The Wizards have one, odd stat that has persisted all season long that could work in their favor Saturday night as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington). Though they have been awful on the first night of back-to-backs, they have been really good in the second games.
On Friday, they lost to the Charlotte Hornets 112-111 and fell to 2-10 in the first game of back-to-backs. They enter their meeting with the Timberwolves 8-3 in the second games.
In fact, the Wizards are much better with zero days rest than they are with days off before games. They are 13-26 with one day rest, the most common scenario. They are 2-7 when they have two days off.
Logic suggests the Wizards would show signs of fatigue in the second night of a back-to-back, but the reverse has happened. They shoot 51.2 percent as a team with zero days rest and 38.1 percent from three.
Defense, though, has been the biggest difference. With zero days rest, the Wizards hold opponents to 109.9 points per game. That number goes up to 118.7 with one day rest and 124.9 with two.
That suggests there is more urgency for the Wizards when they are playing the very next night after a loss, and that edge goes away the longer they have been off. Perhaps the motivation of needing to bounce back changes the way they perform.
Any season stats for the Wizards have to be presented with the caveat that their roster has been revamped by five different trades. There are a lot of players in their rotation that weren’t in the mix earlier this season when these trends began.
But the problems they have had in the first night of back-to-backs have continued, ever since they traded for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis on Feb. 6. Since they are 1-2 in those scenarios.
The Wizards will certainly hope to keep it going on Saturday night as they aim to follow up a tough loss to the Hornets with a victory against the Timberwolves. After that, they have two back-to-backs remaining on their schedule.
And at 27-38 and four games back of the Miami Heat for the last playoff spot, these games become more and more important. The Wizards have 17 games left on the season.
WIZARDS vs. TIMBERWOLVES HOW TO WATCH:
What: Washington Wizards vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 2018-19 NBA Regular Season Game #66
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Timberwolves game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Find Your Channel)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Timberwolves on NBC Sports Washington’s live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM