Opening Statements: Wizards at Nets, Game 28 | Wizards Blog Truth About

Opening Statements: Wizards at Nets, Game 28

Updated: December 26, 2015

brooklyn nets

Teams: Wizards at Nets
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Television: CSN
Radio: WNEW-FM 99.1
Spread: Wizards fav’d by 2.5 points

Washington spent Christmas in much better spirits than Thanksgiving. Leading into the December 25th holiday, the Wizards scrapped out a 100-91 win over Memphis for their third straight victory. Last month, on Turkey Day Eve, in Charlotte, Washington collapsed in historic fashion.

But this team now has legitimate reasons to be in a good mood. When they beat the Kings in D.C. on December 21st, it was the first time in over a month that they had won two contests in a row. Horrific perimeter defense, particularly at the 3-point line, has finally showed signs of improvement. During the current three-game winning streak, Washington has limited opponents to 27 percent shooting from the arc (20-for-72). John Wall has averaged 15 assists per game over this stretch, and Garrett Temple has provided an unexpected offensive spark, tallying up at least 20 points in each triumph. Marcin Gortat has been a double-double machine, rookie Kelly Oubre continues to show that he belongs, and Jared Dudley is currently leading the entire NBA in 3-point shoot at 48.7 percent. In the Eastern Conference, the Wizards are only two games in the loss column behind the second place Atlanta Hawks.

Brooklyn has recently displayed a few positive signs in a road win at Chicago and a close overtime loss to Dallas, but the 8-21 Nets have mostly been stuck in a rut all season. They have lost six of their last seven games. So for all the troubling issues surrounding the Wizards, it is nothing compared to the despair of the Brooklyn franchise. After a recent home loss to Minnesota, their situation was summarized quite well by the blog, The Brooklyn Game:

It’s easy to see what the Timberwolves are made of. They have young cornerstones in Towns, Wiggins, and Rubio; athletic counterparts in Dieng and Zach LaVine, veterans like Kevin Garnett, Miller, and Martin. There is a culture and continuity that’s been built, where even losses are learning experiences. There’s a vision and an end goal.

For the Nets, there’s little continuity and clarity. They have Lopez and Young, a few young castoffs, two injured rookies, some expiring players, and 20 losses in 27 games.

It only gets worse in the offseason, when Brooklyn’s draft pick — almost assuredly a high lottery pick — goes to the Boston Celtics. They don’t control a first-round draft pick until 2019, and a second-round pick until 2021. Their best hope is to get lucky in free agency, luring a big-name player with cap room that 25 other teams will have.

For now, they’re not building a fortune. They’re running out the clock, hoping to strike gold after sending away most of their shovels and metal detectors.

Two weeks ago, when Golden State outlasted Boston in double overtime, I tweeted this thought:

The same still applies, as Golden State is now 28-1 and Washington is 13-14. The Wizards’ 2013-14 season was defined by a constant struggle to inch over the .500 mark. On Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, they have a good chance to even up their record and keep the momentum alive into the new year.

Merry Xmas Vines.



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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.