D.C. Council Opening Statements: Wizards at Nets, Game 24
The Washington Wizards travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn to square off versus the Nets in the second game of their New York City road trip tonight. Washington pulled off a miraculous win over the Knicks on Monday night. Bradley Beal, returning from being out for the past three weeks, made his presence felt immediately. Beal delivered two clutch shots in the final minute, propelling the Wizards to their first Madison Square Garden victory in more than seven years.
The Nets, who have struggled mightily all season, have somewhat righted their leaky ship, captained by Jason Kidd, by winning four of their last five games. In their last victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, guard Joe Johnson went bonkers, scoring 29 points in the third quarter alone. Johnson nailed 10 3-pointers but turned down the opportunity to go for the NBA record in the fourth quarter.
This will be the second meeting between the Eastern Conference foes, with the Wizards taking the first one at home, 112-108, in overtime. Both teams can light it up from downtown, and there is potential for an offensive shootout at the Barclays Center tonight. Being able to nail the 3-ball is integral to Washington’s success. The Wizards are 7-1 when shooting over 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 3-12 when they do not.
Prepare yourself for those annoying “Broooooooooook, lyynnnnnn” chants now.
INJURY UPDATES: Nets center Brook Lopez has missed the past two games with a bum ankle and is questionable for tonight’s contest. Nene, who has sat out the past five games, has been practicing and played coy today about his potential return this evening (the latest reports indicate that he will play, but not starter’s minutes). The Wizards have also announced that rookie Glen Rice underwent an outpatient procedure this afternoon in New York City to repair a fracture in his right wrist; he is slated to be out three-to-six weeks.
Teams: Wizards at Nets
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Television: YES, CSN
Radio: WFED-AM 1500/THE FAN, WCBS 880 AM
Spread: Brooklyn fav’d by 4.5 points, over/under line 196.5
Wizards tickets … anyone?
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> John Wall has been struggling with turnovers lately, averaging more than five per game in his last five contests. [Michael Lee, WaPo]
> The local Washington, D.C. NBC TV station had a hilarious sit down interview with Marcin Gorat and Nene. This bromance relationship is the real deal. [Dianna Russini, NBC4]
> Dan Steinberg transcribed the comedic items between the two Wiz big man besties. [Sports Bog, WaPo]
> Grantland’s Zach Lowe had a solid interview with the spiritual one, Nene. The injury section is interesting and why we created #Pray4Nene. [Grantland, ESPN]
You have any idea what caused this [Achilles injury]? Just wear and tear? Or something specific?
It’s just a lot of minutes, and a lot of physicality for me, you know? I get a lot of pounding on my body. But it’s a good thing. Now I can take care of it a little bit.
You mean it’s good you spotted it early in the season?
Yeah, yeah. I have a little time now to slow down this injury. And now I can take care of it. And I need to take care of it. When you get older, you know …
You’re not that old! [Nene is 31.]
Yeah, but I started young, and the position I play — the intensity they play on me is different.
Do you believe someone can be injury-prone? Meaning, in dealing with all these injuries, have you learned something about your body that might explain why you’ve had trouble staying healthy?
Yeah, yeah. I’ve had a lot of injuries all of my career. I’ve learned about my body. I know when something is gonna happen. But sometimes you can’t control it. Sometimes you need to just do it, to just play. I try of think of ways to avoid injuries, but I’m getting paid a high price. But when you get some experience, you learn a little bit, and you learn how to take care.
Andrew Bogut is another guy who has been hurt a lot, and he gets angry when people call him injury-prone. Does that label make you angry?
No, the good thing is, all my injuries, I’ve learned something. I saw something about myself. And life is not in my control. It’s in God’s control. It is all for a reason.
So it’s just bad luck?
No, it’s not bad luck. That’s what I mean. It’s for a reason. Everything in my life is for a reason.
> The Wizards’ owner, Ted Leonsis, revealed this week that he wants to have a new practice facility for the team ready by 2016. The Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO would prefer for it to be located in D.C. but is open to a location in nearby Virginia or Maryland. [Michael Lee, WaPo]
> Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray confirmed that he has spoken to Leonsis about keeping the proposed facility inside the District of Columbia’s borders. [Michael Lee, WaPo]
> ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that both the jobs of coach Randy Wittman and team president Ernie Grunfeld are safe through the end of this season. Leonsis will not make any mid-season change and plans to evaluate their lame duck contract performances at their full conclusion. [Marc Stein, ESPN]