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Wizards return home to play Nuggets
The Wizards and Nuggets will meet on Thursday night for the first time this season at 7:00 P.M. at Capital One Arena. The Wizards will begin a two-game homestand before heading out West next week, while the Nuggets are on the second leg of a four-game road trip and have won four in a row. For the Wizards, Trevor Ariza is considered day-to-day after leaving Tuesday’s game. Troy Brown Jr. started the second half in his place.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Tomas Satoransky, G – Bradley Beal, F – Troy Brown Jr., F – Jeff Green, C – Bobby Portis
Nuggets: G – Jamal Murray, G – Gary Harris, F – Will Barton, F – Paul Millsap, C – Nikola Jokic
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – out), John Wall (left Achilles tendon tear – out), Trevor Ariza (left groin strain – doubtful)
Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr. (lower back surgery – out)
Parker’s impact off the bench
Since coming over from the Bulls, Jabari Parker has been an offensive stud off the bench for the Wizards. In 18 games, Parker is averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game while making 56.5% from the field overall and 33.9% from deep. Parker now has 10 games of 15 or more points off the bench in March, the most in the NBA by a reserve this month. He’s scored in double figures in every game this month, including a 28-point game Tuesday night in Chicago. Washington will need another big performance from its versatile forward, especially if Ariza does not play.
The Nuggets arguably have the deepest team in the NBA, playing 12 players consistent minutes. Seven Nuggets average double-figures: Nikola Jokic (20.3), Jamal Murray (18.2), Gary Harris (13.5), Paul Millsap (13.0), Will Barton (12.5), Malik Beasley (11.6), and Monte Morris (10.3). That list doesn’t include five other players who play 15 or more minutes per game in Mason Plumlee, Torrey Craig, Juan Hernangomez, Trey Lyles, and Isaiah Thomas.
The Nuggets run their offense through their All-Star center Jokic, who has become the best passing big man in the NBA. Denver ranks fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency, scoring 113.0 points per 100 possessions. By utilizing Jokic as a point center, the Nuggets surround him with shooting and take care of the ball. Denver’s 2.03 assist-to-turnover ratio is second to only the Warriors (2.06). The Nuggets are also the best offensive and overall rebounding team in the NBA, an area that the Wizards have had trouble with this season.
After losing last night in Chicago, the Wizards will be playing in their second last back-to-back of the season. Traveling overnight and getting in late after an overtime loss is never easy, but Washington has been resilient on the second night of back-to-backs all season long. The Wizards are 9-4 on the second night of a back-to-back this season, including 6-1 at home. Their final back-to-back of the season will come next week against the Lakers and Suns out West.