By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards were defeated by the Denver Nuggets, 75-74, on December 9th at Verizon Center. John Wall led all scorers with 20 points to go along with eight assists and five rebounds. Full Recap
A Mile High - One thing that always needs monitoring when in Denver is the altitude factor and if any players are affected by being so high above sea level. The Nuggets normally have used this to create one of the better home court advantages in the league, but this season they are just 18-16 at home. Last year, the Wizards went into the Pepsi Center and came away with a 112-108 victory, capped off by a great John Wall block of Ty Lawson to seal it. They swept the season series a year ago but the Nuggets came back and beat the Wizards at Verizon Center earlier this season in the lowest scoring game of the year, 75-74. It's fair to expect more than 149 points in tonight's game as these two teams will look to get up and down and use their speedy point guards to generate a lot of transition offense.
Trade Partners - The Wizards and Nuggets have been trade partners over the last few years, swapping Nene and JaVale McGee two seasons ago and then flipping Andre Miller and Jan Vesely earlier this season. Nene and McGee are both injured and won't play tonight, but Miller and Vesely could play big roles off the bench, especially with J.J. Hickson going down with a knee injury. It's also a return for Al Harrington, who spent two seasons playing in Denver from 2010-2012. Harrington tied a season-high with 15p off the bench on Friday night and looked as aggressive as he has all season.
Wizards - Drew Gooden is averaging 17.0 points and 8.8 rebounds in his last four games.
Nuggets - Kenneth Faried is averaging 19.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in the month of March.
End of a Road Trip - The Nuggets ended their east coast trip back in December with a low-scoring 75-74 win in Washington. Tonight, the Wizards will look to return the favor by finishing their west coast trip by evening the season series with Denver and finishing the trip with a .500 record.
The action kicks off at 5:00pm tonight at the Pepsi Center.
John Wall is averaging 26.0 points and 14.0 assists over the Wizards last two games and currently leads the NBA in total assists with 612. He's about as quick a point guard that you'll see in the NBA today, but one guy who often gets grouped with Wall in the "fastest guards in the league" class is the Nuggets' Ty Lawson. These two speedsters have more to their game than just quickness, but watching them run up and down the court this evening should be a treat. They also rank #2 and #3 in the league in assists per game and are clearly the floor generals for their respective teams. This is a matchup that should be entertaining from start to finish.
John Wall records the Steal of the Night.