The small lineup of the Milwaukee Bucks has given the Wizards trouble, but now that they've been forced to play "small ball," too, since Nene's injury they should be better prepared to defend. Ersan Ilyasova, a 6-10 power forward with three-point range, is a key component.
"They were able to space the floor with Ilyasova which creates space just like we talk when we're able to go smaller what the floor looks like for John (Wall)," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It's kind of a similar thing. They start that way and play a lot of the game that way. We have to do a good job of containing off the dribble and getting to shooters."
The Bucks also have Zaza Pachulia back in the lineup. They had O.J. Mayo coming off the bench, but his status for Saturday's game isn't clear because of an impending suspension by the league.
[MORE: Suspension coming for Mayo?]
Both meetings between these teams have gone to overtime, with the Wizards winning the first one in Milwaukee and losing the next time at home. The Bucks haven't won consecutive games, and that includes in preseason. The Wizards have won seven of their last eight.
"We don't need to look at anything more than the two games they played against us," Wittman said. "You've got to play good games against everybody in this league. It's hard to win."
TV: There is no pregame or postgame shows because this will be aired on the overflow channel, CSN+, with tipoff 9 p.m. ET from Bradley Center. Radio: 1500 AM.
Last game: Wizards (32-29) beat Utah Jazz 104-91 on Wednesday; Bucks (12-49) lost at New Orleans Pelicans 114-102 on Friday.
Last meeting: Wizards lost 109-105 OT at Verizon Center on Dec. 6 to the Bucks, who entered the game losers of 13 of their last 14. Season series: Tied 1-1.
Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Bucks –- PG Brandon Knight, SG Nate Wolters, SF Khris Middleton, PF Ersan Ilyasova, C Zaza Pachulia.
X-factors: If SF Martell Webster (back) is able to make it through shootaround Saturday morning without discomfort, he will return to the Wizards' lineup after missing two games. ... O.J. Mayo isn't expected to be available for the Bucks after he was ejected Friday for striking an opponent which should trigger an automatic suspension from the NBA.
Around the bend: The Wizards will leave after the game and head to Miami, where they'll meet the Heat on Monday (CSN+, 7:30 p.m. ET).