The two teams are in the bottom half of their respective conferences and their season might be a foregone conclusion. This is their first matchup of the season with their second fixture scheduled for Friday of this week itself.
Fixture: OKC Thunder vs Washington Wizards | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Monday, April 19, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Tuesday, April 20th; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC.
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards' season has been underwhelming, to say the least. They started the season losing eight of their first 10 games and have faced adversity throughout the year.
However, as we approach the end of the season, it seems they have turned things around lately. The Wizards have won six of their last seven games, including victories over the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz.
They are now tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference and have a very strong chance of making the play-in tournament.
The star backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are averaging nearly 53 points combined in that stretch.
Beal is on the way to earning his first scoring title this season. He is averaging 31.1 points per game so far, just 0.1 ahead of the Warriors' Stephen Curry (31.0 PPG), who has been on a roll of late.
Also Read: Who is Stephen Curry's wife, Ayesha Curry?
Beal needs to drop some significant numbers in the coming games to solidify his chances of winning the scoring title.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Although Beal averages more points per game, Russell Westbrook's overall production on the floor makes him more valuable to the Washington Wizards.
Westbrook leads the team in rebounds, assists, steals and minutes played while also scoring the second-highest.
He is the only player in the NBA averaging a triple-double this season with 21.9 points, 10.9 rebounds and 10.8 assists per game.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Russell Westbrook | Shooting Guard - Bradley Beal | Small Forward - Deni Avdija | Power Forward - Rui Hachimura | Center - Alex Len.
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder are having one of their worst stretches lately. They have lost their last 10 games in a row and they continue to slip in the conference standings.
The absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Al Horford has left them severely undermanned in the rugged Western Conference. They have five players listed either questionable or out for the game, namely Mike Muscala, Josh Hall and Gabriel Deck.
They are almost certainly aiming at the lottery with the hope of getting a high pick in the upcoming draft. GM Sam Presti and the OKC Thunder now have 34 draft picks in the next seven years, including 17 first-rounders.
Head coach Mark Daigneault is set to develop young talent in the Thunder squad. With a plethora of picks, assets and young developing players, the OKC Thunder's future looks bright.
Key Player - Luguentz Dort
The OKC Thunder have found a gem in Luguentz Dort. The 22-year-old guard is a proud defender who guards the opposition's best players with passion.
He has built a reputation as an elite defender but has significantly improved his offensive talents as well.
Dort recently dropped 42 points against the Utah Jazz and has recorded nine games with 20+ points this season, including 29 points in his last outing against the Raptors.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Theo Maledon | Shooting Guard - Luguentz Dort | Small Forward - Aleksej Pokusevski | Power Forward - Darius Bazley | Center - Moses Brown.
Thunder vs Wizards Match Prediction
The Washington Wizards are the clear favorites to win this game based on their roster and recent form. Westbrook and Beal have been on a roll lately, whereas the OKC Thunder are performing quite poorly, having lost their last 10 matches.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out for at least another two weeks due to a foot injury and his absence has hurt the Thunder's chances of winning any game.
Where to watch the Thunder vs Wizards game?
The OKC Thunder vs. Washington Wizards game will be locally televised on NBC Sports Washington and Bally Sports Oklahoma. The game can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.