In their fifth game inside the NBA's Disney bubble, the Washington Wizards will get their first look at New Orleans Pelicans rookie phenom Zion Williamson. The question is how much will Williamson play?
After losing, 107-98, to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, the Wizards (24-44) dropped to 0-4 in bubble play, severely hurting their playoffs, as well as their lottery odds. While not officially eliminated from the playoff picture, they now trail the Orlando Magic (32-37) by 7.5 games for the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Pelicans (29-39) have their own ground to make up as trail the Memphis Grizzlies (32-37) by 2.5 games for the final spot in the Western Conference with four other teams between them. With fierce competition for the final few playoff spots, will the Pelicans be willing to increase Williamson's playing minutes
Friday's broadcast will be a special one, as five-time Wizards All-Star John Wall will join Justin and Glenn on the broadcast. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
WIZARDS vs. PELICANS HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Where: Visa Athletic Center, Orlando, Fla.
When: Friday, August 7, 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Wizards vs. Pelicans will be on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Pelicans on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM
WIZARDS vs. PELICANS TV SCHEDULE
7:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE) (NBCSW)
8:00 PM: Wizards at Pelicans (LIVE) (NBCSW)
10:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE) (NBCSW)
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WIZARDS VS. PELICANS WHAT TO WATCH
The Wizards will likely have their hands full with former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. Despite only playing in 23 games this season, Williamson is averaging 22.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in just 27.9 minutes. The minutes will be the thing to watch as the Pelicans have kept a watchful eye on their superstar's workload.
Despite competing in the NBA bubble without their three top players John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertans, the Wizards have been remained competitive despite their record. Thomas Bryant's performance, particularly his recent defensive play, is an example of how the Wizards' bubble experience will likely be measured on the growth and development of its young players.
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WIZARDS VS. PELICANS PLAYERS TO WATCH
Thomas Bryant, C, Wizards (12.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.9 apg): There's no denying Thomas Bryant's physical skill set. In Wednesday's matchup against 76ers center Joel Embiid, Bryant held The Process to just 3-of-11 shooting. Bryant will need to continue his defensive momentum on Friday against a Pelicans team averaging 115.8 points per game, good for fifth-best in the NBA.
Zion Williamson, PF, Pelicans (22.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.1 apg): This one is easy. If the Pelicans are going to make noise in the Disney bubble, it;ll have to be Zion Williamson leading the way. On Thursday against the Kings, Williamson recorded 24 points on 12 shots in 21 minutes. That kind of efficiency is not something you see often, especially by a rookie.
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