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Wizards open preseason vs. Knicks
The Wizards will open the 2018-19 preseason against the Knicks on Monday night. Scott Brooks said on Saturday that he expects his starters to play, but "no one's going to get heavy minutes" - likely less than 20 minutes of action. Dwight Howard will not play, while Kristaps Porzingis is out for the Knicks.
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;
Knicks: G - Trey Burke, G - Tim Hardway Jr., F - Kevin Knox, F - Lance Thomas, C - Enes Kanter
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Back - Out)
Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis (Knee - Out), Joakim Noah (Personal - Out)
New faces in D.C.
Wizards fans will get their first chance to see Austin Rivers, Jeff Green, Troy Brown Jr., and Thomas Bryant play with the rest of the team's returning players in a live game against another NBA team. Rivers has been impressive during his practice time, showing the playmaking and scoring ability the Wizards need off the bench. Green has already shown veteran leadership and is another versatile weapon. Brown Jr. and Bryant are both young, but should get lots of playing time during the team's preseason slate.
Emphasis on 3-pointers, layups, and dunks
The Wizards have made a point of taking more 3-pointers during training camp and trying to eliminate midrange shots from their repertoire. The team has worked on spacing and experimented with smaller lineups, looking to utilize as many combinations as possible. Triples, layups, and dunks are the point of emphasis heading into the season, and their shot selection will be put to the test against the Knicks. If knock-down shooters like Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Austin Rivers, and others get wide open midrange shots, they're still going to take them. Still, the team will have their first crack at their new strategy on Monday, hoping to eliminate what they consider bad shots.
The Knicks hired former Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale for the same position over the offseason. Fizdale has made it known in the offseason that all five slots in the Knicks' starting lineup are up for grabs during training camp and preseason, especially with Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss time with his knee injury. Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Alonzo Trier are the rookies to watch from New York. Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina are former top 10 picks fighting for a starting job with veteran Trey Burke.