The battle between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Washington Wizards in the nation’s capital should be an interesting one on Friday night.
On one side, you have Mr. Triple-Double, Russell Westbrook putting up big numbers every single night. And on the other, you have a dynamic duo of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram doing what they can to keep the Pelicans afloat during what has been a weird season.
New Orleans was supposed to become a better defensive team under Stan Van Gundy, but it has not shown any improvements in that area, unfortunately. It has been a struggle to get stops all season long, with the additions of Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe not doing much to improve the defense that the team plays.
Adams has not had a good season, while Bledsoe seems to have to totally regressed to the mean.
Washington sits at 21-33, which really isn’t so bad, all things considered. They lost their starting center, Thomas Bryant, early in the season.
Rui Hachimura has been one of the most inconsistent players in the entire NBA. And the small forward position has looked horrid for them.
Plus, they spent $80 million to watch Davis Bertans be highly ineffective half the time. Bradley Beal and Westbrook have done everything possible to keep the team respectable.
Pelicans Seeking Road Win
Coming off a loss to the Knicks on Wednesday, the Pelicans will try to avoid a second loss in a row. They currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference, behind Golden State for the final spot. The team finishing in 10th place would be included in the play-in, while 11th place would be off to the draft lottery, hoping for better fortunes with the balls.
The team’s union with Isaiah Thomas lasted just the 10-day period, but he had a few nice moments. The team has signed veteran James Nunnally to fill the void he left, but it was great to see Thomas back.
While Kira Lewis Jr. was hurt, he provided some nice insurance. Hopefully, another team comes calling and provides an opportunity just like New Orleans did.
This will be a tough game to win if the Pelicans can’t contain Westbrook, which nobody has really been able to do this year.
Feeling At Home
If somebody told you that Westbrook enters this game with six consecutive triple-doubles, would you believe them? The chances are no, because the media paints him as a player that can’t win and is just a trend that will pass.
But he does have the triple-double streak and has been absolutely incredible this season.
He and Beal have been quite the tandem this year. If the two of them were able to take up more than two-fifths of the lineup, the Wizards would have more wins.
The issues have been that every other player on the team is highly inconsistent. The rest of the roster needs to be reshaped next season. It would also be nice if the media would stop making Beal try and request a deal.
The team will be very good if they can figure out the defensive side of the floor, and the two forward spots.
Wizards Win at Home
The Wizards will claim victory against the Pelicans in this one.