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Wizards open five-game homestand vs. Kings
After losing two close games on the road over the weekend, the Wizards will open up a five-game homestand on Monday night against the Kings. Sacramento beat Washington earlier this season out west, but both teams have changed significantly since that October matchup. The Wizards and Kings are both 3-5 since the All-Star break and have both been outscored by 0.5 points per 100 possessions in their last eight games. Of note, Monday’s game is the Kings’ second stop on a four-game road trip.
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 – Bobby Portis
Kings: G – De’Aaron Fox, G – Buddy Hield, F – Bogdan Bogdanovic, F – Harrison Barnes, C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – out), John Wall (left Achilles tendon tear – out)
Kings: Marvin Bagley III (left knee sprain - out)
Five-game homestand begins
Monday begins a five-game homestand for the Wizards, featuring five games in eight days in the nation’s capital. The Wizards will actually play seven of their next eight games at home, including games against two teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings: Orlando and Charlotte. The lone road game will be in Chicago on March 20, giving the Wizards a prime opportunity to make one last playoff push with 16 games to go. Washington is 19-12 at home on the season, ranking fourth in the NBA in points per game at home at 118.1. The Wizards have also won seven of 10 games against the West at home this year. To finish the season, the Wizards will play 10 of their final 16 games at home.
Numbers to know
Since the All-Star break, the Wizards rank first in the NBA in assists per game at 28.0 per game. The Wizards have been sharing the ball extremely well, creating a lot of open looks in their eight games since the break. Still, Washington is second last in turnovers at 15.9 and a 15.2% turnover rate. The Wizards were in the middle of the pack in turnovers per game before the break at 14.0, but have struggled with ball control since February 13.
The Kings, on the other hand, lead the NBA in turnover percentage since the All-Star break at 11.2%. On the year, they’re fifth in the league in turnover efficiency. Sacramento also enters Monday’s game fifth in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 37.5%, launching 30.0 attempts per game. Guarding the perimeter has been an issue all season for the Wizards, but they’ve held opponents to 31.9% shooting from deep since the break.
Battle in the backcourt
Bradley Beal enters Monday’s game averaging 30.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game on 49.4% shooting and 87.5% from the free throw line since the All-Star break. On Saturday, Beal hit the 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and fell one assist shy of a triple-double. He did on the defensive end too in the Wizards’ road back-to-back, holding his matchups over the weekend to a combined 8-of-31 shooting and six turnovers on 175 defensive possessions. Tomas Satoransky continues to be solid for the Wizards, posting 10.8 points and 6.2 assists on 50.3% shooting, 43.3% from deep. He was noticeably excellent defensively on Saturday, holding his matchups to 8-of-33 from the field on 159 possessions.
The Kings have one of the most exciting young backcourts in the NBA in De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Fox (17.4 PPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 SPG) is one of the fastest players in the league already, and has become a solid 3-point shooter at 37.0%. Coupled with Fox, Hield (21.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG) is one of the best shooters in the NBA at 43.8% from deep. Since the All-Star break, Fox is shooting 40.0% from beyond the arc and Hield is averaging 24.5 points per game. Fox and Hield have also become improved defenders, both with underrated size for their positions. The Wizards will have their hands full with the Kings speedy and explosive backcourt.