The Washington Wizards play at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Wednesday night may be an emotional one for Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, as he returns to Oklahoma City for the first time since he was fired following the 2014-15 season. Brooks spent seven years as the head coach of the Thunder and was with the organization for two years before that as an assistant, dating back to their days as the Seattle Supersonics.
Brooks will coach against superstar Russell Westbrook for the first time on Wednesday, but most of the stars he guided in OKC are gone. Kevin Durant moved on to the Golden State Warriors this past summer. Serge Ibaka was traded to the Orlando Magic. And James Harden was already long gone, having been traded to the Houston Rockets. Brooks looked back on coaching those guys, plus Nick Collison who remains in OKC, on Tuesday:
"I had a chance to coach some really great players. I mean, Nick Collison is a great player. Most of the world don't look at him as a great player, but he was great. He did a lot of things that were so important to us winning a lot of games. Harden, KD and Westbrook. They might be one, two and three in the MVP this year. And you could argue that all three are deserving."
Will Mahinmi play?
The Wizards had surprising news to share about Ian Mahinmi before each of the previous two games. On Saturday night against the Spurs, he made his season debut unexpectedly after rehabbing six weeks from left knee surgery. Then, on Monday he did not play against the Kings due to soreness in his right knee, possibly from overcompensating for his left knee during his recovery.
Getting Mahinmi back to 100 percent is important for the Wizards, who have struggled defensively this season, particularly with their second unit. He was their biggest offseason acquisition and they want him back for the long haul. He could also come in handy Wednesday with Steven Adams down low and Westbrook attacking the basket with regularity.
Can they limit Westbrook?
With all the aforementioned stars having moved on, all eyes are on Westbrook when it comes to the Thunder. The 28-year-old guard is off to a ridiculous start this season, currently averaging a triple-double. He's putting up 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds per game. Those are insane numbers. Westbrook has recorded a triple-double his last three games and the night before that fell just one assist short.
John Wall will be tasked with guarding Westbrook and it won't be easy. There are few players at the point guard position who are as big and fast as Wall and Russ is one of them. Last season Westbrook averaged a triple-double (19.5 ppg, 11 apg, 12 rpg) and shot 50 percent in two games against Washington.