John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Wizards on a roll
Lately, it seems like the Wizards are getting better by the game. They currently hold a season-high six-game winning streak and a league-high 16-game winning streak at home. If they win on Saturday vs. New Orleans, that will be 17 straight, just five short of the franchise record for consecutive home wins (22), set back in 1974-75. It would truly be something if the Wizards were to put that on the line Monday with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in town for a national TV game.
Before we put the cart before the horse, let's go back to that six-game winning streak. If they beat the Pelicans, they will have won seven straight for the first time since January of 2005 and that would tie them for the seventh-longest win streak in franchise history. The franchise mark, in fact, is just nine. That's tied with the Magic for the shortest all-time winning streak of any NBA franchise. The last time the Wizards won nine straight was in December of 2001, when Michael Jordan was playing. They have accomplished the feat five different times.
The all-time record win streak for a D.C. basketball team, in case you are interested, is 20 straight. That was done by the Washington Capitals in 1948. Red Auerbach coached that team and turned 31 during the streak. The run overlapped his second and third seasons as an NBA coach.
[RELATED: Wizards may stand pat at NBA trade deadline]
Beal is on fire
Okay, back to the modern day Wizards. As the Pelicans learned last Sunday, shooting guard Bradley Beal is not one to mess with. Ever since he broke out of his 0-for-20 three-point slump, he has been near unstoppable. Since Jan. 23, when he started hitting threes again and the Wizards began their six-game streak, Beal is averaging 23.7 points on 57.1 percent shooting. He's shotting 42.9 percent from three on seven attempts per game and has an average plus-minus rating of +15.2.
New Orleans had a tough time with Beal on Sunday. He dropped 27 points (11-of-16 FG, 3-of-6 3PT) to go along with a season-high six rebounds. The Pelicans don't seem to have an answer for Beal at all. We'll see if that continues on Saturday night.
Will anyone besides Davis and Holiday show up?
The Wizards beat the Pelicans last weekend in part because they basically shut down everyone on their team except their two best players, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Both of them got theirs and each scored efficiently. Davis went off for 36 points (15-of-25 FG) with 17 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. That is a heck of a box score line. Holiday was also very good with 26 points (11-for-19), 11 assists and four rebounds.
It was the rest of the Pelicans' roster that mostly didn't show up. Besides Donatas Motiejunas, who had 10 points off their bench, everyone else was awful. Their starting lineup outside of Davis and Holiday combined for 12 points, including zero in 16 minutes from rookie Buddy Hield. That won't cut it against a lineup as balanced as the Wizards'.