The Wizards have played the fewest games of any team in the NBA so far this season, and as a result it's difficult to get a handle on who they are and what they're about. They're currently ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency, which is a bit of a surprise for a team lauded as a defensive stalwart just one season ago. Then again, when your front line consists of Marcin Gortat, Nene, Kris Humphries, Drew Gooden, and DeJuan Blair, maybe a good defense isn't something you should expect.
Their offense is fine, however, but that is to be expected when you have John Wall surrounded by 3-point shooters. Of the Wizards' eight players who have played 15 or more minutes per game and have attempted at least one 3-pointer in each contest, only two have a 3-point percentage of 33 percent or worse.
Three things to watch for
Is Kemba Walker for real?
Over his last five games, Kemba Walker is averaging 24.4 points, five assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 58.4 percent from the field and 52 percent from behind the arc. Tonight, Walker's matched up with one of the better defensive point guards in the league: John Wall. Is this a new Walker, or will he regress to his career averages against Wall?
Shoot the 3!
One of the reasons the Wizards' defense isn't great is that they give up nearly nine made 3-pointers per game. Perhaps this is due to the Wizards' guards and wing players needing to rotate to help out a less-than-ideal front line, but either way, the Hornets should take advantage of this. The Hornets haven't been shy with 3-pointers this season, as they currently shoot the sixth-most per game in the league. Get buckets, fellas.
Get on the boards for a win
The Wizards are not a good rebounding team, but neither are the Hornets. In both wins and losses, the Wizards grab just 42 rebounds per game. Much like the Hornets, they'd rather get back in transition than gamble for offensive rebounds. As a result, they only allow 10.8 second-chance points per game, which is in the top third in the NBA. This could be a very ugly game if both teams struggle from the field.