The Wizards will host the reeling Charlotte Bobcats, who have lost nine in a row by an average of 22 points. During their skid, the Bobcats have lost three by at least 30 points.
But the Bobcats have two wins against the Wizards this season. Though the Bobcats have gone 6-44 since defeating the Wizards in double overtime, 108-106, on Nov. 24 at Verizon Center, Coach Randy Wittman won’t overlook them. “Every team in this league is dangerous. Any given night,” he said. “There’s no nights off at this level. We got to be ready, no question about that.”
The Wizards (19-41) will be without Bradley Beal for the third consecutive game with a sprained left ankle, but Wittman will make an adjustment to the starting lineup and replace Trevor Ariza with Garrett Temple.
Ariza had started the previous two games, both losses, and averaged 10 points, but the Wizards are 4-4 when Temple starts at shooting guard. They are 5-9 overall with Temple in the starting lineup.
“Our last two games, we haven’t got out to good starts and I think that’s hurt us,” Wittman said.
As for Williams and the Nets, Wittman admitted that his team never recovered from the first quarter, when the former all-star guard buried seven three-pointers and outscored the Wizards, 23-14.
“It was hard to overcome that. That was as good a shooting display as I’ve seen in a long time,” Wittman said. “I’ve been in this business a long time and through 82 games, you’re going to have a game where it’s pretty ugly. Obviously, Deron Williams made it ugly for us. But you just throw that one away. We’re totally focused on today. That was a mulligan last night.”
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Tipoff: 8 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)