After a week out West, the Wizards return home to host the Phoenix Suns tonight in DC.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM | Buy Tickets
Wizards (4-2): G – Wall, G – Beal, F – Porter Jr., F – Oubre Jr., C – Gortat
Suns (3-4): G – James, G – Booker, F – Warren, F – Chriss, C – Chandler
Wizards: Markieff Morris (Sports Hernia – Questionable), Sheldon Mac (Achilles – Out)
Suns: Brandon Knight (Knee – Out), Davon Reed (Knee – Out), Alan Williams (Knee – Out), Eric Bledsoe (NWT – Out)
Wizards Back Home
The Wizards return home after a 2-2 road trip and will now play six of their next seven and seven of their next nine at Capital One Arena. It will be their second longest home stretch over a nine game period of the season. The Wizards are 2-0 at home so far this season and went 30-11 at home during the regular season last year and were a perfect 6-0 at home during the playoffs.
The Wizards are coming off a win on Sunday in which they tied their franchise record for 3-pointers made with 17. It was the second straight game they shot a better percentage from 3-point range than the field (minimum 30 3-pointers) and if they do it again tonight, they would be the first team in NBA history to shoot a higher percentage from 3-point range than 2-point in three straight games.
Suns Roll in Hot
The Phoenix Suns have certainly created headlines over the first few weeks of the season, although it hasn’t been for all for good reasons. After an 0-3 start to the year, the team fired their head coach Earl Watson, and promoted assistant coach Jay Triano to interim head coach. On the same day of Watson’s firing, their start guard Eric Bledsoe sent out a cryptic tweet, which led to him being dismissed by the team. Since that time, thy have gone 3-1, including a 122-114 win last night in Brooklyn. They used a 17-0 run near the end of the third quarter to fuel a comeback over the Nets, led by Devin Booker’s 32 points on 5/8 shooting from 3-point range.
The Suns play at a quick pace, ranking second in the league averaging just over 108 possessions per game. However, they rank near the bottom in offensive efficiency, as they play a loose style and don’t shoot a high percentage from the floor. Through seven games, only once have they held a team under 114 points, and it was the Utah Jazz, who by design play at a very slow pace. With the way the Wizards score, expect this game to have plenty of points on the board and one that will be entertaining to watch.
Tonight’s game will be the third game of a five game trip for Phoenix, one that will take them back to New York on Friday and then to San Antonio this weekend before they return home.
Keef Close to Returning
Keef Morris went through a full practice on Tuesday and it appears that he’s right on the brink of a return to action. After having surgery in September for a sports hernia, he was given a six-eight week timeline for a return and that time looks like it could be this week. However, even if he is cleared for tonight’s game, he will have to serve a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during Friday’s scrum in Oakland. If there are no setbacks, this would result in Morris making his season debut on Friday against the Cavs. Once Morris is eligible to dress, head coach Scott Brooks said he’s not sure if Morris would be go right back in the starting lineup and he would be on a minutes limit until back to 100 percent. However, once back at full strength, he will move back into his starting role. Kelly Oubre Jr. has been starting in Morris’ absence, but he would move into a reserve role and probably be the team’s sixth man. The Wizards will have even more options and lineups to play with once Morris does return, as they could elect to use him at the five and stretch the floor with five shooters on the court.
The Wizards will host the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at Capital One Arena.