Washington Wizards vs. New Jersey Nets Preview
March 21, 2012
The Wizards travel to New Jersey to take on the Nets, which is the beginning of a long grueling period where the Wizards play 16 games in 25 games (hat tip: Bullets Forever). It is also the debut game of new Wizards center Nene, freshly acquired from a trade from Denver. It would be really nice if the Wizards were able to get off to a good start on the long slog of games with a victory over the New Jersey Nets, as well as give Nene a good welcoming party to the Wizards.
What the Wizards need to do to win:
Cut down on turnovers: Turnovers, especially by John Wall, have been killer over the past few games. Over the last two games, the Wizards had an average of 19.2 turnover percent, which is a metric that measures the estimated number dof turnovers per hundred plays. That’s 5 more turnovers per 100 possessions then the Wizards average of 14.0 turnover percentage. The primary cause of this increased turnover rate is John Wall, who, while averaging 4 turnovers a game, has 7 and 9 turnovers the past two games. Many of these turnovers have come through rookie mistakes, like outrunning his teammates on a fast break and not having an outlet or jumping and trying to pass the ball. The Nets are worse than both Atlanta and Memphis at forcing turnovers, but this is still the number one issue for the Wizards going into this game. For the Wizards to win, Wall, and the Wizards in general, will need to make better decisions.
Defending Deron Williams: When John Wall has come up against good point guards as of late, he has gotten burned. Badly. The last elite point guard Wall defended, Tony Parker, scored 31 points and dished out 7 assists. Deron Williams is considered by many to be better than Parker, and does not lack explosive scoring ability, scoring 57 in a game against the Bobcats earlier this year. John Wall, who sometimes takes plays off on defense, will need to keep up his intensity all night to make sure Williams doesn’t bury the Wizards.