The Wizards are coming off a two-game skid. They endured a decimating 127-102 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans in their previous outing. Meanwhile, the Thunder haven't been in great form either, having lost four straight games. They lost to the Utah Jazz 110-104 in their last match.
Fixture: Washington Wizards vs OKC Thunder | NBA Season 2021-22
Date & Time: Friday, November 26th, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, November 27th, 7:30 AM IST)
Venue: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK.
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards have had trouble getting good starts this season. It was their Achilles heel in their last two losses to the Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans.
They were down by 22 points at halftime against the Pelicans and never recovered. The Wizards turned the ball over 19 times during the contest, allowing their opponents 24 points off turnovers. Four players scored in double-digits, but only Bradley Beal managed to tally more than 15 points. Washington shot 42.9% from the field, including just seven 3-pointers during the game.
The OKC Thunder are an underperforming team, but the Washington Wizards cannot take them lightly. They will have to work on getting a good start if they are to record a win.
Key Player - Bradley Beal
Big-time players step up when their team is struggling and that is what Bradley Beal will have to do for the Washington Wizards on Friday. Beal has had a bit of an underwhelming start this season as he is averaging 23.3 points on only 42.7% shooting from the field and 26.7% from the 3-point range. Those numbers haven't been close to his average over the last two seasons, in which he scored over 30 points per game.
Nevertheless, he has come alive in a few games recently. Beal will need to try to score aggressively early against the OKC Thunder. That could prove to be decisive in the eventual outcome of the match. It will also boost the morale of his teammates and give them a solid edge.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G - Spencer Dinwiddie | G - Bradley Beal | F - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | F - Kyle Kuzma | C - Daniel Gafford
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder have shown a lot of fighting spirit in each of their four consecutive losses entering this game. Their lack of experience continues to deprive them of achieving positive results during crunch time situations. Nevertheless, the young OKC crew seems bright and will be eager to turn things around against the Washington Wizards.
The Thunder battled hard against the Utah Jazz in their previous outing. They grabbed a three-point lead by halftime and were very much alive until the 2:26 mark in the fourth quarter. However, Donovan Mitchell hit some crucial shots down the stretch as the game ended in heartbreak for OKC, who were without star player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the second straight match.
Luguentz Dort showcased his fine form, scoring 27 points on the night, while Josh Giddey tallied 19 points on efficient 8-of-15 shooting. The OKC Thunder shot 15 threes during the game and committed only nine turnovers. A similar performance with some fine-tuning could help them secure a win on Friday.
Key Player - Josh Giddey
Rookie Josh Giddey has shone in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's absence for the OKC Thunder. Being the primary ball-handler has allowed Giddey to play his natural game. The 19-year-old has recorded 16 assists across the last two games. He has also been efficient with his shooting, knocking down 50% of his field-goal attempts.
Giddey's creativity could come in handy once again for the OKC Thunder. He will also have to continue to take up the responsibility of being one of the primary scorers to help fill in for the potential absence of Gilgeous-Alexander.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
G - Josh Giddey | G - Luguentz Dort | F - Aaron Wiggins | F - Darius Bazley | C - Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Wizards vs Thunder Match Prediction
The Washington Wizards could face a difficult match against the unpredictable OKC Thunder. On paper though, they have a better squad. They have been in better form overall and will head into this matchup as favorites. The Wizards will have to play with more intensity from the start to get an advantage, or else this game could slip out of their hands.
Where to watch Wizards vs Thunder
Also ReadArticle Continues below
The game between the Washington Wizards and OKC Thunder will be televised locally by NBC Sports Washington + and Bally Sports Oklahoma. Fans can also view the match online via a subscription to NBA League Pass.