By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards west coast road trip concludes tonight in Oakland as the Wizards take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena (10:30 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). The Wizards fell, 101-97, to the Warriors back on December 8th at Verizon Center.
The Wizards have had many impressive wins this season, but may be coming off their most impressive of the season as they came back from a 16 point halftime deficit in L.A. last night to beat the Lakers, 103-100. John Wall had a career-high 16 assists to go along with his 24 points and was huge for the Wizards down the stretch. He scored or assisted on 26 of the Wizards 31 points in the fourth quarter. The Wizards have now won five of six games and two straight on the road.
The Warriors enter tonight's game coming off a three-game roadtrip where they went 2-1. Tonight begins a five-game homestand, where they are 22-10 this season. The Warriors will score points, but they also will give them up, which is something their head coach Mark Jackson continues to work on with his team.
They Warriors rank first in the NBA in 3-point FG% at 40% and much of that comes from their starting backcourt; Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry ranks 2nd in the NBA at 45.5% shooting from behind the arc, just three tenths of a percentage lower than Atlanta's Kyle Korver. He can light it up from downtown and has a quick release, which means the Wizards will need to know where he is at all times on the court. Thompson can also get hot from outside and also needs to be accounted for when hanging around the perimeter. The two combined for 45 points when these two teams met back in December and they will be the focal points of the Warriors offensive attack.
What makes the Warriors tough is that they not only can score from the perimeter, but also have one of the best post players in the league in David Lee. He can score in a variety of ways and also ranks 6th in the NBA in rebounds which means the Wizards need to make a habit of boxing him out and keeping him off the glass. Since the last time these two teams played, Andrew Bogut has returned from injury. Though he may not be the offensive player he once was, he does have double-digit rebounds in three of his past five games and can be effective down on the post.
The Wizards are coming off a back-to-back, while the Warriors had two days of rest so the fatigue factor could play a role in tonight's matchup.
The action kicks off at 10:30.
John Wall has been on tear over the last two weeks and did it again last night. He brought the Wizards back from a 16 point halftime deficit to beat the Lakers while dishing out a career-high 16 assists. He said his confidence is at an all-time high and he will need another big effort tonight as his backcourt mate Bradley Beal could miss the game with an ankle injury.
Tonight he goes up against another exciting point guard to watch in Steph Curry. While the NCAA tourney continues on, Curry made his name at Davidson when he led his team on an incredible run to the Elite 8. He can be lethal from three-point range and needs to be closely guarded at all times and from anywhere on the court.
In the clip below, Wall hangs in the air for the swat.
In the clip below, Wall gets the steal and the finish.