Wizards Face Daunting Western Conference Trip


The Washington Wizards enjoyed a winning Christmas weekend last week. On Christmas Day, the Wizards embarrassed the New York Knicks on national television before winning the season series with the Boston Celtics in another blowout win on Saturday.

And beginning Monday, the Wizards will begin arguably their toughest road trip of the regular season with five games against some of the best in the Western Conference.

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Randy Wittman & Co. will begin the five-game road trip Monday at Houston before playing in Dallas on Tuesday, followed by a Friday night match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Wizards will then head right back to Texas to play in San Antonio on Saturday before finishing up the trip in New Orleans against the Pelicans on Jan. 5.

This upcoming road trip will be a huge measuring stick for Washington.

The Wizards are the healthiest they have been all season as Martell Webster returns to the lineup tonight. And with Nene’s return to the starting lineup, Wittman has virtually all of his pieces at his disposal.

Washington will also face some of the best players at each position in the NBA during their road trip.

In Houston, the Wizards will have to contain James Harden and Dwight Howard, arguably the best shooting guard and center in the league, respectively. For an up-and-coming star guard in Bradley Beal, going toe-to-toe with a player like Harden would be a big step in the right direction in solidifying yourself.

On Tuesday, the Wizards will have a chance to avenge their earlier season home loss to Dallas while going up against one of the greatest power forwards of all time in Dirk Nowitzki.

Dec 27, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) shoots as Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) and guard Jameer Nelson (28) look on during the second half at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 101 – 88. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night will see John Wall face-off against Russell Westbrook. Both guards are in the top-five at their position in the league and are arguably the two most explosive guards in the league. And although Kevin Durant has missed the last six games with an ankle injury, he’s practicing again so there’s a good chance he’ll return for Friday night’s game.

Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard have been injured for the Spurs this season, but the Spurs are still the reigning champions and court serious talent in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Danny Green.

And in New Orleans, the Pelicans have an absolute monster at center in Anthony Davis, who is making a strong case for best overall player in the league this season.

Getting a win in any game this road trip will be no easy task for the Washington Wizards. But at 21-8, Washington has proven to be no joke themselves and have an MVP-caliber player running the show in John Wall.

Returning home next week with a few wins will go a long way for the Wizards in terms of confidence and establishing themselves as a true contender, not just in the East, but in the entire NBA.

Tip-off against the Rockets is set for 8 p.m.