The Atlanta Hawks head into Washington to start 2019 with an 11-25 record and just 5-15 on the road. However, they have played better lately, winners of five of their last ten. The Wizards enter at 14-23 with a 10-7 record on the road. They have been in a tailspin lately, losers of seven of their last ten.
The trend for the Wizards could continue with the absence of John Wall, who is scheduled for surgery on his injured achilles and will miss the remainder of the season. Washington will have difficulty making up the 21 points and nine assists her provided per night.
Comparing the two teams statistically, the Wizards are 10th in scoring and a respectable 13th in turnovers, however they are second from the bottom in both rebounding and points allowed per game. The Hawks are dead last in points allowed, as well as turnovers and are 20th in scoring and 17th in rebounding.
Already leading the Wizards in scoring at 23.6 per game, Bradley Beal may have to increase the load with Wall out. Beal also averages nearly five rebounds and five assists per game. Trevor Ariza, who is averagig 14.9 points since acquired by the Wizards, scored 24 in his last game and is also capable of picking up the slack. Otto Porter, Jeff Green and Markieff Morris average over 11 points per game, while Porter and Green also pose a threat from beyond the arc. Overall the Wizards are below average from beyond the arc, at 32.8 percent.
Washington's porous defense could be just what the Hawks need to get their offense in gear. John Collins leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 18.5 points and 10.1 rebounds. Trae Young contributes nearly 16 per night while finding teammates for good scoring opportunities, averaging 7.4 assists. Jeremy Lin (40 percent) and Taurean Prince (37 percent) can get hot from three-point range, while the Wizards could have their hands full on the boards with Dewayne Dedmon, averaging 7.6 rebounds per contest.
The teams have split the last six meetings. Despite the loss of Wall, the Wizards should be a slight home favorite considering their decent home record versus the poor road record for the Hawks. Offensive output should be higher than normal for both teams. Washington will need some time to find their rhythm without Wall, so look for the Hawks to win by a few points in an upset.