By: Jeremy Hyman
After four days off, the Wizards return to the floor tonight as they host the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center (7:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). This will be their fourth and final meeting of the season.
The headline of tonight's game will certainly be the return of John Wall as he is set to make his season debut after missing the Wizards first 33 games with a knee injury. There is no official word whether or not Wall will start, but he is slated to play and that should provide a big boost to a Wizards team that needs to start piling up wins.
With Wall in the lineup, expect the Wizards to get up and down the court and score a lot of buckets in transition. While his minutes may be limited, Wall will still be the fastest player on the court and will sometimes run a one-man fast break because of his speed. This is something the Wizards have been missing all season and it should be a real treat to be able to see him play again.
While it may not get the same headline as Wall, Trevor Booker could also make his return from a knee injury and he is someone that the Wizards have really missed on the front line. Booker brings energy and is one of the team's best defensive players which should be critical against the Hawks' Josh Smith and Al Horford.
The Wizards are 0-3 this season vs. the Atlanta Hawks, with two of the games needing extra time. They fell in double-overtime in Atlanta and then in overtime in D.C. earlier this season, which should give this group some extra motivation to avoid a season sweep.
The Hawks continue to be one of the better defensive teams in the league and rank near the top in forcing turnovers. With A.J. Price also back in the lineup, it will be critical for the Wizards point guards to value each possession and not give the Hawks any free turnovers.
Defensively, the Wizards will need to stop the Hawks inside game with Smith and Horford doing much of the scoring. Jeff Teague is a fine point guard who loves scoring in the lane and Kyle Korver can be a lethal three-point shooter.
The Verizon Center should be rocking as the action kicks off at 7pm.
Kevin Seraphin had one of his better games of the season on Monday night as he finished with 19 points and five rebounds in the win over OKC. With Nene sidelines with a sore knee, he entered the starting lineup and could start again tonight if Nene is unable to go. Seraphin has had success against Atlanta this season, averaging 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in three games. Look for him to be a big factor again tonight.
Al Horford is an excellent post player who previously had been playing the center position but now is starting at the power forward spot. He is athletic enough to play there and gives the Hawks an even bigger front line as he starts with Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia.
In the below clip, Kevin Seraphin addresses the media after Monday's win over OKC.
In this clip, Bradley Beal feeds Kevin Seraphin for the hoop.