The Washington Wizards return on Sunday following a lengthy layoff because of Covid-19. The virus ripped right through their locker room, and the Wizards have been on the mend since playing the beating the Phoenix Suns on January 11, 128-107. That ended a three-game losing streak for the Wizards, and only the third win this season.
The Wizards come back from their hiatus with a record of 3-8. Russell Westbook will have to play much better basketball than he has for the Wizards to wake up and go on a run. Westbrook has averaged 19.3 points and shooting 37.9% from the field through six outings. He missed the 128-124 loss against the Miami Heat and win against the Suns.
Westbrook is questionable to play with a quadricep injury tonight in San Antonio. Considering how Westbrook has been playing, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing for the Wizards. They looked at their best with Bradley Beal just taking over the game by himself.
Beal needs to be paired with another superstar, not with an aging Westbrook who is in the twilight of his career. I find it hard to believe that Westbrook cared to go to the Wizards. Motivation likely isn’t high for him on a team that isn’t going anywhere as well. With a healthy Beal, the Wizards should still score points, though.
The Spurs are on the heels of a 122-117 loss against the Dallas Mavericks at home on Friday. San Antonio came back to make it a competitive final few minutes. They were within striking distance, and then Luka Doncic happened. Doncic hit several clutch shots down the stretch to push back the Spurs. He scored 36 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists to lead the Mavericks to a win.
DeMar Derozan and LaMarcus Aldridge showed up nicely, as the former Raptor put in 29 points, while Aldridge had 26 points and a rebound away from a double-double. With the loss, the Spurs slip to 8-8 on the season. This early in the season, there are a lot of teams hovering around the .500 mark, so nothing to worry about, though at the same time, the Spurs aren’t a contender in the Western Conference. Head below for our free Wizards vs. Spurs pick on January 24, 2021.
Washington Wizards vs. San Antonio Spurs NBA Betting Odds:
Wizards vs. Spurs Prediction:
The Spurs are likely going to be able to score in this one. It should be much easier to find room to score against the Wizards than it was in their matchup against the Mavericks. The Wizards don’t play defense, and a two-week layoff because of Covid-19 likely isn’t going to help them much. They are 30th in the NBA with an average of 121.3 points against per contest. Before going on the break, the Wizards gave up at least 116 points in four of their previous five games.
Despite scoring the most points in the NBA per game, the Wizards are still 3-8. While defense has degraded over the last decade across the league, mostly because of rule changes, the case of Washington shows that it’s still required to be a competitive squad. The Wizards are first in the NBA with 120.5 points scored per game. They can thank Bradley Beal for that, as he’s been hot with 34.9 points per game and shooting 49.4% from the field. Expect Beal to have his way against an okay San Antonio defense. The Spurs are 16th in the league with 111.3 points conceded per game.
The Wizards torched the Spurs for 138 points in a 138-132 win in their last meeting. This has been a high-scoring series in recent memory. There has been an average of 246 points scored per game in their last five games, dating back to 2018. All five games easily made it OVER the closing total. Note that the Wizards have trended towards the OVER at 6-1 in their last seven and 8-3 overall. I foresee a high-scoring game, with enough points on the board to put this OVER 231 points.