The 5-12 Washington Wizards will look to break a four game skid tonight as they host the 8-10 Portland Trail Blazers. Alonzo Gee is expected to make his fourth straight start tonight, while Wizards rookie John Wall is expected to join Al Thornton off the bench. Washington will also have the services of reserve center Hilton Armstrong, who will return tonight after missing Toronto due to a one-game suspension.
The Blazers are on five game losing skid of their own heading into Washington, and the Wizards are 2-0 at home against Western Conferences teams this season. Portland has failed to meet the century mark in points over their last six games, but Blazers guard Brandon Roy has been hot. Roy has averaged 19 points over his last four starts (he missed a game two Saturdays ago due to an ailing right knee, in which Portland began their current five game skid). Washington will have to decide whether to make Roy a scorer or a distributor if they hope improve their home record tonight at the Verizon Center.
Both the Wizards and the Blazers favor “small ball” line-ups, in which guard play takes over the small forward rotation. Whether it’s Wes Matthews filling in at small forward for Portland or Kirk Hinrich at small forward for Washington, expect tonight’s game to feature some heavy guard rotation. Matthews is averaging 24.6 points over his last three starts, and he will be a tough match-up for Gee tonight.
Update 6:42 p.m. ET: Talked to Yi pregame, asked how his knee felt and if he’d play. He said he felt good and would see how he felt on court. Coach Saunders said he was leaning on Yi playing, but wasn’t sure.
Follow the action with me on Twitter to keep up to date on injury updates and big game moments.
WAS – Yi Jianlian (Active; Knee); Nick Young (Out; Thigh); Josh Howard (Out; Knee).
POR – Joel Przybilla (Questionable; Flu); Luke Babbitt (Out); Greg Oden (Out; Knee); Elliot Williams (Out; Knee).
Telecast: CSN @ 7:00 p.m. ET
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
If you have any trouble finding tonight’s game check out CSN’s Channel Finder.