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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela and the Houston Rockets on Friday 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: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wizards will be up for this one

The Wizards have been inconsistent overall this season, but against the good teams they have been just fine. Those are the games they bring their best for and the Rockets are about as good as anyone in the NBA. They are second in the Western Conference and that's despite missing Chris Paul for much of this season. That's good news because the Wizards are 10-6 against teams with records at .500 or better, the best record in the East.

The Rockets feature one of the NBA's best players in James Harden. He is on the short-list of MVP candidates with averages of 32.5 points and 9.2 assists per game. Houston is exceptoinal on offense with the best offensive rating in the NBA and the highest scoring average (115.5 ppg). On defense, they are also very good with the seventh best defensive rating. The Rockets take and make more threes than anyone in the NBA and that will present an interesting contrast to the Wizards, who are first in opponents three-point percentage.


Some injuries

The Rockets have several notable injuries at the moment. Superstar point guard Chris Paul has missed their last three games with a right abductor strain. Clint Capela, an emerging young big man, remains out with a right orbital fracture. And Luc Mbah a Moute, a good wing defender, is sidelined with a dislocated right shoulder.

Paul has a chance to play and he of course makes a major difference with averages of 17.1 points and 9.0 assists per game. But the Rockets are far from 100 percent while the Wizards are playing with a full deck right now.


Morris is coming around

The Wizards have dealt with some frustrating times in recent weeks, but it appears that power forward Markieff Morris is getting closer and closer to midseason form. Just look at his numbers. Over his past 10 games, Morris is shooting 56.3 percent from the field and 45 percent from three. He is shooting 61 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from three in his last five outings.

Though Morris has been inconsistent as a scorer and rebounder, he has been relatively efficient overall this season. His three-point percentage is now up to 40 percent, good for third on the team. That's excellent for a power forward.


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: What changes should the Wizards make to shake things up?

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: What changes should the Wizards make to shake things up?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller took a deep dive into changes the Wizards could make following their lopsided loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. Should they bench a starter? Or make a trade? All the different scenarios were discussed.

Chase and Chris took fan questions from Twitter and shared what they would do to shake things up for the Wizards.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. You can find archived episodes here. If you like the show please tell your friends!


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Wizards have had major trouble in revenge games this season

Wizards have had major trouble in revenge games this season

The Wizards have had several games this season where they had every reason to be extra motivated from a previous loss, but have fallen remarkably short in the rematch.

It happened again on Wednesday night. The Wizards travelled into Charlotte to see the 18-25 Hornets who beat them in overtime back on Nov. 22 in the same building. It was an opportunity for the Wizards to right a wrong and buck the narrative of their season. In most years the odds of a team with Charlotte's record beating the Wizards not once but twice are slim, yet here we are. The Wizards didn't just lose to Charlotte, they got blasted by 29 points.

This was the case recently against the Utah Jazz. The Wizards had lost by 47 points in Utah on Dec. 4, a defeat so bad head coach Scott Brooks remarked how wins should be taken off their record as punishment. Before their rematch on Jan. 10 in D.C., the phrase '47 pts' was written on the locker room white board. Clearly someone was motivated from that loss, but not enough to help prevent a letdown in the rematch. Despite missing Rudy Gobert, their best player, the Jazz still beat the Wizards.


The worst case of this trend has to be in December when they saw the Brooklyn Nets twice in just over a week. The Nets topped the Wizards on Dec. 12 by five points despite missing several key players due to injury. Just 10 days later the Wizards had a chance to get the Nets back and prove it was an aberration, yet they instead got obliterated by 35 points by the very same team.

Wednesday night's loss to the Hornets showcased the worst traits of their 2017-18 season so far. They lost to a losing team and are now just 12-10 against opponents with sub-.500 records. Those 10 losses match the Hawks and Mavericks for the most in the NBA.

The Wizards' defensive effort was questionable at best and Brooks was rightfully displeased. They allowed 77 points in the first half, a franchise record for the Hornets and the most the Wizards have surrendered in any half since Dec. of 2006.

"They wooped our a--," guard John Wall said.


The Hornets are a below average team at shooting threes, yet they went off for 15-for-31 (48.4%) against the Wizards. Dwight Howard dominated them in the paint and, as has been the case far too often lately, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris disappeared.

Why the Wizards haven't been able to respond against these teams they are much better than on paper is a real mystery. Even when the Wizards are embarrassed by a team, they aren't able to punch back.

Though we're still months away, this will have to be fixed before the playoffs. A seven-game postseason series is all about making adjustments and issuing counters.

There are still dozens of games left in the regular season and a game in January can only mean so much, as these are the dog days of the 82 game schedule. But the Wizards aren't showing the resolve we're used to seeing from them and it's not easy to explain.