Quick Links

Wizards-Hornets preview: Protect the arc


Wizards-Hornets preview: Protect the arc

Matchup: Washington Wizards (6-5) at Charlotte Hornets (8-6)

When: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. (TV: CSN+, CSNMidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra) 

When last we met: First meeting this season. In the last meeting in Charlotte, the Wizards held the Hornets to a franchise-low 23 points in the second half for a 95-69 win on March 9. 

Streaks: The Wizards saw their three-game winning snapped Tuesday night by the 3-point shooting Indiana Pacers. Paul George scored 40 points in the 123-106 win. ...The Hornets have won three straight and are 7-3 over their last 10 games.

Three things to watch

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards Rewind: Wiz lose as Pacers shoot lights out from deep

Protect the arc: The Wizards struggled against the Pacers' 3-point shooters which is about the nicest thing that can be said when the other team finishes 19 of 26 from distance. Now Washington faces a Charlotte team that is among the league leaders in attempts. The Hornets are averaging 26.6 tries per game and are tied with the Wizards for 10th at 36.3 percent. Wing threat Nicolas Batum and point guard Kemba Walker are both shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. Washington ranks 29th defensively in opponent 3-point percentage with a ghastly 40.7 percent.

Man in the middle: Even though the Hornets take plenty of deep shots, unlike the Pacers, they also have a potent threat inside with Al Jefferson. The veteran center averages 14.8 points on 51 percent shooting from the field. "Their center is very effective in the paint," Wizards guard Garrett Temple said of the Hornets. "Indiana doesn’t have that so even though Charlotte has guys that can stretch the floor, stretch fours and things like that, they’d rather have Al Jefferson in there as well. 

Bench mob: For the second straight game, Washington's reserves scored 51 points. Against the Pacers, that wasn't enough for the win. Gary Neal fueled the effort with 23 points and five 3-pointers. The veteran guard has reached double figure points in three of his last five games.

Quick Links

Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 


Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.


Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.


Quick Links

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

USA Today Sports Images

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one.