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Wizards host Heat in second preseason game
The Wizards will continue the preseason against the Heat on Friday night. Scott Brooks said on Thursday that he expects his starters to play, with John Wall playing a bit more than he did in the first game (past the first quarter). Dwight Howard will not play, while the Heat have a hefty injury report. These teams will of course meet on opening night in D.C. on October 18.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards: G - John Wall, G - Bradley Beal, F - Otto Porter Jr., F - Markieff Morris, C - Ian Mahinmi;
Heat: G – Goran Dragic, G – Rodney McGruder, F – Justise Winslow, F – Kelly Olynyk, C – Hassan Whiteside
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Back - Out)
Heat: Bam Adebayo (Right AC Joint – Out), James Johnson (Sports Hernia - Out), Derrick Jones Jr. (Right Shoulder – Out), Marcus Lee (Right Knee – Out), Dion Waiters (Left Ankle – Out), Wayne Ellington (Left Ankle – Doubtful)
Adjusting to new offensive philosophy
The Wizards debuted their new shot selection plans for the 2018-19 season in Monday’s preseason game: 3-pointers and layups. Washington only made 8-of-38 triples in that game against the Knicks, but Brooks was still satisfied with the shot selection and open shots that will fall in the future. The Wizards only took 10 midrange jump shots on Monday; part of their plan is to eliminate bad, early shot clock midrange shots.
“I think last year we averaged 35 [midrange shots],” Brooks said. “If we can get it down to 10, I don’t think that can happen, but 20 would be nice just to get it down.”
“If the midrange is open, I don’t mind guys taking it,” Brooks continued. “It should be open. It’s the contested, long twos early in the shot clock we’re trying to get rid of.”
Considering the players have said it’s taken a bit of an adjustment, another few preseason games will get them prepared to translate this new philosophy for the regular season.
“So that’s kind of the difficult part because at times, you come off pick and rolls, you’re going to have that shot right away,” John Wall said about shooting from midrange. “He doesn’t want us to settle for that because that’s what a lot of teams want you to settle for and that’s what we want teams to settle for when we’re guarding them. So that’s going to be the toughest adjustment for me.”
More live action
The Wizards have practiced for two full weeks now, and the team has certainly built more chemistry every day. Playing against one another day in and day out can get a bit old, especially when your teammates know the plays and sets. Thus, playing against other teams can help build more chemistry and give the Wizards more film to break down. A lot of the players are still learning their teammates’ tendencies, especially with newcomers Austin Rivers, Jeff Green, Troy Brown Jr. and others. These preseason games, though they can be a bit boring at times, are very beneficial to teams like the Wizards.
John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Austin Rivers played together briefly at the end of the first quarter in the first preseason game, but the Wizards will likely employ that three-man lineup even more on Friday. On Monday, their shots weren’t really falling, but they were satisfied with the flow, shot selection, and pass distribution of their minutes together. Brooks and the three guards have spoken at length about the potential of this lineup, and it will be interesting to see them use it throughout the 2018-19 season.