Game Preview: Wizards vs. Magic
The Wizards play the second leg of a back-to-back set tonight when they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic for the first time this season (7:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM).
Last night, the Wizards fell, 100-95, in an overtime loss to the Hawks at Verizon Center. It was the second overtime loss the Wizards have suffered at the hands of Atlanta and their third overtime loss of the season. Jordan Crawford registered his 2nd career triple double in the effort, with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
They will need to put that loss behind them and focus on a Magic team that has won three games in a row and are off to a surprising 11-13 start after losing both Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson in the off-season.
The Magic now rely on players like Glen Davis, who scored 28 points in Monday's win over Minnesota and is averaging over 16 points per game this season. They also feature a backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo, who both have done an adequate job during the beginning portion of the 2012-13 season and do a majority of the scoring for this Magic team.
Last night, the Wizards went with the seldom used Earl Barron for an extended period of time and he responded by pulling down a season-high 14 rebounds and blocking four shots. It could be a guy like Barron who plays the role of x-factor in tonight's game vs. Orlando as the Wizards continue to search for production.
Tonight's Hot Player: Martell Webster
Jordan Crawford is coming off his best game of the season in which he registered his 2nd career triple-double, tallying 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He stepped up and hit big shot after big shot in the fourth quarter and put the team on his back to try and lead them to victory. Unfortunately, the team fell just short and lost in overtime, but Crawford's month of December continues to be impressive.
Opposite Crawford will be the veteran point guard Jameer Nelson. He has consistently been one of the more solid point guards in the league over the past eight seasons and historically was a guy who could both shoot the rock and dish it off. However, Nelson is shooting a career low 28% from 3-point range this season, but dishing out a career high 6.6 assists per game.
If the Wizards can slow down Nelson and get into the passing lanes they should be able to bottle up the point guard and keep the Magic from getting into their offense. It will be interesting to see how Crawford follows up his triple-double performance and all eyes will be on him as he will be the Wizards #1 option on offense.
In the below clip, Jordan Crawford feeds Nene for the slam in last night's game.
In this clip, Jordan Crawford addresses the media following last night's triple-double.
Magic Projected Starters
Wizards Projected Starters
Wizards Injury Report
- John Wall (knee)
- Trevor Booker (knee)
- Trevor Ariza (calf)
- A.J. Price (hand)
Magic Injury Report
- Al Harrington (knee)
- Hedo Turkoglu (hand)