Wizards

Quick Links

Real Marquee Matchup: Wizards go big-game hunting vs. NBA-best Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Real Marquee Matchup: Wizards go big-game hunting vs. NBA-best Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo

This story has been updated with the news that Antetokounmpo is out.

The Wizards have made a habit this season of pulling off upsets, now to the point that they aren't all that surprising anymore. By beating teams like the Sixers, Heat, Nuggets and Celtics, they have proven they can on any given night find another level and challenge some of the NBA's best.

On Tuesday night, they will have their most difficult task yet against the Milwaukee Bucks - though some late news that Milwaukee's star player will be out could make it a bit easier on them. Also consider: All of the Wizards' most impressive upsets so far have come at home. This one will be in Milwaukee where the Bucks are 21-2 and haven't lost since Dec. 16. 

The Bucks also have the league's best record overall at 40-6, which has them on pace to win 71 games this season. That would be the third-best record in NBA history.

Milwaukee will be without Antetokounmpo, who appears on track to win his second consecutive MVP award. He is putting up even better numbers this year with averages of 30 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

But as good as the Bucks are, the Wizards hanging with them and even beating them cannot be ruled out. And the Bucks happen to have a weakness the Wizards may be able to exploit.

Milwaukee has the best defense in the NBA based on defensive rating (101.6), but they have major trouble guarding three-point shots. The Bucks are last in the NBA in threes allowed (14/g), last in three-point attempts allowed (39/g) and 20th in opponent three-point percentage (36.0%).

All six of Milwaukee's losses this season have come when opponents make 15 threes or more. And when teams make 16 or more, Milwaukee is 9-5 which is solid but not nearly as good of a win percentage as their overall record.

The Wizards, meanwhile, are 5-3 when they make 16 threes or more in a game. That's not amazing, but it's much better than their 15-30 record on the season.

Getting hot from three seems to be the most likely way, if not the only way, the Wizards can pull off a victory on Tuesday night. It is basically an impossible task these days to contain Antetokounmpo and the Wizards, like every team, do not have an obvious option to guard him. The reigning MVP has scored 43 and 37 points in his last two meetings against Washington.

Yeah, it won't be easy. It could even be ugly. But, if we have learned anything this season, the Wizards can't be counted out , no matter who they are playing.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

How to watch Wizards' huge comeback win vs. Knicks, NBA 2K20 sim vs. 76ers

How to watch Wizards' huge comeback win vs. Knicks, NBA 2K20 sim vs. 76ers

Right before the NBA All-Star Break on Valentine's Day 2018, the Wizards took on the Knicks in New York. What looked like a sure loss after the first half of the game turned into the biggest comeback of the NBA's season at the time.

Bradley Beal's 36-points helped lead the Wizards to a 118-113 victory, overcoming a 27-point deficit.

Before that, though, you're going to want to get your fix of the Wizards' 2020 schedule with an NBA 2K20 simulation against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Still, the Wizards, even without Wall, have been on a tear in recent NBA 2K contests. 

Here's how to watch all the action. 

When:

Friday, April 3 at 7 PM ET

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
  • Monumental Sports Network via its website www.monumentalsportsnetwork.com or via any of its available apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

 

Broadcast schedule:

7:00 PM: NBA2K Simulation: Philadelphia 76ers @ Wizards

8:00 PM: NBA Classics: Wizards @ New York Knicks from February 14, 2018

10:30 PM: NBA 2K20: Philadelphia 76ers @ Wizards 

Starting lineups

The nice part about this is we don't have to wait as long to know the starting lineups. Just don't tell the 2K computer. 

Sixers
PG - Raul Neto
SG - Shake Milton
SF - Tobias Harris
PF - Al Horford
C- Joel Embiid

Wizards
PG - Shabazz Napier
SG - Bradley Beal
SF - Jerome Robinson
PF - Rui Hachimura
C - Thomas Bryant

So if you're like us and desperately miss watching NBA basketball, tune into NBC Sports Washington on Wednesday night to get the closest thing to a live game. We'll get through this hiatus together.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Report: NBA, players discuss withholding up to 25% of remaining salaries if season is canceled

Report: NBA, players discuss withholding up to 25% of remaining salaries if season is canceled

If the rest of the 2019-20 regular season is canceled, the NBA may be able to keep up to 25 percent of the salaries its players receive after April 1, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

League officials are in discussions with the National Basketball Players Association about a deal that would amend the collective bargaining agreement to give players a greater share of the financial damage inflicted by the coronavirus outbreak that’s put the current season on hold.

Wojnarowski writes that while the NBA has “no plans to announce the cancellation of games in the immediate future,” it’s preparing for all scenarios, including one in which coronavirus isn’t contained in time to salvage the regular season.

The NBA has already been withholding 10 percent of the players’ salaries with the promise of paying out the remaining 90 percent through April 1. In accordance with the CBA’s Force Majeure provision (reserved for catastrophic events), that money has been held by the NBA with a certain percentage slotted to be returned to teams at the end of the year depending on how much revenue is lost.

However, it appears the 10 percent cut has not been sufficient for softening the blow dealt by the season’s suspension. Per Wojnarowski, Commissioner Adam Silver and about 100 top league officials have already agreed to 20 percent pay cut. With team owners handling their own financial ramifications, the league is hoping for its players to help alleviate that burden and prevent the NBA from having to recoup additional percentages from the players after the season.

The purpose of the Force Majeure is to prevent the salary cap and luxury tax from taking a nosedive next season and beyond. By recouping additional salary, teams would be in better standing for spending relatively close to what they’ve done the past few years.

If the two sides don’t come to an agreement, players could owe back portions of their salaries at the end of the season. In an effort to avoid seizing past salaries, the league is asking the NBPA to agree to a deal while working on a plan to help players budget their spending based on reduced incomes.

As much as the NBA would like to resume its regular season in some fashion, the coronavirus pandemic has entirely changed the outlook—both logistically and financially—of professional sports in 2020 for the worst. Everything the league does now is just part of an effort to limit the damage as best it can.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: