Monday's game: Wizards-Bobcats preview

Monday's game: Wizards-Bobcats preview
March 17, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Wizards vs. Bobcats

at Time Warner Cable Arena

TV: CSN, 7 p.m. ET

Season series: Bobcats lead 2-1.

Last meeting: The Wizards won 104-87 on March 9 at Verizon Center. PG Kemba Walker led all scorers with 29 points, but Washington countered with SFs Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza combining for 46 points, including shooting 9-for-16 from three-point range. There also was a 45-32 edge in rebounding.

Previous game: The Wizards beat the Phoenix Suns 127-105 on Saturday to improve to 23-42. The Bobcats lost at the Boston Celtics 105-88 on Saturday to fall to 14-52.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards -- PG Wall, SG Garrett Temple, SF Martell Webster, PF Nene, C Emeka Okafor. Bobcats -- PG Kemba Walker, SG Gerald Henderson, SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, PF Josh McRoberts, C Bismack Biyombo.

Pivotal matchup: Temple vs. Henderson. This is because Wall and Walker likely will cancel each other out. Temple, who averages less than four points per game, has benefited from Wall’s running of the offense. Temple has reached double figures in the Wizards’ last three games –- all victories. Henderson’s scoring is vital simply because there isn't much production from the Bobcats outside of the guards. Henderson and Walker scored 46 of the 54 points generated by the starting five in the last meeting. He had 17 points but only was 5-for-15 shooting.

Trending upward: The turnovers are staying down and the assists are rising. The Wizards have decreased from 13 to 12 giveaways and now 10 in this three-game winning streak. They have dished out 25, 25 and 30 assists, with Wall averaging 10 per game.

Trending downward: The roster keeps thinning because of injuries. While SG Bradley Beal came off the bench to play 21 minutes after missing six games with a left ankle sprain vs. Phoenix, the Wizards lost Ariza (left knee soreness) and backup PG A.J. Price (groin) has been out three consecutive games. Ariza sat out the second half of a game at the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the week. Beal is expected to play pending soreness but he probably won't start. He'll be a game-time decision. 

He said it: “John (Wall) has done a terrific job with our pace the last week to 10 days. When we play at that pace offensively, we’re hard to defend” -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman after scoring a season-high 127 points vs. Phoenix.

Around the bend: Wednesday at Suns, 10 p.m. ET; Friday at L.A. Lakers, 10:30; Saturday at Golden State Warriors, 10:30. All games on CSN.