The Wizards (10-22) are starting 2020 against the Orlando Magic (14-19) in a game that is paramount to the Wizards if they want to try to make the playoffs.
The last time these two teams played was on December 3, a 127-120 Magic win. However, four of Washington’s top scorers in that game are currently battling injuries- Bradley Beal, CJ Miles, Davis Bertans, and Thomas Bryant.
The Wizards will have to repeat their performance from the Heat game two nights ago. The Wizards need that same level of productivity from Gary Payton II, Ish Smith, Jordan McRae, and Jonathan Williams.
It is unlikely to expect repeat career nights from Ian Mahinmi and Garrison Mathews but someone will have to fill that void in order for the Wizards to come out with a win. Expect McRae to continue to have the ultimate green light in Beal’s absence.
Match-up to watch
Can Wizards center Ian Mahinmi contain Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic? Vucevic has been one of the main catalysts in the Magic offense, averaging 18.1 points and 10.6 rebounds thus far. The Magic are known for scoring points at the rim with their front-court and Vucevic is their most consistent option. He did not play in their first match-up.
If Ian Mahinmi can somehow duplicate his performance from the Wizards’ previous game, the better question might be can Nikola Vucevic contain him? Obviously, that isn’t the most likely scenario but Mahinmi has been playing the best basketball of his Wizards’ tenure lately. With Anzejs Pasecniks as the only other center on the roster, the Wizards will need Mahinmi to stay out of foul trouble.
Bradley Beal: Leg, Day-to-day
Davis Bertans: Quad, Out
Thomas Bryant: Foot, Out
Rui Hachimura: Groin, Out
CJ Miles: Wrist, Out
Mortiz Wagner: Ankle, Out
John Wall: Achilles, Out
Michael Carter-Williams: Shoulder, Out
Mo Bamba: Ankle, Day-to-day
Aaron Gordon: Achilles, Day-to-day
Al-Farouq Aminu: Knee, Out
Moneyline- Wizards (+155) Magic (-175)
Against the spread- (Wizards +4)
As seen last time, I am terrible when it comes to giving gambling advice. With that being said, I am going to say the Magic -4 is the safer bet as the Wizards are still shorthanded and that will hurt them tonight. The Magic are coming off of a bad loss to the Atlanta Hawks and will be looking to bounce back.
This game should be a good one. One team has a good offense and a bad defense, the other has a bad offense and a good defense. The Wizards have the 4th best scoring offense and the 30th best scoring defense while the Magic have the 30th best scoring offense and the 3rd best scoring defense. I will say that Orlando wins this game 121-113 and covers.