Preseason Game 1:
Wizards (0-0) vs. Cavaliers (0-0):
Quicken Loans Arena
Comcast Sports Net (webcast can be found here)
I don't know about you, but after four and a half months, I'm just excited to watch any Wizards basketball, even if it is the preseason. And seriously, how badly do you guys want to beat Cleveland. I hate those guys, seriously.
I mean, with all due respect to LeBron, who's easily the most talented player in basketball, can we stop hearing about his "new and improved" mid-range jumper? Showing it in FIBA play is one thing, showing it in the NBA is another entirely. And as much as I respect their ability to defend, that offense is downright painful. As a fan of the NBA, it makes me cringe to see them waste the most incredible offensive talent in the league.
The good news is that one of the team's major annoyances, Anderson Varejao, won't play, thanks to contract issues. Karma is what karma gets, my friend.
For the good guys, Gilbert Arenas is still a game-time decision after recovering from knee surgery. I guess I'm okay with him not playing, though I wonder how he could play without any problems at Barry Farms and suddenly can't play here. Obviously, his health is the most important thing, but it doesn't really do the team much good to play in the preseason without him.
Meanwhile, we're still not sure about the status of Etan Thomas, but he's definitely out for tonight's game.
So what are we looking for here? Here's a couple things I want to see.
Dominic McGuire vs. Lebron James: I would love, love, love to see those two guys match up at some points. It'll certainly be a good first test for a rookie we have a lot of hopes for.
Rebounding: Cleveland was arguably the league's best all-around rebounding team last year, ranking third in offensive rebound percentage and second in defensive rebound percentage. Thomas, the Wizards' best rebounder, won't play, so the onus is on Brendan Haywood to step up his rebounding. I'm also interested to see how O-Pec rebounds. He threw his body around in summer league, but wasn't all that successful in doing so. This will be a good test for him.
DeShawn and Caron (and Gilbert) dropping weight: All three of those guys lost weight this summer. Did it make them stronger, quicker, or just weaker?
Nick Young: The rookie has struggled in the preseason, so this is the first chance we really get to see how much he plays. Needless to say, I'm going to be watching that closely.
Defense: Oh yeah, duh.