1. Wizards lose, 88-84, to New Orleans Pelicans
It wasn't a pretty game to watch, it wasn't a fun game to watch and at times it certainly looked like Wizards players were having a miserable time playing in it.
Here a some notes I took away from the game:
- Garrett Temple should be the guy to hold down the shooting guard spot in Bradley Beal's absence. He's looked more comfortable this preseason, and especially last night, than ever before. He's always fighting defensively, but now his offensive game is catching up. He still looks, at times, uncomfortable in catch and shoot situations when those types of shots come his way in the flow of the game. He prefers to dribble his way into a shot. But he's improving. And speaking of, he looked strong and aggressive both attacking the rim with the ball or pulling up for a short jumper.
- DeJuan Blair gambles way too much defensively. He's undersized, so I get that he wants to catch bigger players by surprise and go for a steal or whatever the case may be, but he does it at pretty awful times. Against the Detroit Pistons, if it wasn't for Greg Monroe missing (what I thought was) an easy chip shot in the final seconds, we'd be blaming Blair for gambling for a steal instead of playing Monroe straight up. Last night, he jumped higher than I've ever seen from him on a pump fake in the final seconds as Washington was attempting to complete their comeback. Needless to say, the Pelicans scored on that possession and the game was out of reach from there.
- Marcin Gortat really struggles against big, long athletes. I understand that Anthony Davis is a one-of-a-kind talent, but he was really taking advantage of Gortat's lack of athleticism last night. It happened against Andre Drummond earlier in preseason and I noticed it also whenever he matched up against DeAndre Jordan last season.
- The lack of frontcourt athleticism will hurt the Wizards when they play against teams with at least one tall, strong, physical player. Yes, the Wizards shored up our frontcourt by adding some good players for more depth. The addition of Kris Humphries should help as well, but Blair, Kevin Seraphin, and Drew Gooden just don't have the size to compete against those bigger players on the boards.
2. John Wall misses game due to knee tendinitis
He should be fine, but this is still something to keep an eye on. He's had similar knee issues before and he's missed time during his career because of it. Let's hope the rest will be enough to keep the problems away.
John Wall is out tonight. Wittman said some tendinitis flared up in Wall’s left knee, but he expects him to practice tmrw. #Wizards— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) October 20, 2014
Why, yes, Kyle... John Wall has dealt with knee tendinitis since his rookie year. (Takes gulp.) https://t.co/XNlRFRhMx4— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) October 20, 2014
3. Ted Leonsis may actually get a mohawk
When Gortat was Stat Boy on Pardon The Interruption last week, he made a bold statement that Leonsis had promised to get a mohawk if the Wizards did well in the playoffs. Leonsis clarified those comments by saying the Wizards need to go further in the playoffs than they did last season. And if they do, he will get a mohawk and everyone will be calling him "Sexual Caramel." ... ...
4. Xavier Silas hopes to follow in his father's footsteps
This is Silas' second training camp as a member of the Wizards. Last year, every roster spot was already filled with players on guaranteed contracts. This year, there's one spot left. He's shown flashes of hot shooting, but will his streaky play be enough for the team to take a chance on him this time around? Either way, he's going to continue to fight for it.