Wizards welcome Guangzhou Long-Lions to tip off preseason
The Wizards will welcome the Guangzhou Long-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association on Monday to tip off the 2017-18 preseason. Basketball is back in the nation's capital, as the Wizards begin their five-game preseason slate before opening night against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 18 at Capital One Arena.
Wizards: G - Satoranskyl, G - Beal, F - Porter, F - Smith, C - Gortat
Wizards: Markieff Morris (Sports Hernia - Out), Tim Frazier (Groin - Out), Devin Robinson (Foot -Out)
What to Watch For
Minute allotment for the Wizards
On the injury front, the Wizards will be without Markieff Morris for five to seven weeks as he recovers from his sports hernia surgery. On Saturday, Scott Brooks said backup point guard Tim Frazier (groin) is unlikely to play in Monday’s contest. Rookie Devin Robinson (foot) did not practice for much of training camp and he will not play on Monday. Before Monday's game, Brooks said John Wall will not play (rest).
Other than those injuries and Wall resting, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., and Marcin Gortat will likely begin the game, although their minutes could be limited with this being the first preseason game of the preseason. Brooks will look to get quality minutes from Ian Mahinmi, Jodie Meeks, and Mike Scott, all of who are recovering from injuries last season. There will be plenty of minutes for young players like Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre Jr., Chris McCullough, Sheldon Mac, Mike Young, Daniel Ochefu, and Carrick Felix.
The search for Morris’ replacement in the starting lineup
The Wizards have no inclinations of who will replace Morris in the starting lineup, but Coach Brooks certainly has options. Expect either Mike Scott or Jason Smith to get the start in Monday’s game, though there’s plenty of time and thought still putting into the decision. Scott plays similarly to Morris in his toughness on both ends and ability to stretch the floor. Smith filled in for Morris late last season and knows the four-position. The Wizards could also go small and put Oubre at the three-spot and move Porter to the four. Lastly, Brooks and others spoke highly of McCullough’s training camp and he projects to get heavy preseason minutes at power forward. Again, the team’s opening night starter will likely not be announced until opening night.
“We have versatility; we have depth; we can go in many different directions,” Brooks said during training camp. “We can go small, we can throw Kelly [Oubre Jr.] in there, we can throw Jason [Smith] in there. Mike Scott we can put in there. But there’s a lot of players that we can throw into the mix. We will miss him, but I feel confident in the group.”
Hansbrough and Fogg
The Long-Lions feature two American-born players in Tyler Hansbrough and Kyle Fogg. Hansbrough, arguably one of the most decorated college basketball players in NCAA history, signed with the Long-Lions this season after playing in the NBA and G-League since 2009. Hansbrough will be a good matchup to get the preseason for the Wizards down low. Fogg, who attended the University of Arizona and has spent most of his professional career overseas, was a part of the Overseas Elite team that won its third straight The Basketball Tournament (TBT) championship this season. Fogg will run the point for the Long-Lions and facilitate their offense. Both players know the NBA-style of play from their experience in college and in the NBA.