong numbers bfore but what Beal has down over the last several weeks is a new level for him.
Over his last eight games, since he returned from missing three games due to a hamstring injury, Beal is scoring 27.3 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting. He's hitting 47.1 percent of his threes (4.1 out of 8.8 attempts per game) and getting to the free throw line a solid 4.9 times per contest. Those are All-Star numbers. Beal has been on fire lately and he should have a good opportunity to keep that going against the Nets, who are a very poor defensive team.
[RELATED: Wizards adjust to Brook Lopez]
Lots of offense
The Brooklyn Nets are 5-14 to begin this season largely because of their defense. They allow an NBA-worst 114.2 points per game and have second-worst defensive rating at 111.1. Their opponent's field goal percentage (47.1) is also second-worst and they allow a league-high three-pointers per game (10.7). That last part should excite Beal, who should be able to shoot at will from long range on Monday night.
After going up against teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, both of which play strong defense, this should be a good chance for the Wizards to put up more points. The Nets just allowed the Bucks to drop 111 and 112 on back-to-back nights and Milwaukee is in the bottom-third of the league in points per game. Brooklyn has lost nine of their last 10 games overall and defense has been the biggest culprit.
Sean Kilpatrick emerging
Much of the Wizards' focus on Monday will be on Nets All-Star Brook Lopez, who leads Brooklyn with 19.6 points per game. Lopez is even shooting threes this year, hitting 37.3 percent of them on six attempts per game. Before this year he had attempted just 31 threes in eight NBA seasons. This year he has attemped 102 with 38 of them makes.
Lopez will be a factor, but the Nets have another young player emerging in Sean Kilpatrick. Well, he's not that young at 27 but Kilpatrick is finding success in his third NBA season with just 54 games under his belt. This season he's averaging 16.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists at the shooting guard position. Kilpatrick isn't scoring very efficiently with a 41.4 field goal percentage, but he has proven dangerous. Against the Clippers on Nov. 29 he scored 38 points and grabbed 14 boards. Against the Pistons on Nov. 2, he dropped 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds. He went 4-for-4 from three that night.
The Capitals are looking for more production from the second power play unit—and on Monday night, checking line center Jay Beagle will get an opportunity to provide that needed spark.
During the morning skate, Beagle was parked in front of the net, hunting rebounds and deflecting pucks.
“He deserves it, I mean, based on his point total,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “We could use a right shot there. Net front, I think he can do that, puck retrievals and those types of things.”
“So,” Trotz added, “we’ll give him a shot. Got nothing to lose. He found out today …he’ll just play instinctively. The puck will end up at the blue paint at some point, and that’s where he’s got to be really good.”
The second power play unit has one goal this season (Brett Connolly vs. Buffalo on Nov. 25).
As Trotz said, Beagle found out about his new assignment just prior to the morning skate. Skating with forwards Jakub Vrana and Evgeny Kuznetsov and defensemen Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen, Beagle parked himself in front of Braden Holtby and vigorously pursued any loose change.
Long after many of his teammates has departed the ice, he was working with assistant Blaine Forsythe on net front positioning, redirecting shots from all angles and providing screens.
“I’m on the other side of [special teams] now,” said Beagle, who is also the team’s top penalty killing forward. “So it’s a good chance to try and play a different role. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve played some power play, obviously, when I was younger. In Hershey I played some power play, so I’ll draw on those experiences.”
Beagle does have a power play goal in the NHL. He scored it last year in the Capitals’ 6-1 romp over the Flyers in Game 3 of the opening round.
“I scored a big power play goal in Philly last year,” Beagle joked. “ Doesn’t anyone know that that?”
MORE CAPITALS: 3 bold predictions: Can Caps end their skid?