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Wizards vs. Bauru preview: Washington hosts 2015 FIBA America champions

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The Wizards will end a three game home stand that started the preseason Sunday night as they attempt to rebound from a frustrating 115-104 loss to the New York Knick against Brazilian team Bauru.

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Game Info

Where and When: The Washington Wizards host Novo Basquete Brasil League team Bauru Sunday evening at 6.00 pm EST in the Verizon Center.

TV: The game is not available on TV.

Injury Report: Jared Dudley is still out after his back surgery. Alan Anderson, Martell Webster, Garrett Temple, and DeJuan Blair all missed Friday's game against the Knicks and are presumed to be out again.


Golden State might have been booked with other gigs this preseason, but on Sunday evening the Wizards will still have the chance to test their mettle against a champion when they play the Novo Basquete Brasil League team Bauru in the last game of a three game home stand that started the preseason.

Of course, if it wasn't the NBA title you won then nobody really cares, but Sunday's game against the 2015 FIBA Americas League champions, the South and Central American version of the Euroleague, will be a fun opportunity for the Wizards to work some of the inefficiencies of Friday's 115-104 loss to the Knicks out of their system and get back to winning ways.

There will be no Melo to deal with this game. The team from Sao Paulo, Brazil features a roster made up of all Brazilian players and coaches except for American forward Robert Day, who played for Western Oregon back in the early 2000's (in case you didn't know that little bit of trivia). Yes, they won that FIBA Americas title back in March, but this team has not even won a Novo Basquete Brasil title since 2002, and playing against the Knicks last Wednesday in their first ever NBA preseason game, Bauru was blown out 100-81.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is a contest seemingly tailor made to get the Wizards back on track in almost all facets of the game after the little let down against New York. It is still just preseason ball, but the Wizards defense on Friday looked out of whack and a bit too passive for my liking, so dropping the hammer down on these unsuspecting Brazilians should be a good opportunity to see early on in the preseason the high capabilities we have on that side of the ball.

By the way, the last I checked tickets were still being sold as low as six bucks for this game. Our resident Brazilian Nene might be a bit sad if he looks up and sees to many empty seats welcoming his fellow Brazilians to DC, so let's support our big man and make sure he has a big smile from ear to ear like this one whenever he looks up into the stands.

Remember, we don't want him to make him angry...

Nene Butler Gif

What to watch for

Will the Wizards make a statement? The defense was poor on Friday. Otto Porter Jr. was being picked on by Anthony, our backup bigs couldn't handle Kyle O'Quinn or Derrick Williams, and far too often 3-pointers were going uncontested. The offense really wasn't that much better. Yes, they scored over 100 points, but that was thanks to it being a fast-paced game with more possessions. This game is a prime opportunity to just go out and look good again. The opposing team is foreign and it would be easy for the Wizards to just sit back and have fun with this one, but they could also decide to get in a huge outing on both sides of the ball.

Will any second unit players stand out? I don't know about you, but one thing I have been really interested in watching so far this preseason is how the bench is coming together. The Wizards have always had issues in squeezing anything from the second unit when the starters need a breather, but this year's roster construction seems to have placed more of an emphasis on reserve help. So far I have really liked Nene's presence and distribution in playing with the backups, as well as Gary Neal's sniping and Ramon Sessions all around point guard play. With the starters probably set for more bench time than usual against a non-NBA opponent, a key reserve might just have a big game tonight.

Will Oubre bounce back? Getting yelled at by the Coach? Check. Shoot 0-7 from the field? Check. Looking a bit lost on defense more than a few times? Check.

Yes, Kelly Oubre really went all out on making sure he looked like a rookie in his first game playing in an NBA level contest, but a nervy outing is to be expected by any player making their professional debut. Sure, Oubre might put on the persona of someone with unlimited confidence, but he is human just like the rest of us, and a bounce back performance tonight would do him well.

Bauru player to watch for: Alex Garcia

Since tonight's opponent is a relative unknown I thought I'd highlight one of their key players to watch for, if only to make the game a little more entertaining. Garcia is a guard who was the 2015 NBB MVP as well as the FIBA Americas MVP. Last season he averaged 14.5 points per game, but shot a pretty darn good 46 percent from three. He is a consistent name on the Brazilian national team and has had stints with both the Spurs and Hornets back, in 2003 and 2004 respectively.