((Photo by Kenny Giarla/NBAE via Getty Images))

Preview: Wizards head to San Antonio for matchup with Spurs

After picking up a quality road win over the Pistons on Saturday afternoon, the Washington Wizards (8-37) have hit the road again. This time, it's for a Monday night meeting with Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs (10-36). Here's everything you need to know.

WHERE: Frost Bank Center (San Antonio, TX)
WHEN: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: Monumental Sports Network
RADIO: Team 980 & The Wizards App


Isaiah Livers (right hip; non-arthritic hip joint pain -- out)

Charles Bassey (left ACL; tear -- out)
Zach Collins (right ankle soreness -- questionable)


Despite their record, the Spurs are one of the best teams in the league at swinging the ball and creating offensive looks off crisp ball movement. They're third in the league in assists per game (29.4), first in assist percentage (69.8%), and fourth in assist ratio (20.2). On the flip side, they're last in the league in isolation frequency (3.7%).

In their last game against the Wizards, the Spurs assisted on 38 of their 51 made field goals. The ball simply never sticks. Each player makes snappy decisions and gets the ball out of their hands quickly. That makes team defense even more critical for the Wizards on Monday.

Containing your man in one-on-one situations is important, but that's now how the Spurs want to beat you. They want to beat you by creating holes in your defense. Keep an eye on the Wizards' communication and defensive rotations.


Wembanyama is one of the most talented prospects to hit the NBA in years. At 7-foot-4 with guard skills and 3-point shooting ability, he's a matchup nightmare for every team in the league. In his lone game against the Wizards, he dropped 24 points including the biggest three of the game to complete San Antonio's comeback. However, he also had six turnovers. That's an area the Wizards can look to exploit.

With Daniel Gafford back on the court, the Wizards will be able to give Wembanyama a steady dose of both Gafford and Marvin Bagley III. Those two bigs will have their hands full, but if they can use their physicality to their advantage, they'll be in a good position to force turnovers and turn defense into offense.


On Saturday afternoon in Detroit, the Wizards dominated closing time thanks to an interesting action run by interim head coach Brian Keefe. He put the ball in Kyle Kuzma's hands and had Jordan Poole set screens for him over and over again. That inverted pick-and-roll gave the Pistons trouble. If they trapped Kuzma, he would be able to use his height to find an open Poole. If they switched, it put a small on Kuzma, allowing him to use his size to score down low.

These actions can create stagnation for the other players on the court, so don't expect to see too much of it in the first three quarters. But if the game is up for grabs in the closing minutes, keep an eye on the two-man game between Kuzma and Poole. It's what propelled the squad to a victory on Saturday.