By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards look to win their sixth consecutive home game tonight as they host the Sacramento Kings at Verizon Center (7:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). The Kings beat the Wizards, 95-94, on January 16th in Sacramento.
During this five-game home winning streak, the Wizards are averaging 102.8 points per game, while holding their opponents to 89.4 points per game. They are shooting .493 from the field, while holding their opponents to .418 shooting from the field.
In their last 10 games, the Wizards are 7-3 and playing their best basketball of the season. One big reason for that has been the return of point guard John Wall. He's averaging just over 14 points and just under seven assists in 25 minutes per game. His energy has been felt throughout the locker room and he has sparked a team that was in desperate need of a lift.
The Kings are a team that struggle with consistency, but have a lot of talented players that can be a real threat to the Wizards tonight. It starts with their young big man DeMarcus Cousins. A former teammate of John Wall back from their Kentucky days, Cousins is one of the more talented young big men in the game today. A big body with an array of post moves, his athleticism sometimes gets overlooked because of his size. He has all the talent and tools to work with, but sometimes similar to his team, the consistency is not always there.
The Kings are in the midst of a six-game road trip and have lost four straight games overall. Back on January 16th, the Wizards led the Kings for nearly the entire second half until the final seconds of the game where they let the game slip away. There is no doubt the Wizards will have that game in mind tonight and will seek revenge as they try and keep this home winning streak alive.
The action kicks off at 7pm.
Emeka Okafor has been on a roll over the last six weeks. Since December 12th (24 games), he is averaging 9.8 points and 10.3 rebounds. During this stretch he has posted all nine of his double-doubles, which leads the team. He also has eight games with 12 or more rebounds during this stretch including a season-high 18 rebounds at Chicago (12/29).
On Saturday night, he posted 15 points and 16 rebounds in the win over Chicago.
Tonight, Okafor goes up against one of the top young post player in the game in DeMarcus Cousins. On Saturday night in Denver, Cousins snapped a streak of 16 consecutive games scoring in double figures, when he was held to just three points and two rebounds in a blowout loss to the Nuggets. While that may be an anomaly, the Wizards will need to do a better job on Cousins than they did in Sacramento, where he scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. If they can keep him off the glass and now allow second chance points, it should help limit his production.
In the below clip, Okafor talks to the media after Saturday night's win.
In this clip, Okafor finishes for the three point play.