Wizards Look To Get Back On Track Against Hawks

Wizards Look To Get Back On Track Against Hawks


Wizards Look To Get Back On Track Against Hawks


Regular Season Game 80
Hawks (22-57) at Wizards (42-37)
April 6, 2018 at 8:00 PM Capital One Arena | Washington, D.C.
Radio: 1500 AM

(Photo: David Richard via USA Today Sports)
What to Watch:
Playing Down To Level Of Competition
The Atlanta Hawks enter Friday night’s game at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and with the third worst record in the NBA. Since the All-Star Break, the Hawks have lost 16 out of 20 games and it does not seem as if they have any interest in winning any games as they battle for lottery positioning. This should be an easy victory for the Washington Wizards who are coming off the second game of a back-to-back Friday night. That is if they decide to not play down to the level of their competition, something this team has struggled with all season long.

(Photo: David Richard via USA Today Sports)
Key Matchup:
John Collins vs. Wizards’ Wings
The Hawks have had tough season, one that the franchise as a whole seems to be ready to bury when the NBA playoffs official begin next week as Atlanta will fail to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons. However, the one bright spot this year for the Hawks has been the emergence of rookie forward John Collins who was drafted by the Hawks in the first round with their 19th overall pick. Collins is averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds on the year. Look for his match ups against Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. to be a fun one to watch.

(Photo: Scott Cunningham of Getty Images)
Kelly Oubre Jr.
No one is expecting him to be perfect, but Oubre must impact this game in some meaningful way. Yes, his shots are not falling; however, if he can play defense and force some turnovers, grab some boards and block some shots, those little things can go a long way. Oubre says he brings it every night, and he is being honest when he makes that statement. At the same time, it must show in the stat line. If Washington wants to win this game, he must have a good game. The last time these two teams matched-up, Oubre finished with 17 points in 32 minutes. Additionally, he had 5 rebounds and was a net +15. It is this style of play that can make the difference for the Wizards.

(Photo: Joe Glorioso of Hoop District)
Fun Factor:
Playoffs Imminent
The loss against the Cavaliers was disappointing, especially since the team blew a 17-point lead with less than eight minutes in the game. The one fun thing to note is we got glimpses of what the team MAY be capable of playing like when a healthy John Wall (28 points and 14 assists in 38 minutes) is on the court. Unlike the Boston Celtics, Washington has their All-Star Point Gawd back and healthy right before this year’s playoff push.

(Photo: Ned Dishman via Getty Images)
Losing is never fun. Especially when you blow a great opportunity to build some momentum and shut up some critics with a big win against the back-to-back-to-back defending Eastern Conference champs. With that being said, look for the Wizards to take their frustrations out on the court against the Hawks Friday night as Washington wins big in this one.

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