The Wizards beat the Sixers on Friday, 127-118. I'm glad to see that Washington played as well as they did in the first three quarters. But the fourth quarter made this game a bit too close for comfort, even if it "doesn't really count."
There isn't much time to dwell on a 44-28 fourth quarter when the Wizards allowed a 34 point lead to shrink to just five points at various points. They now travel to Milwaukee to play a Bucks team that looks to build on their successful campaign last year when they made the playoffs despite low preseason expectations.
The game is tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
You will not be able to see it on television or online streaming via NBA League Pass. No radio either.
For the Wizards, Alan Anderson (ankle), Jared Dudley (back), Martell Webster (hip), Garrett Temple (hamstring), and Nene (calf) sat out yesterday's game against Philly. At a minimum, Anderson and Dudley won't be playing.
For the Bucks,
Giannis Antetokounmpo (illness), Damien Inglis (illness), and Miles Plumlee (knee) will not play.
UPDATE: Giannis may be playing after all, per Brew Hoop's preview.
Things I'm looking for in this game
In preseason games, I care more about how individual players, especially bench players are performing than I do about the end result, as long as the team is putting out a good effort.
Here are three things I am keeping an eye out for:
Can Kelly Oubre keep up his positive momentum from yesterday? On Friday, Oubre scored 16 points in 26 minutes of playing time. Nine of his points came from the free throw line. Oubre was also a pest on defense where he stole the ball three times.
With Anderson, Dudley, Webster, and Temple all nursing various injuries, Oubre is getting a prime opportunity to show what he can do in competitive games. If he can play like this throughout the rest of the month, that will help ease concerns about the Wizards' depleted depth at the wing position.
Can Otto Porter maintain his ridiculous efficiency? With the exception of a 4-of-11 shooting performance against the Knicks last Friday, Porter has shot at least 80 percent from the field in every preseason game so far. In addition, Porter has committed just ONE turnover in all four preseason games.
I will admit that it's unreasonable to assume that Porter will keep shooting 70 to 80 percent from the field over the long haul. And note that two of his excellent performances were against the lowly 76ers and another against Bauru. However, if he is still shooting over 50 percent from the field and doesn't play sloppy on either end of the floor, that's definitely a big plus in my book.
How much will DeJuan Blair play in this game? Can he also lower his foul rate? Last night, Blair scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds in 25 minutes of playing time. Given that he has been used sparingly since he arrived last year, this performance is nice to see along with his improved conditioning.
However, the one concern I do have with him is his foul rate. Last season, Blair averaged 8.2 fouls per 36 minutes played, which is a career-worst. He also committed five fouls in yesterday's game against Philly.
If Blair can get that rate down to below five fouls per 36 minutes played over the rest of the preseason, it will be easier for him to get some playing time.