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Wizards host Hornets in second night of back-to-back
The Wizards and the Hornets will match up for the first time this season on Saturday night. Both teams will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back, with the Wizards falling to the Bulls and the Hornets coming off a win against the Nets on Friday. The Wizards were without John Wall, Otto Porter Jr., and Markieff Morris during Friday’s matchup.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Tomas Satoransky, G – Bradley Beal, F – Trevor Ariza, F – Jeff Green, C – Thomas Bryant
Hornets: G – Kemba Walker, G – Jeremy Lamb, F – Nicolas Batum, F – Marvin Williams, C – Cody Zeller
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – out), Otto Porter Jr. (right knee strain/contusion – out), John Wall (left heel soreness – out), Markieff Morris (upper neck/back stiffness – out)
Hornets: Tony Parker (rest – out)
Wizards’ playmaking without Wall
John Wall is expected to visit a specialist on Saturday night for the bone spur in his left foot. Thus, he has been ruled out to play against the Hornets. Without Wall, the Wizards will need playmaking out of their other players besides Bradley Beal, who had 34 points on Friday. With Beal off the floor against the Bulls, the Wizards only scored 55 points per 100 possessions in 11 minutes, a very low mark. Washington needs Tomas Satoransky, Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green, and Thomas Bryant to step up with the starting unit. The Wizards have not scored 100 points in their last three games after scoring 149 against the Suns in triple overtime a week ago.
Solving the Hornets
The Wizards had trouble with the Hornets last season, falling in the season series 3-1. Charlotte’s 3-point shooting (35.9%) is ninth in the league, and the Wizards will need to defend the perimeter. Nicolas Batum (39.8%), Marvin Williams (37.0%), Kemba Walker (36.1%), and Jeremy Lamb (35.0%) are the guys to know from beyond the arc.
Walker is having another All-Star campaign, averaging 25.3 points and 6.1 assists per game. He’s a dynamic playmaker and scorer, and the Wizards will likely throw different looks at him to try to slow him down. Walker leads a Hornets team that has the second best turnover percentage (12.3%) in the NBA. The Wizards will need to play solid defense, but also try to be aggressive to get the Hornets to play off-brand.
Both teams on back-to-back
Ariza, Satoransky, Beal, and Green played 39, 38, 37, and 32 minutes respectively on Friday night. Scott Brooks did his best to manage minutes with a shorthanded unit, keeping all players under 40 minutes. Even though it will be a back-to-back, the Wizards got to sleep in their own beds and can stick to a routine at their own arena, while the Hornets traveled after their game in Charlotte. Washington is 3-2 on the second night of back-to-backs this season.
For the Hornets, Lamb (39 minutes), Walker (35), and Williams (32) were the only three players to eclipse 30 minutes played. They are as healthy as they’ve been all season, though Tony Parker told reporters Friday night that he’s planning to rest on Saturday. Charlotte is 2-3 on the second night of their back-to-backs this season.