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Will the Wizards finish top five in offense by the end of the season?

Will the Wizards finish top five in offense by the end of the season?

The Wizards have been playing a brutal schedule as of late, but opposing teams still can't keep them from getting buckets.  

Bradley Beal has cooled off from an incredible November, but luckily for Scott Brooks and company, Davis Bertans has helped pick up the slack with a barrage of catch-and-shoot threes.

The Wizards play the Hornets on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

Here, we're going to lay out how the Wizards' offense ranks in the league in the most important categories and keep you updated throughout the season. And hey, if they start to pick things up even a little bit on defense we may be looking at a decently frisky team. 

Stats up to date as of 12/8

Team Scoring: Points per game

1. Milwaukee Bucks: 121.0
2. Houston Rockets: 120.5
3. Washington Wizards: 118.2 
4. Dallas Mavericks: 118.0
5. Los Angeles Clippers: 115.3

Offensive Efficiency: Points per 100 possessions

1. Dallas Mavericks: 116.9
2. Milwaukee Bucks: 114.0
3. Houston Rockets: 113.1
4. Washington Wizards: 112.4
5. Los Angeles Lakers: 111.8

Other notable stats

The Wizards lead the NBA in field goals made per game and assists, they're fourth in field goal percentage and eighth in turnovers. Nothing fluky about this offense. They can flat out score. 

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Giannis Antetokounmpo out against Wizards with shoulder injury

Giannis Antetokounmpo out against Wizards with shoulder injury

Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t play against the Wizards on Tuesday night after the Bucks announced that he’s dealing with shoulder soreness.

There was no indication from Antetokounmpo before the announcement that he was dealing with any sort of injury. He played in Milwaukee’s previous game, a 116-103 win over the Hornets on Friday, in which he scored 30 points and recorded 16 rebounds after playing 32 minutes.

Tuesday’s contest represents the Bucks’ first game since the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

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.

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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

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 in playing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. 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.

Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, 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.

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