Otto Porter scored 19, Kevin Seraphin scored 18, and the Wizards juuuust squeaked out a win against Maccabi Haifa, 101-95. It felt like a close call for a while, but in the last minute or so, the worry of dropping a game like this evaporated.
It's hard to pull a lot of "meaning" out of this game. It's preseason. Three starters were out. One sat after the first quarter. The opponent wasn't an NBA team. But real, important basketball things happened tonight.
First and most importantly, I got to watch a basketball game in person for the first time since May. And that felt damn good. If you haven't experienced it yet, I hope you do soon.
Second, we learned that Glen Rice Jr. has an abundance of confidence. This is going to be crucial this year when he plays a lot of minutes with Bradley Beal and Martell Webster out of the lineup. His play during summer league was strong and necessary, and though his shot hasn't fallen in preseason, I like that he's not shy. Let's just hope his ankle sprain isn't too serious; he had to leave the game in the third quarter.
Third, we learned that Otto is a man possessed! 19 points! Dropping dimes! A monster block! That's what I like to see. Everything I said about Rice? That goes double for Porter. Triple, actually. Minus the sprain.
Fourth, thank Shammgod we have a backup playmaker in Andre Miller. Although the Wizards played with a limited roster against a non-NBA team, it was clear they were struggling to move the ball without Wall, Nene, or Miller on the floor. But as soon as Miller checked back in, the ball started popping and the Wiz got their lead back. This makes me less nervous in case the Wizards have to be without Wall for a stretch this year for some reason.
That's all the observations I have tonight. What'd you all hear tonight? Let me hear it in the comments.
Wizards vs. Maccabi Haifa final score: Washington survives, 101-95
The Wizards overcame a sleepy performance to hold on down the stretch and beat Maccabi Haifa, though they lost Glen Rice Jr. to an ankle injury.