Preview: Wizards host Trail Blazers on Friday

Feb 2, 2023 - 10:00 PM
<a href=Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers" src="" />
Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Tomorrow’s game between the Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers is the story of two teams desperately trying to save their seasons. Both have showed flashes of competing for a playoff spot — the Wizards during their active six-game winning streak and the Blazers during their 9-3 start to the season — but both currently sit below .500.

Both teams have three 20-plus point per game scorers largely carrying the offensive load. The Wizards have Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal, while the Blazers have Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simons.

Roster construction is where the two teams differ. he Wizards’ roster construction is a tragic story (so far) of depth falling flat on its face. Will Barton in Washington has been a bust, Delon Wright has been injured and a lot of their recent first round picks have not panned out thus far.

On the other hand, the Blazers roster falls off a cliff once the starters need a breather. The starting lineup of Lillard, Grant, Simons, Jusuf Nurkić and Josh Hart is one of the best in the league, but the bench is barren. In fact, the Blazers have the lowest-scoring bench in the league at a paltry 24.7 points per game. There are 22 individual players around the league outscoring this unit.

In order to beat the Blazers, the Wizards need to defend Lillard the way the Los Angeles Clippers successfully defended Luka Dončić in their two playoff matchups: make someone else beat you. Lillard is going to get his shots, and he is going to make them. He’s averaging 42.2 points over the last five games, and there is little the Wizards’ middle-of-the-pack defense will be able to do to stop him from feasting.

Wizards versus Blazers tips off tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!