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Wizards fall in OT to Knicks in preseason opener
The Wizards’ preseason opener Monday night was the first time the team got to put their work in camp into practice against a team other than themselves. As it turned out, they got plenty of time to start to work things out as they went to overtime with the Knicks, falling 124-121.
Some quick notes from the first preseason game of 2018…
Scott Brooks planned on using his starters sparingly Monday, and only Bradley Beal (11 points in nearly 22 minutes) eclipsed 20 minutes of run. John Wall logged six points in just over nine minutes, while Otto Porter Jr. led the starters with 13 points in just over 16 minutes. Ian Mahinmi played 18 minutes starting in place of Dwight Howard (back), tallying eight points, seven rebounds and a rare 3-pointer. Markieff Morris logged 12 minutes prior to being ejected in the second quarter.
83 total fouls were called on the night, 44 belonging to the Knicks and 39 to the Wizards. This early in the preseason, it will be a good thing for Washington to have tape on and study as they adjust to how games may be officiated in the coming year. The two teams went to the line a combined 90 times on the night, and both hit 33 from the foul line.
Letting it Fly
The Wizards stayed true to their goal of shooting plenty of 3’s, launching 38 shots from deep but connecting on just eight (21.1 percent). Otto Porter Jr. went 3-for-5 from deep, while Bradley Beal struggled (1-for-7). Monday’s struggles don’t figure to be anything to worry about for Washington, which has plenty of 3-point firepower in its arsenal.
It’s also important to note that the other hallmark of what the Wizards want to do this season offensively is getting baskets around the rim when they’re not shooting 3’s. They did that effectively Monday, outscoring the Knicks in the paint, 60-40.
Three bench players tallied double-figure scoring totals Monday, with Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 15 points and eight rebounds leading the way. The rebounding numbers from both Oubre and rookie forward Troy Brown Jr. (four points, seven rebounds) are encouraging from the pair of wings who will be asked this season to do it all on both ends of the floor.
Oubre (+7) logged the Wizards’ highest +/- ratio on the night. The only other positive ratio off the bench came from newcomer Austin Rivers, who scored seven points to go with three rebounds and three assists. Other top scorers off the bench included Jordan McRae (14 points), Jason Smith (10 points) and Tomas Satoransky (12 points).
Up Next: The Wizards now have another full week of practice at home in D.C. before hosting the Heat on Friday night at Capital One Arena. Tipoff for the team’s second preseason game is set for 7:00 p.m. (NBCSW)