Golden State Warriors vs Washington Wizards: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Capital One Arena in Washington, DC

When: Thursday, January 24th, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT | 1500 AM

Golden State Warriors (Away)

Head Coach: Steve Kerr {All-Time 298-77 | GSW}

The Golden State Warriors are as successful as ever. Sitting first in the Western Conference, with a record of 33-14, the Warriors are trying to put on a run to separate themselves from the rest of the West. Now that DeMarcus Cousins is back on the court, the team is more intriguing than ever before.

The Warriors have put on a show in their last ten matches. Accumulating a record of 9-1 in their last ten, the Warriors have won by double digits in half of their matches. Despite a one point overtime loss to the Rockets, the Warriors have not missed a step as the continue their road trip against the Wizards.

The Warriors take on the Wizards with a full complement to their roster. On the other side, the Wizards are without their star point guard John Wall for the rest of the season, but sport a Bradley Beal that is playing at the best of his career. The Warriors have the depth to put away the Wizards, but if they don’t stop Beal they could be in for a long night.

Washington Wizards (Home)

Head Coach: Scott Brooks {All-Time 450-305 | OKC, WAS}

The Washington Wizards are on the cusp of finding their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. With a record of 20-16, the combination of their recent form and the poor performances of the Detroit Pistons, the Wizards are knocking on the door of the Easts top eight.

The Wizards have been performing very well as of late. With a record of 7-3, the Wizards have dragged themselves back from mediocrity and are fighting their way back into the playoff race. While their schedule hasn’t been forgiving, wins over the Sixers and Bucks have shown that the Wizards are for real.

It’s tough to imagine the Wizards can keep up their run of form. But a home match with their current play is as good as it can get for the Wizards as they take on the reigning NBA Champions.

What’s At Stake?

An inter-conference matchup, the Warriors and the Wizards have met 41 times in their franchise history. The Warriors lead the Wizards in the all-time series 25-16.

A win for the Warriors would give them an extra game on the second place Nuggets in the West, further solidifying their hold on first place.

The Wizards, tied for ninth with the Pistons, would over take the Pistons with a win and be a mere two games out of the playoff race in the East.

Questions to answer

Will DeMarcus Cousins be let loose against the Wizards?

Why has Otto Porter been so successful as of late?

We are going to compare the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Cousins has Played 21 Minutes or Less Since his Return

DeMarcus Cousins, since he’s returned, has looked as rusty as expected. While he is on a clear minutes restriction with the Warriors staff, he’s shown increased comfort as each game goes on.

His first game back against the Los Angeles Clippers showed his lack of court time. His first touch was a post-up where he forced up an ill-advised shot. He continued with indecision through out the game while being late on his defensive rotations – which is actually a familiar sight for Cousins.

Cousins will have to learn to play with the same fluidity as his teammates if he wants to stay on the court for prolonged periods with the Warriors. While Jordan Bell isn’t the player that Cousins is, he doesn’t demand the usage that Cousins does on the court. Washington lacks the front court to contest Cousins, so he may see even more touches and minutes in this match.

Otto Porter has been tremendous off the bench

The Wizards starting lineup while Porter was out had been solid, but not spectacular. The combination of Satoransky, Beal, Ariza, Green, and Bryant provided good performances, but outscored their opponents by a mere 1.3 points per possession.

With Porter back though, the thought was for him to return to the starting five but he has been tremendous off the bench. Compared to when he was a starter, Porter improved his Net Rating by 15.5 while he has come off the bench. He is also taking four more field-attempts per game, while also scoring 16.8 points per game which is up from his 11.7 as a starter.

Porter going to the bench has allowed for the Wizards to have an additional offensive option since the departure of Austin Rivers. While his playing time isn’t significantly different, he is finally more assertive on offence to positive results. A max-contract player off the bench isn’t a great look, but with his production and the Wizards’ recent results it’s difficult to make that change.

Golden State Warriors Roster Notes

C Damian Jones – Out For Season (Torn Left Pectoral) – The Warriors announced that Jones had surgery on his torn left pectoral muscle. He’s expected to start rehab in six weeks. There is no timetable for his return.

Washington Wizards Roster Notes

C Dwight Howard – Out (Back) – Howard is making progress and said he’s pain-free from his lumbar surgery, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. He’s not expected to return until February or March.

F Markieff Morris – Out (Neck stiffness) – The Wizards announced that Morris will miss at least the next six weeks of action as he recovers from a neck injury.

G John Wall – Out For Season (Sore Left Heel) – Wall will undergo season-ending heel surgery and will resume basketball activities in six-to-eight months.

Head-to-Head: Klay Thompson vs Bradley Beal

Klay Thompson

Shooting Guard | 6-7, 215lb (201cm, 97kg) | Washington State | Exp. 8 Years

22.1 PPG | 2.0 APG | 4.1 RPG | 1.2 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .464 FG% | .382 3P%

Bradley Beal

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 207lb (196cm, 93kg) | Florida | Exp. 7 Years

24.7 PPG | 5.0 APG | 5.0 RPG | 1.3 SPG | 0.9 BPG | 2.8 TOV | .467 FG% | .353 3P%

It’ll be a match up between two All-Star shooting guards with tremendous production but incredibly different ways of attaining that production. Klay Thompson is a true silent assassin, scoring the majority of his points on spot-up attempts but converting at a high rate. Meanwhile Bradley Beal is a dangerous go-to option for the Wizards that can get hot from the field at any moment.

Klay Thompson is probably living the three-point shooters dream this season. Already surrounded by attention grabbing players, the addition of Cousins all but ensures Thompson’s likelihood of acquiring open shots. A more underrated part of his game is on the defensive end where he is incredibly solid. He will be tasked with stopping Beal one-on-one, a key task if they want to stop the Wizards.

Bradley Beal has been on absolute fire since John Wall went down for the season. While there is a lot to take away from the Wizards success without Wall, it shouldn’t discredit the work Beal has done. Capable on and off the ball offensively, Beal’s position as leader of the Wizards has encouraged better ball movement resulting in a positive streak of recent results.

Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Golden State Warriors favoured over the Washington Wizards by 9.5, with an over/under of 110.