Wizards conclude back-to-back vs. Pelicans
The Wizards are back home after a quick trip to Toronto, which resulted in a 127-105 loss to the Raptors. The Pelicans are in town after playing in New York on Friday night against the Knicks, which they lost 114-109. The Wizards have won 12 of the last 13 matchups with the Pelicans, including five in a row. These two teams will meet twice in the next week, including Wednesday in New Orleans.
Capital One Arena | 8:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – John Wall, G – Bradley Beal, F – Kelly Oubre Jr., F – Otto Porter Jr., C – Thomas Bryant
Pelicans: G – Jrue Holiday, G – E’Twaun Moore, F – Wesley Johnson, F – Nikola Mirotic, C – Anthony Davis
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – game-time decision)
Pelicans: Anthony Davis (right quad/hip – game-time decision), Elfrid Payton (fractured left finger - out)
Keys to victory
The Pelicans rank third in the NBA in both offensive rating (113.3 points per 100 possessions) and pace (104.87). New Orleans likes to get out and run, does not turn the ball over often, and the team scores 119.0 points per game, second in the NBA. It’s no secret that New Orleans’ offense will flow through Anthony Davis, who is in the midst of another strong campaign. The 25-year old is averaging 26.6 points, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 2.9 blocks per game this season. Despite leaving last night’s game with an injury, Davis still led all scorers with 33 points. Whether it's Dwight Howard or Thomas Bryant or a smaller defender, keeping Davis in check will be of the utmost importance.
In the Wizards' loss to the Raptors, the team shot 19.6% from deep. It played a significant role in the loss, as the Wizards weren't able to keep up with Toronto's 3-point shooting. The Wizards rank 28th in the NBA in 3-point percentage (31.7%), but the Pelicans are giving up the fourth worst 3-point percentage to opponents at 36.9%. New Orleans' perimeter defense is subpar to say the least, and the Wizards will have a great opportunity to bounce back on their home court.
Both teams on back-to-backs
The Wizards and Pelicans both enter Saturday’s game on back-to-backs. Both teams traveled from a different city; fatigue will certainly be a factor in Saturday's game, though the 8:00 P.M. start offers an extra hour of sleep. This is Washington’s second of 15 back-to-backs this season, going 1-2 so far. The Pelicans have played two back-to-backs already this season, going 3-2 in those games.
- The Wizards are 12-4 at home all-time against the Pelicans. As aforementioned, the Wizards have won 12 of 13 games overall in the franchise series including sweeps the past two seasons.
- Scott Brooks is 19-9 (.679) all-time against the Pelicans.
- The Pelicans are 8-1 on their home floor this season, but 2-8 away from the Smoothie King Center. The Wizards will play in New Orleans on Wednesday.