Three things to watch: Wizards face Warriors in second preseason game from Japan

In the Wizards first of two exhibition matchups with the Golden State Warriors on Friday, hometown hero Rui Hachimura showed out in front of his friends and family. Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis got to play together for the first time. Johnny Davis got his first real NBA experience. And Wizards fans got a look at some fresh faces and how they fit in on the court.

Washington ended up losing 96-87, but they have another crack at the defending champs in Japan early Sunday morning.

WHERE: Saitama Super Arena (Saitama, Japan)
WHEN: 1 a.m. ET; 2 p.m. local time 
TV: NBC Sports Washington & NBA TV
RADIO: 980 AM & The Wizards App

Here are three things to watch for ahead of Game 2 in Japan.


At times during the preseason opener, the offense looked a little messy. That's to be expected in the first real action of the season. The rotations are different, there are new faces and skill sets on the court and some players coming off injuries were seeing their first game action in some time. It's normal for the guys to need to shake off some rust in the first preseason game. That's what the preseason is for.

Hopefully, the Wizards can keep building on some of the positives from their first game in Japan and improve on some of the negatives. For starters, knocking down outside shots would be a huge boost.

In the opener, the Wizards shot 6-of-35 (17.1%) from deep as a team, while established shooters Monte Morris, Corey Kispert, Porzingis, and Beal combined for 2-of-17 (11.7%). There should be some natural positive regression from three, especially for guys that have proven they're quality shooters.


There was a ton of offseason excitement about the offensive potential of Beal and Porzingis. They didn't take the court together last year, but in the preseason opener, they looked good as a tandem.

Late in the second quarter, they combined for a sensational highlight. Beal curled off a Porzingis screen at the elbow and got the ball from Delon Wright. Beal took one power dribble and lofted the ball to a rolling Porzingis where only he could read the ball. Porzingis snagged the ball with one hand and flushed it with authority.

It was an awesome example of what the two of them can do on offense. With Beal's on-ball gravity and Porzingis' ability to finish above the rim, there will be more opportunities for plays like that. Keep an eye on these two and how they progress together.


This was one of the main things to watch in the preseason opener, and it will continue to be one of the main things to watch throughout the entire preseason.

In the opener, D.C. fans got to see what a starting lineup of Morris, Beal, Hachimura, Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma look like together. Will that be the starting lineup that Coach Wes Unseld Jr. rolls with again or will he change things up? What about the subbing pattern and the second unit? Will it look similar or will Coach Unseld try new combinations?

It's preseason for the whole team -- coaches and players. Everyone is still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. It will be super interesting to see how Coach Unseld approaches this game compared to the last.