NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 22nd (All times Eastern)
New Orleans Pelicans (23-31) at Washington Wizards (26-28), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards will unveil their new backup point guard Saturday night when they welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the Verizon Center.
The Wizards acquired veteran Andre Miller from the Denver Nuggets on Thursday's NBA Trade Deadline day. It cost Washington underachieving Jan Vesely, underwhelming guard Eric Maynor and a future second-round draft pick.
"Andre is a proven veteran who brings 14 years of experience as a point guard, leader and distributor to solidify our second unit," said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. "He will be a valuable addition as we make our push over these last 28 games of the season to put ourselves in the best possible position."
The backup spot to All-Star John Wall has been lacking. Maynor never materialized as a viable option, so Miller, who fell out of favor with Denver coach Brian Shaw, will fill the void.
The Wizards halted a three-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 114-97 road drubbing of Southwest Division foes, the Atlanta Hawks.
Wall led seven Wizards in double figures with 21 points and 12 assists. Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal donated 19 points apiece for Washington, which led wire-to-wire and snapped an 11-game skid in Atlanta. Marcin Gortat added 14 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.
"We needed it real bad, especially if we're trying to make a push," Ariza said. "This one was big for us, especially knowing we haven't won here in a while."
New Orleans has lost two in a row and four of its last five games, including Friday's 90-87 setback at Charlotte.
Brian Roberts (20), Anthony Davis (18) and Eric Gordon (14) finished in double figures, while Davis grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots.
"We played against a pretty good team defensively and we scored 55 points on them in the second half. Our gameplan was sound when we executed it, we gave ourselves a chance to compete tonight," said Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.
The Pelicans have a tough stretch of games on the horizon against the Los Angeles Clippers twice, Dallas and Phoenix.
The Wizards bested the Pelicans in New Orleans on Jan. 8 and have taken four straight in the series. The Pelicans have won three of their last four trips to D.C.
02/22 10:37:02 ET