Game On: Wizards-Warriors preview

Game On: Wizards-Warriors preview
January 5, 2014, 9:00 am
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The Wizards have lost the first two of a three-game stretch at home before going back on the road. Sunday's game is a must-win but it'll have to be done with defense. The Warriors can stretch the floor with shooters, but don't have a lot of depth in the post. 

TV: Wizards Central pregame show on CSN at 5:30 p.m. ET; followed by tip-off from Verizon Center at 6 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately afterward. Radio: 1500 AM. 106.7 FM

Last game: Wizards (14-16) lost to the Toronto Raptors 101-88 at Verizon Center on Friday, their fifth defeat in six home games; Warriors (22-13) won at the Atlanta Hawks 101-100 on Friday, their eighth victory in a row.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Warriors –- PG Stephen Curry, SG Klay Thompson, SF Andre Igoudala, PF David Lee, C Andrew Bogut.

Entry passes: 1). Gortat hasn't been playing well, particularly as a rebounder and will have to contend with Bogut and Lee. 2). The Warriors are two victories away from their longest winning streak in 38 years, including four in a row on the road and at the Miami Heat. 3). Nene has to have an impact off the bench because Golden State can't counter with anyone near his caliber. 4). If the Wizards are turning over the ball early and often it'll lead to transition three-pointers that could end this game quickly. 5). Rotations must stay crisp to run three-point strikers off the line. 

RELATED: [Wake-up call: Wizards address 'selfish' problem]

X-factors: Otto Porter hasn't been able to get into a flow with bad starts the last two games. ... Given the open-court nature of this game, Jan Vesely could get quality minutes off the bench. ... Nene and Beal still are playing with minutes restrictions. 

He said it: “This isn't an easy game. What have they won in a row? Eight. Hottest teams back-to-back now. Toronto was eight out of 10 going into our game. This team is hot and they can shoot. They're going to make some. ... We're going to have to fly all over the court. They're going to make some shots. If we're going to succumb to that (by sulking), avalanche." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman 

Around the bend: After Sunday's game, the Wizards likely will practice Monday before leaving for Tuesday's game at the Charlotte Bobcats (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).