Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Washington Wizards (7-16 7-15-1 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (7-18 12-12-1 ATS) ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA 10:30 PM EST Friday December 18, 2009 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com

Point Spread: Wizards +2 Warriors -2
Over/Under: 222.

Tonight the Golden State Warriors host the Washington Wizards in a game that is sure to see a lot of offense and not much defense. Both teams are struggling, big time, and each is in last place in their respective divisions. The Warriors have lost 4 straight and are only 2-8 in their last 10 games and the Wizards have lost 6 straight and are 3-7 in their last 10 games.

The Wizards have lost 6 in a row, but every one of their losses has been by 4 points or less. The Warriors are having major injury issues and they are especially hit hard at the C position, as Andris Biedrins (back), Ronny Turiaf (knee), and Mikki Moore (bone spurs) are all banged up. In Golden State’s last game they only had 9 players in uniform.

The Wizards have been getting solid play from Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Brendan Haywood, but as a team they are having problems on the defensive end of the court. Speaking of defense, or should I say lack thereof, the Warriors are the worst team in the league on D giving up an average of 111.3 ppg and allowing opponents to almost shoot 50% from the floor.

This season the Warriors are 4-6 at home and the Wizards are only 3-9 on the road.

In their last game on Wednesday night the Warriors lost to the San Antonio Spurs 103-91. The high scorer for the Warriors in the game was Monta Ellis going for 35 points on 16/31 shooting. For the game the Warriors shot 37/87 for a FG% of 42.5%. On defense the Warriors allowed the Spurs to shoot 39/81 for a FG% of 48.1%. Tim Duncan lit them up for 27 points and 15 boards.

The Wizards lost a barnburner to Sacramento Kings 112-109 on Wednesday night. The high scorer for the Wizards in that game was Gilbert Arenas going for 33 points on 10/22 shooting. For the game the Wizards shot 41/95 from the floor for a FG% of 43.2%. On D the Wizards allowed the Kings to shoot 40/86 for a FG% of 46.5%.

This season the Warriors rank 3rd in scoring (106.3 ppg) and the Wizards rank 20th (98.1 ppg). On defense the Wizards rank 20th in points allowed (101.5 ppg) while the Warriors rank dead last at (111.3 ppg). On the boards the Wizards have a rebounding differential of +0.4 rpg while the Warriors are the worst team in the league on the glass at -9.8 rpg.

The Warriors are the worst defensive team in the league and they are banged up inside so look for Wizards’ C Brendan Haywood (10.2 ppg 10.9 rpg) to pad his numbers tonight, especially on the boards. He will have a big game inside since the Warriors are really hurting on the interior.

Gilbert Arenas (21 ppg) and Antawn Jamison (22.1 ppg) will also have big scoring games tonight and Jamison, who averages 8.6 rebounds per game, will also have a solid game on the glass.

The Warriors will run and gun tonight and Monta Ellis (24.4 ppg) will be counted on to have a big game. However, tonight I don’t think that will happen, as the Wizards’ backcourt has size (Arenas 6″4 and SG Nick Young 6’6″) and that will make it hard for Ellis to have open looks. The same thing goes for PG Stephen Curry (11.3 ppg), who is a deep threat, but will struggle tonight.

The one inside threat the Warriors have is 6’6″ SF Corey Maggette (16.2 ppg) and he will have a good game since the Wizards will be focused on keeping the Golden State guards from pouring in the points.

The Wizards do have a very athletic team so they should be able to keep up with the Warriors.

On the injury front PF Antawn Jamison is day-to-day for the Wizards and C Mikki Moore is Out for the Warriors.

Jason’s Pick: Much is being made of neither team playing any defense, which is true, but 222 for a total is a bit high. Take the UNDER. It won’t come easy and you may need to slug down some Pepto-Bismol, but it’s a likely result.