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Wizards need to capitalize on free throws

The Wizards stink at the free-throw line, Otto Porter and Bradley Beal have their options picked up and Maccabi Haifa comes to town. We cover that and more in the wake-up call.

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Through four preseason games, the Wizards have connected on 68.8 percent of their free throws. That's ... ... really bad. J. Michael touched on this last week, but brought the subject up again yesterday, following the team's 31-for-44 display at the line against the Pistons on Sunday.

There aren't any knockdown free-throw shooters on the roster. Martell Webster and Bradley Beal probably should be based on their shooting capabilities and great technique, but even they have had their bouts of inconsistency from the line throughout their time in D.C. Don't even get me started on Nene.

The woes, unfortunately, are nothing new, as we know all too well. The team left 13 points on the board against the Pistons, which is no small number. Very few, if any, teams will win games consistently if they leave points on the board. Especially 13 of them.

Check out J. Michael's article from yesterday here and what he wrote last week on the subject here (which gives some really brutal statistics).

2. Team exercises options on Otto Porter and Beal

Well, that was obvious. Beal will be paid $5.7 million and Porter will make $4.6 million next season.

Click here for our recap.

Click here for the full press release.

3. Beal optimistic after surgery

We all groaned after word spread that Beal's left wrist injury was worse than expected and that he would likely miss 6-8 weeks. But we can all now breathe a sigh of relief after hearing that it could have been much worse, with a potential timetable of 6-9 months on the shelf depending on how bad the break was.

Here's what Beal had to say, via Comcast SportsNet:

"I didn't know if I was going to have surgery or not but I definitely knew something bad because I heard it pop. I felt it pop and everything. I felt it was something pretty bad but I stayed as positive as much as I could and when I got the news it put me at ease rather than wondering what it really was," Beal said. "I couldn't avoid surgery, no way shape or form, so I just got it done. It went successful so I can't complain. It could've been a whole lot worse."

He'll have a cast on for the next 10 days before getting back to any type of physical activity.

4. The future is still bright?

Beal's injury likely isn't going to make or break (no pun intended) the Wizards chances of starting the upcoming season strong. In fact, many observers feel the team can keep itself afloat in the suddenly-stronger Eastern Conference while he recovers.

Over at Hardwood Paroxysm, they took time to detail the bright future of this team, despite the early-season absence of John Wall's running mate.

Wiz of Awes also had an optimistic take on the Wizards' early-season test without Beal.

5. Wizards take on Maccabi Haifa

The Wizards will once again play untelevised preseason basketball tonight against Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Premier League. The good news for Wizards fans living near the District is that they can take this opportunity to head out to the Verizon Center and watch the game live.

Listening to Dave Johnson and Glenn Consor calling the game on the radio should be fun, though. Consor played two professional seasons with Maccabi Haifa back in the '80's and should be extra excited to call tonight's game.

Consor talked with Dan Steinberg about his two years with the Israeli club. It's a great read.

Tip off is at 7 p.m. and can be heard on 99.1 WNEW.