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Wizards and Knicks meet in preseason battle
While technically this will be the Wizards second preseason game, it will be their first NBA preseason tilt as they welcome the New York Knicks to Capital One Arena on Friday night. They will play three more preseason games after tonight before hosting the Sixers on Opening Night on October 18th.
Capital One Arena | 7pm | NBCSW | Buy Tickets
Wizards: G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter, F - Smith, C - Gortat
Wizards: Markieff Morris (Sports Hernia - Out), Tim Frazier (Groin - Out), Devin Robinson (Foot -Out), Donald Sloan (Questionable), Sheldon Mac (Thumb - Questionable)
Knicks: Ron Baker (Ankle - Doubtful), Luke Kornet (Hamstring - Doubtful), Mindaugas Kuzminskas (Calk - Doubtful), Frank Ntilikina (Knee - Doubtful)
What to Watch For
John Wall Debut
Friday will likely be John Wall's debut for the 2017 preseason, as he was held out of Monday's contest (rest). He probably won't play too many minutes, but when talking to the media he said he prepares for every game, regular season or preseason, the same way and will be ready to play as many minutes as head coach Scott Brooks will allow. Even with the game not counting for anything, after a long summer just seeing Wall back on the floor will be a welcoming sight for Wizards fans. Wall has said he's now in the best shape of his career and Friday night will be our first look at the eight-year point guard.
More Opportunities for Rotation Players
With this being just the second preseason game and first against an NBA opponent, there should still be plenty of minutes for everyone on the roster, as the starters will probably be limited again, like they were on Monday. The Wizards do have a few of those role players banged up, so that could play a factor, but don't expect any of the regulars to be playing more than 20-25 minutes. With this preseason being shorter, there will be less games for those trying to make the roster to make an impression, so they'll want to capitalize on this opportunity against NBA talent. The team also has to decide on how they will split up Markieff Morris' minutes, who joined the team on Thursday, but will be out for at least another six weeks after his sports hernia surgery. They used Jason Smith as the starting PF on Monday, and may elect to go that route again on Friday, but Brooks has stated that no decision has been made on who will start at PF on opening night.
No More 'Melo in NY
After being traded last week, the Knicks will no longer have their lethal scoring option, Carmelo Anthony at the forward spot. They will now be led by their young star, Kristaps Porzingis, and have a bunch of new faces on this year's squad, including Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr, Doug McDermott, Michael Beasley, and Ramon Sessions. Their top draft pick, Frank Ntilikina, won't play on Friday due to an injury.