The Wizards will go for two wins in a row – and their first home victory – on Friday, when they host the new-look Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center. With the Nets featuring several players that excel in half-court play in Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson, the Wizards plan to push the tempo and turn the game into a track meet.
“They’re a somewhat older team. We’ll try to use our strength and our speed and quickness to try to beat them up the floor,” guard Bradley Beal said.
Brooklyn has won three in a row in five of the past six games against Washington. The Nets are 2-2, but they have yet to win on the road, losing both games away from Barclays Center, including a 107-86 loss in Orlando. Nets Coach Jason Kidd said Paul Pierce will be a game-time decision as he recovers from being “under the weather.”
The Wizards defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 116-102, on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center but got outrebounded, 50-42. Coach Randy Wittman said that it will be imperative for the team to win the rebounding battle if it hopes to defeat the Nets. Marcin Gortat has done his part, recording double-doubles in his past two games, but Washington will need help from all around.
“This is a big team. This is another very big front line with Lopez, Garnett and Pierce. They are going to present problems. Then off the bench, [Andray] Blatche and Reggie Evans are very energetic, rebounding,” Wittman said. “That’s going to be key. We’ve got to get stops but then secure the stops with defensive rebounds and then, get out and I think they would like to play a halfcourt game with us and they have the ability with a guy they have in Lopez to play through when things slow down. They’ve got basically five all-stars starting. Very experienced team and they’ll be a good test for us.”
(TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WJFK-106.7, WFED-1500). Here’s some pregame/in-game reading: