Finally, preseason is over. Thank god. Anyway, the Washington Wizards lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 100-85, after a great first half and a really bad second half. They finished the preseason 3-5, which means absolutely nothing. They had their moments of competitive play and they had moments where they looked pretty awful. Now, the waiting game begins. We have four days to learn if guys like Nene and Kevin Seraphin will be in the lineup for Tuesday's opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Let's hope they can be.
Let's take one last look at the final preseason game.
Jan Vesely: How about that second-quarter stretch? A caveat: it was coming against a horrendous defensive frontcourt in Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair. Nevertheless, the Wizards should show Vesely that stretch over and over again to make him realize how he needs to play. Cut to open space, find the ball, make quick decisions and avoid the silly fouls that hamper his rhythm.
Trevor Booker: Forget the development of his jump shot for a second and focus on his post game. Booker has really developed three pretty solid moves down there that he showed off tonight. He can hit jump hooks with either hand, and he has a nice up and under to counter defenders overplaying him for either shot. Throw in some nifty passing, and I'm excited to see him during the regular season.
A.J. Price: He was hitting his perimeter shots once again, and that improves his value tremendously. He's not the quickest player, so he can't break down your defense like a starting point guard, but he's tough, crafty and -- if he can keep this up -- a passable shooter. I especially like the way he sets up drag screens in transition. The Wizards need to use a lot of that action to get easy buckets on secondary breaks, and Price does it well. Maybe he can teach Wall a thing or two.
Bradley Beal: Easily his worst game as a pro. In the first half, he missed some open shots, but in the second half, he was physically manhandled by Danny Green in all areas. They don't make defenders as vicious as Danny Green in the SEC. Welcome to the NBA, rook.
The second-half toughness: The Spurs really tightened the screws defensively in that third quarter, and the Wizards never really met that the rest of the game. To counter a run, you have to be even more detail-oriented with your cuts, screens and live dribbles. The Wizards instead went through the motions offensively, didn't cut any harder and let the Spurs get through screens way too easily.
Chris Singleton: After a series of strong games, he didn't really make much of an impact in any area of the contest.
Earl Barron: He put up good numbers, yes, and that's nice, but he also could not protect the rim to save his life. The weird thing is that it usually works the opposite way. Anyway, I think the coaching staff shouldn't be swayed too much by this performance. Barron doesn't really play big and doesn't really bring anything to the table that you can't find anywhere else.
Jordan Crawford: He took a bunch of bad shots, made a bunch of plays and ended up with just about as many points as shot attempts. Typical.
Martell Webster: He didn't shoot especially well and got into an argument with Randy Wittman over what appeared to be transition defense, but he still played hard and spaced the floor. I sometimes think he tries too hard to make things happen, but at least he's trying.