John Wall will make his 2012-13 season debut tonight for the Washington Wizards at home against the Atlanta Hawks after being diagnosed with a “stress injury” in left knee more than three months ago.
The Wizards announced Friday that Wall had received full medical clearance and would play Saturday, though it is not positive whether the franchise point guard would start or come off the bench.
All three Hawks-Wizards games this season have been very exciting with two of those contests needing to be decided in overtime play. Atlanta is 3-0 against Washington and will sweep the season series tonight with a win.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards
What?: Southeast Divisional Showdown (Game #36, Road Game #18)
Where?: Verizon Center (Washington, DC)
When?: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 – 7:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680AM & 93.7FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Lou Williams | SF: Kyle Korver | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
PG: Garrett Temple | SG: Bradley Beal | SF: Martel Webster | PF: Kevin Seraphin | C: Emeka Okafor
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Anthony Morrow (sore lower back) is questionable.
Washington Wizards: Trevor Booker (strained right knee) and Nene (right knee tendinitis) are questionable. Cartier Martin (hyper-extended left knee) and Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) are out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (21-14) … Washington Wizards (5-28)
Streak: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 3 … Washington Wizards –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 7
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (9-8) on the road … Wizards are (4-13) at home.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak last night against the Utah Jazz but have lost 5-of-7 overall since getting blown out by the Rockets in Houston on New Years Eve.
Washington Wizards: Lukewarm. Wizards have a horrible 5-28 record but just beat the OKC Thunder last night in Washington and have a history of pushing the Hawks to the brink, forcing two overtime games already this season.
Season/Past Season Series
Atlanta visits the nation’s capital for the second time in the fourth-and-final meeting with the Wizards. The Hawks own a 3-0 record against Washington, including a 100-95 overtime road win on 12/18. Atlanta previously took both games at Philips Arena – 101-100 in overtime on 11/21 and 104-95 on 12/7. Josh Smith is averaging 21.7 points and 13.3 rebounds in the three games versus Washington, recording a double-double in each contest. Former Hawk Jordan Crawford tallied a triple-double in the last meeting (27 points/11 rebounds/11 assists). Atlanta owns a six-game winning streak against the Wizards and has taken two straight on the road. Washington’s last win in the series was a 115-83 home decision on 4/9/11. The Hawks lead the all-time series 144-133 (46-86 on the road).
LAST MEETING – HAWKS 101, WIZARDS 100 (OT) – PHILIPS ARENA – 11/21/12
Atlanta led by as many as 11 in the third quarter before an 11-2 Wizards run to close the period made it a two-point game heading to the fourth. Washington led 90-88 with the seconds ticking away but Devin Harris was fouled and hit the ensuing two free throws to send the game to overtime. The Wizards were up 100-98 when Kyle Korver drilled the game winning three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left, putting the Hawks up 101-100. Washington’s Kevin Seraphin missed off the inbounds play and Martell Webster’s put-back came after the buzzer as the Hawks escaped with the win. Josh Smith paced Atlanta with season-highs of 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and Al Horford just missed his first career triple-double with 15 points, a career-best 10 assists and nine boards. Korver added 16 points, including a four-point play, Jeff Teague scored 14 and Devin Harris had 13. Seraphin (21 points/10 rebounds) and Trevor Ariza (12 points/15 boards) had double-doubles for the Wizards.
Larry Drew is a former Washington assistant coach (2000-03). Hawks scout Greg Ballard was drafted (fourth overall in 1977) and played eight years for Washington (1977-85). Wizards head coach Randy Wittman is a former Hawk (353 games played from 1983-88). DeShawn Stevenson played in Washington from 2006 through part of the 2009-10 season. Jordan Crawford saw action in 16 games for Atlanta in 2010-11. Hawks assistant Bob Weiss played for Washington in 1976-77. Stevenson and Trevor Ariza were teammates with the Magic in 2005-06. Anthony Morrow and Cartier Martin teamed-up with Golden State in 2009-10. Johan Petro and Nene played together in Denver for part of the 2008-09 season. Anthony Tolliver and Martell Webster have been teammates twice, with Portland in 2009-10 and Minnesota 2010-12.
Information was used from the Hawks and Wizards official gamenotes