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The Wizards offense and defense are on opposite ends of the efficiency spectrum

The Wizards offense and defense are on opposite ends of the efficiency spectrum

As good as the Wizards' offense has been through the first nine games of the 2019-20 regular season, their defense continues to prevent the team from putting multiple wins together. 

According to NBA Stats, the Wizards sport the league's sixth-best offense, scoring an impressive 110.3 points per 100 possessions, but rank 29th in defense. Compared to the other top-10 offenses in the NBA, the Wizards have the worst net rating at -4.4. 

For Washington to have a borderline elite offense and still post such a bad net rating, it speaks to just how bad their defense has been.

NBA Math charts team's standing in the league based on their offensive and defensive efficiencies and their latest graph depicts the Wizards' problems quite perfectly. 

According to the graphic, the Wizards have a better offense than teams like the Rockets, Lakers, Clippers and Raptors, who are all on track for deep playoff runs. 

However, their defense ranks below the likes of the Knicks, Hornets and Grizzlies. 

The silver lining here is the offense has been great and has more than enough weapons to keep up the production. Bradley Beal is putting up career scoring numbers despite uncharacteristically low shooting splits, Rui Hachimura continues to get better every day and Isaiah Thomas is showing more explosiveness on his drives. 

Defensive success in the NBA mostly comes from effort, so if the Wizards can turn it up a notch or two there they should be able to stay competitive with almost any team in the league.

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Wizards vs. 76ers Preseason: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. 76ers Preseason: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards will take the court Friday night in Philadelphia as they wrap up their 2019 preseason slate. While there are still roster spots to be won and roles to be carved out, the biggest storyline surrounding the Wizards this week comes from their biggest star.

Bradley Beal, the face of the franchise and Wizards' only All-Star while John Wall rehabs from his Achilles injury, signed a two-year contract extension with the Wizards Thursday morning.

The focus of the season for the Wizards will clearly be on their younger players, but fans will be most excited to see the team's remaining star this season.

It's unclear which 76ers stars will be on the court for the preseason finale, but the game will serve as the final tune-up for two franchise going in opposite directions. 

The Wizards vs. 76ers preseason finale wil tip off Friday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS PRESEASON HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers, 2019 NBA Preseason Game 4

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: Friday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Wizards at 76ers preseason game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards at 76ers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS TV SCHEDULE

3:00 PM: The Daily Line (LIVE)

7:00 PM: Wizards vs. 76ers, NBA Preseason (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles rehab), Isaiah Thomas (OUT, Left thumb rehab), Isaac Bonga (OUT, Left knee soreness), Troy Brown Jr. (OUT, Left calf strain), Ian Mahinmi (OUT, Right Achilles strain), C.J. Miles (OUT, Left foot rehab)

76ers: James Ennis (DAY-TO-DAY, calf injury)

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards: Beal just signed a contract extension to keep him in Washington for a few more years. With John Wall out, the Wizards are solely his team, and this will be his first time on the court since agreeing to the new deal. 

Thomas Bryant, C, Wizards: The Wizards' best big man has enjoyed a strong preseason, and will look to solidify himself as Washington's number two option behind Beal with John Wall out. His outside game remains a work in progress, but Bryant has flashed a lot of potential inside for a Wizards team desperate for secondary scoring.

Matisse Thybulle, SG, 76ers: The rookie guard filled the stat sheet in Philadelphia's previous preseason game, and appears to have earned a significant role as a defensive specialist and the first wing off the 76ers' bench.  

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 303 games

All-time Record: 76ers lead 181-122

Last Meeting: Wizards won 123-106 on 1/9/19

Streaking: Wizards have won 9 straight home games against the 76ers, and  22 of last 29 at Capital One Arena

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IT Week: A recent history of Wizards reclamation projects

IT Week: A recent history of Wizards reclamation projects

Do the Wizards take on more reclamation projects than other NBA teams? Maybe, maybe not. But it does seem like they are more willing to give a players second (or third) chances after their careers have gotten away from them, hoping Washington becomes the place they recapture what they once had.

Especially in the past several years, as the Wizards have sought cheap, high-upside players for their bench, they have brought in a series of players whose careers or reputations had recently taken a hit. The latest is point guard Isaiah Thomas, who signed a one-year free agent contract in July. 

Thomas, now 30, is only two years removed from being an All-NBA player. But a nagging right hip injury has disrupted his career, limiting him to just 44 games the past two seasons, including only 12 last year. 

The Wizards are banking on Thomas having better health with them than he did in Cleveland, L.A. and Denver. If he can stay on the court and return to something close to what he was with the Celtics, the Wizards will look very smart. 

But, as they well know, sometimes it doesn't work out that way. In many cases, the player you acquire remains the player you heard about before he arrived. 

Here is a look at some of the Wizards' most recent reclamation projects and whether they worked out in Washington.

Markieff Morris

With Wizards: 2015-19
Did it work out?: Yes
Why: Morris came to Washington in a February 2015 trade with his reputation in shambles due to some serious off-court troubles and an altercation with a Phoenix Suns assistant coach. Still, the Wizards had to give up two players and a first-round pick to get him, so this wasn't as low-risk as some of the others on this list.

But Morris became mostly a model citizen with the Wizards. He beat his court case and improved his numbers across the board, averaging 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in parts of four seasons in D.C. His production, however, dropped off towards the end of his tenure, largely due to injuries, and they didn't get much for Morris when they shipped him out in February.

Trey Burke

With Wizards: 2016-17
Did it work out?: No
Why: Burke was a reclamation project because he was a failed first-round pick traded away from the Utah Jazz for a second-rounder that was, at the time of the deal, five years in the future. The Wizards banked on him still having the talent that made him a lottery pick and, maybe, a new situation would unlock his potential.

Burke never found his niche in his one season with the Wizards. They played him too much at point guard when he really probably should have been off the ball, perhaps with Tomas Satoransky running the offense. Burke floundered with the Wizards, but has found new life since leaving, most notably with the New York Knicks.

Brandon Jennings

With Wizards: 2017
Did it work out?: Sort of
Why: Jennings signed with the Wizards as a free agent in March 2017 as the team was gearing up for the playoffs and needed a back-up for John Wall. Jennings had been out of work after getting cut loose by the Knicks months earlier. He was two years removed from tearing his Achilles and still hadn't returned to form.

Jennings served a purpose for the Wizards and made some big shots in the playoffs. So, for that, his signing worked out. But after leaving the Wizards, he played just 14 more NBA games before he was out of the league. 

Jodie Meeks

With Wizards: 2017-18
Did it work out?: No
Why: Meeks had played 39 total games the previous two years due to injuries when he signed with the Wizards in the summer of 2017. They needed a back-up shooting guard behind Bradley Beal, and Meeks had the potential to fit the bill. It was a low-risk, potentially high-reward move.

But it just didn't work out. Meeks stayed healthy during the 2017-18 season but couldn't make shots. And then, the day before the first round of the playoffs began, he received a 25-game suspension due to a failed drug test. It set the course for his exit, which came that October in a trade with the Bucks. Meeks didn't work out in Washington, but he did catch on with the Raptors and won a championship ring this past June.

Mike Scott

With Wizards: 2017-18
Did it work out?: Yes
Why: Scott signed a one-year free agent deal with the Wizards in the summer of 2017 as his NBA career sat on the edge of being over. He had played just 18 games the previous year due to injuries and was fresh off beating a very serious drug charge in the state of Georgia.

The Wizards hoped he could a capable back-up to Morris, but he ended up providing much more than that. He was arguably their best bench player in a year they made the playoffs, while enjoying the most efficient season of his career. Scott then left in free agency to get a hefty raise and has since landed in Philly, where he has become a super fan favorite. His career is in excellent shape now, and much of it is because he hit the reset button in Washington.

Dwight Howard

With Wizards: 2018-19
Did it work out?: No
Why: Howard came to the Wizards as a bargain after being cast off by two teams. The Hornets traded him to the Nets, who promptly bought out his hefty salary. At the time, it wasn't about injuries. It was about his perceived effect on locker room chemistry.

The Wizards had no issues with him in that regard because he wasn't around for basically the entire season he spent in D.C. That's because he came to training camp with what later proved to be a significant back injury. He needed surgery in late November that ultimately ended his season. And he had to take a non-guaranteed contract from the Lakers this summer just to stay in the league. If he could have stayed healthy, perhaps it would have worked out for the Wizards. It just didn't go nearly as planned.

Jabari Parker

With Wizards: 2019
Did it work out?: Sort of
Why: Parker had major injuries in his past, including two famous ACL tears, but he was damaged goods when he came to Washington, mostly because of how poorly things went in Chicago. He didn't play well, became unhappy and had a public spat with his head coach

Parker's time with the Wizards was too brief to be hailed as a success. And the fact he left in free agency (like Bobby Portis) after the Wizards gave up Otto Porter Jr. to get him does not reflect well on the trade. Parker, though, played better with the Wizards than he did with the Bulls, so it wasn't a complete failure either.

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