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What Should Blazers Fans Know About The Wizards?

We get some insight for Blazers-Wizards Saturday night.

Portland Trail Blazers v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

In order to get a bit more insight on the current state of affairs of the Portland Trail Blazers’ next opponent, the Washington Wizards, we spoke to Bullets Forever managing editor Albert Lee.

You can follow Albert on Twitter @aleeinthedmv

Thank you Albert for participating in our Q&A.

1. The Wizards are riding a three-game win streak now with a chance to make it four at home against the Blazers. What’s been the biggest reason behind the team’s recent success?

To me, the first reason is because of Kyle Kuzma’s hot January. He is averaging 26.4 ppg this month while shooting over 54 percent from the field.. For Washington’s last three games, Kuzma is averaging 25 ppg and 12.3 rpg. In addition, the Wizards have seen Montrezl Harrell and Daniel Gafford both at their best as they are shooting at least 68 percent from the field during the last three games.

2. With the trade deadline on the horizon, is there any potential for the Wizards to call the Blazers for a possible deal? Is there anyone on Portland’s roster that intrigues you?

I don’t think there is a realistic deal to be made between Washington and Portland. The Wizards are still reluctant to trade Beal at the deadline (barring some unforeseen news), and the Blazers are in a similar position with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. I don’t think any trade will make both teams much better. As for a player who intrigues me on Portland’s roster, I’m most intrigued by Nassir Little. He is still on his rookie contract and is averaging nearly 10 points per game. If Little can get his three point efficiency up from 31.6 percent and continue improving on the defensive end, he’d be a coveted addition for Washington or any other team when he enters free agency later in his career.

3. If the Wizards win this game, what would be the reason why?

If the Wizards win, it’s because they have roster depth (only Bradley Beal is out due to the coronavirus protocols) which Portland doesn’t (given that Lillard AND McCollum are out). Also, the Wizards will still take the Blazers seriously as a worthy opponent. They did have a COVID-depleted roster on Jan. 5 when they hosted and lost to the Rockets, but that was also a game they should have won nevertheless.

4. What is one thing you want Blazers fans to know about the Wizards that can’t be seen through box scores?

Deni Avdija has the potential to be one of the NBA’s top perimeter defenders. While his “box score stats” aren’t mind-blowing in his 2nd NBA season, Avdija has regularly drawn the defensive assignment of an opponent’s top perimeter threat, like Donovan Mitchell of the JAzz or Demar DeRozan of the Bulls. Avdija won’t play 35 minutes tomorrow night, but he will certainly get time to play the role of defensive stopper, even in late-game situations.

5. What is your prediction for the game?

115-105, Wizards