The Wizards’ preseason is well underway, and it will end next week. The Wizards have shown a good deal of promise so far, but there are some setbacks that we need to get to.
Ian Mahinmi is out for the next month ... or more
The center had meniscus surgery on his left knee on Friday. The good news is that Marcin Gortat should have plenty of playing time with no one breathing down his shoulder. Jason Smith should also get some meaningful minutes. But the bottom line is that Mahinmi is the Wizards’ biggest offseason signing, and things certainly didn’t start off on the right note with him so far. Let’s hope that the he’s back on the court sooner rather than later.
Wizards are 2-2 in the preseason — play the Kings tonight at UK with NO broadcasting coverage
John Wall played in his season debut last Monday, however they lost 90-88 against the New York Knicks. Then on Thursday, he had his home debut against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Wizards won big 100-79, and Wall had a highlight dunk to quell doubts that he lost a step after rehab.
Now that these games have been done, the good news is that things are going quite well aside from Mahinmi’s injury. Alan Jenkins wrote five takeaways from the Wizards’ first four preseason games here.
The Wizards play the Kings later tonight at the University of Kentucky. Unfortunately, there is no local TV or radio coverage. Maybe Otto the Cat will get a cameo appearance.
Wizards Season Previews
The NBA season is starting in just a couple weeks! We got ‘ya covered with these things.
- Our general staff preview is here. Saying this are “fine” has been a punchline of sorts since Media Day, but we think that Washington should be better than “fine” this season.
- Tom Ziller and Paul Flannery of SBNation.com also talked about the Wizards and their expectations. They believe that Washington is a mystery team of sorts. If things play out the way we hope, the Wizards will be a factor in the Eastern Conference. If not, things will be quite bleak.
- In addition, here’s a FanPost preview that I thought you’d enjoy.
More Wizards analysis
- Kyle Andrews wrote about why the Wizards’ bench is key to their performance this season.
- Sheldon McClellan showed out this preseason with a 20 point performance against the 76ers a little over a week ago. Mike Knapp has more on why he could make the final roster — and won’t be a shocker should he do so.
- Kelly Oubre started strong so far in the preseason but it’s a bit early to see what this means for him this season. It’s nice to see Oubre doing well right now, but he hasn’t played true NBA competition yet — meaning regular season games against rosters which are made of players who made the cut.
- That said, Osman Baig of Wiz of Awes wrote that Oubre is on his way to being Washington’s long-term answer at the 3.
- Marcus, fka ThePGPhenomenon, wrote an analysis on the Wizards’ chances of winning the Southeast Division this season. The Wizards haven’t won any division title since 1978-79. But with some divisional opponents taking steps back, this opens the door for Washington to break through.
More Wizards news and other things
- Monumental Sports Network has released a subscription-only format of its offerings. Don’t expect to see Wizards live games on it though.
- Jake wrote about Jason Smith as the Wizards’ “Designated Survivor.” With Mahinmi’s injury, the title of that piece has become reality to some degree.
- Celebrity chef and Wizards super fan Jose Andres will open a “test kitchen concept” at Verizon Center’s main concourse this season, according to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. I wouldn’t expect to see Andres cook himself most games because he’s a season ticket holder.
- Former Wizards player Juan Dixon will be the head women’s basketball coach at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) this season, according to Matt Bonesteel of The Washington Post. UDC is an NCAA Division II school and was 21-9 last season.
- I’ll finish this piece off with a note on Los Angeles Sparks guard Alana Beard, who is currently playing in the WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx. As you may know, Beard was the #2 pick in the 2004 Draft to the Mystics and played for them from 2004-2011, though she didn’t play in 2009 or 2010 due to foot injuries. Beard scored the game winner in Game 1 of the Finals and has scored in double digits in each of the last two games. If the Sparks win the Finals on Sunday, you could make a case that she should be the Finals MVP. Jack Maloney of WNBA.com has a piece on Beard and her stellar play here.
That’s all I have in this late links post. Hopefully the Wizards win later tonight vs. Sactown.