The Washington Wizards (16-46) will host the Milwaukee Bucks (23-38) tonight at the Verizon Center. Bucks head coach Scott Skiles, who played for the Bullets franchise during the 1994-95 season, sees a few matchup challenges in tonight’s contest, but seemed especially impressed with Wizards guard Nick Young.
“They have several individually very good one-on-one players. Nick might be at the top of that list. On some occasions we’ve played pretty good tough D (defense) on him, and he’s risen up over us and knocked down shots. You’ve got to give him credit for that. And then other times we’ve been a little bit too soft on him and haven’t chased him hard enough. He certainly has the ability to make a difficult shot, a well defended, difficult contested shot, but we’ve got to make sure those are the one’s he’s taking,” Skiles said.
Wizards guard John Wall will be matched up against the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings, who has been putting up strong numbers since returning from a foot injury on January 29. Jennings is averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game since his return. Wall’s numbers on the season are 15.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists.
“Wall is one of those guys who even though he’s still getting used to the NBA, he’s one of the guys who has size, and a quick burst. Brandon’s got to try and stay in front of him in the open floor.”
Skiles also acknowledged that JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche also present a few challenges of their own.
“Those guys have given us problems. McGee is very athletic and long, and we’ll see where Andrew [Bogut] is physically. We plan on playing our normal game – we’ll go to him early and see what he’s got.
Bucks center Andrew Bogut has been out of the Bucks lineup recently with a left intercostal muscle strain (chest and rib area), and could have trouble defending McGee and Blatche.
Bucks back-up point guard Earl Boykins, who played with the Wizards last season, has noticed his former team’s struggles, but believes they can turn things around with the right attitude.
“I think whenever you have a young team, you’re going to struggle,” Boykins said.
“The key is for the guys to continue to believe that they can win basketball games and continue to stick together. If you do that, eventually it will turn around.”