Wizards

Quick Links

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

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

The Washington Wizards host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. DENVER NUGGETS

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m.
TV: CSN (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Can they rebound defensively?

The Wizards put in an ugly defensive performance on Tuesday night in their loss to the Orlando Magic, one that saw the worst scoring team in the East blow up for a season-high 124 points. The Magic shot 51.8 percent and got 73 points from their bench alone. It was a night that the Wizards will want to put behind them as quickly as possible.

They get their first chance for a rebound on Thursday night against the Nuggets, a team happens to be very good on offense. They are eighth in points per game (106.5) and boast five players averaging double-figures, and nine players averaging at least 8.9 points per game. They are deep with scorers and play a fast-paced style, getting up the fifth-most shots per game of any team. Last year the Wizards lost both matchups against the Nuggets and allowed 116 and 117 points in those games.

[RELATED: State of the Wizards: Brooks on how Beal can be like Klay]

Can Wall keep it going?

John Wall is coming off the game of his life, a 52-point explosion on Tuesday night against the Magic that was unfortunately soured by a disappointing loss. On Thursday night he has the chance for an encore against a team not known for their defense. The Nuggets give up 109.3 points per game which ranks 26th among 30 NBA teams.

Wall has actually been shooting very well going back three games. In his last three outings, Wall is averaging 31.3 points on 54.5 percent shooting, including 50 percent from three on 4.7 attempts per night. That's to go along with 12 assists and three steals per game during this stretch. Not bad.

Rebounding margin

Thursday night will present a stark contrast between two teams on the opposite end of the NBA rebounding spectrum. The Nuggets are the best team in basketball at cleaning the glass, averaging a league-high 49.8 boards per game. The Wizards, on the other hand, are among the league's worst teams at rebounding, averaging 42.9 boards per game which is the second-fewest of anyone.

For the Wizards, that is despite having Marcin Gortat, who is fifth in the NBA with 12.1 rebounds per game. The Nuggets, meanwhile, get it done by committee. They have seven players pulling in four boards or more per game. Their leaders are Kenneth Faried (8.5/g), Wilson Chandler (7.6), Jusuf Nurkic (7.3) and Nikola Jokic (6.9).

[RELATED: Wizards send rookie McClellan to D-League]

Quick Links

Wizards' biggest storylines coming out of the preseason

Wizards' biggest storylines coming out of the preseason


The Wizards closed their 2019-20 preseason schedule with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, which means up next is the regular season opener on Wednesday night in Dallas. Now that the exhibition schedule is (finally) over, here are five takeaways from what we saw...

Injuries have added up

The Wizards entered this preseason with a lot of things to sort out in their rotation due to the significant roster overhaul they went through in the summer. But injuries complicated things further for head coach Scott Brooks, who wasn't offered anything close to a full cupboard to work with.

The most notable injuries were to Isaiah Thomas (thumb) and Troy Brown Jr. (calf). Both players will be key members of the rotation when they recover, but are each on track to miss the start of the regular season. The same goes for C.J. Miles, who has a foot injury. There is also Ian Mahinmi, who has an Achilles issue, though he is not likely to play a big role on the team this season.

Hachimura looks the part

The early returns on rookie Rui Hachimura have been good. The 2019 ninth overall pick has not looked timid or out of place on an NBA floor. He has shown he can attack the rim assertively and has even made a few threes. Those two areas will be key to watch for him this season; how he can adapt to NBA interior defenders and shooting threes from a longer distance.

Hachimura is a likely starter for the Wizards this season and should get ample shot opportunities. He is going to have a chance to be a focal point of the Wizards' offense and probably a long enough leash to play through his mistakes. As a young player, you can't ask for much more than that.

Also impressive this preseason were Moe Wagner, who was much better than he showed in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Thomas Bryant, who looks like he is going to take another step from his breakout season last year. Bryant is more confident knocking down threes and has been a force on the glass. Don't be surprised if he averages a double-double this season.

Small forward is a question

The Wizards had Brown penciled in to be their full-time starting small forward, according to a person familiar with their plans, but his injury is expected to keep him out to start the season. He did a post-practice workout the other day and wasn't moving very quickly, either due to discomfort in his calf or to be extra cautious in fear of a setback.

Either way, he is still rehabbing and so is Miles. The Wizards also released Justin Anderson, leaving them with no obvious choice to start at the three. At this point, it looks likely they will have to either put someone there that is probably best suited for another position like Hachimura, Davis Bertans or Jordan McRae, or roll with someone who is very inexperienced like Bonga or Admiral Schofield. The odds seem better they choose the former.

Final roster spot?

The Wizards now have until Monday at 5 p.m. to decide who gets their final roster spot. The safe money at this point is probably for point guard Justin Robinson to get that spot and for Chris Chiozza to have his contract converted to a two-way deal.

The Chiozza part has been speculated for weeks and it is the direction the team is leaning, NBC Sports Washington was told. If Chiozza did get the two-way contract, he could remain with the team to start the season and help fill the void at point guard while Thomas recovers from his left thumb surgery. Chiozza would have 45 days allotted at the NBA level, but that clock would not begin until Oct. 28 when G-League training camps open.

Beal's commitment

This season took on an entirely different tone with Thursday's news Bradley Beal would sign a contract extension with the Wizards. This year had the potential to be overshadowed by Beal's uncertain future, but now that has been put to rest. The trade rumors can be set aside as Beal has made it official his commitment to the Wizards' plan.

Now, that could get interesting late in the year if losses are piling up. He ultimately wants to win and it will bear watching how he shows his frustration if the team isn't playing up to his standards.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Wizards and Mystics join Game Growers to help boost girls participation in sports

Wizards and Mystics join Game Growers to help boost girls participation in sports

The Washington Wizards and Mystics join in on Nike’s NBA and WNBA Game Growers program. The Game Growers program is meant to provide eighth grade girls with the skills and assets they need in order to grow their participation in sports in their communities. 

With this new program, the Wizards and Mystics can contribute to expanding the game of basketball for young DMV girls. Along with that, the Washington Mystics just won the WNBA Championships, this is perfect timing for them to introduce the sport to the next generation.

Today, the Game Growers Program officially was put into action, on a YouTube video stream. The video stream had Las Vegas Aces forward A’Ja Wilson, actress Sky Katz, the Director of Operations for the Women’s National Basketball Players Association Terri Jackson featuring in it. They discussed the advantages of being an athlete beyond going professional and encourage girls to apply.

In order for the future basketball stars to get in on the action, they must apply to GameGrowers.com by submitting their ideas on how to grow the game of basketball in their communities. The application opened today and will close on November 15, 2019. The winners will be made public in December 2019. 

By January 2020 two girls will join alongside the Wizards and Mystics in going to Training Camp at Nike’s World Headquarters in Washington County, Oregon. This event won’t only be run by Nike and professional basketball players, but will also have GENYOUth (a youth empowerment organization) tag along as well. At the Training Camp, the girls will have an opportunity to polish up their ideas with Nike and NBA and WNBA teams. 

If lucky, some Game Growers teams will be chosen to exhibit their ideas at the 2020 WNBA Draft, which will be in New York City this April. 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: