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Wizards vs. Knicks preview: Washington opens preseason at home against New York

NBA: New York Knicks at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Monday, October 1 at 7 pm Eastern Time
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington DC
TV: NBC Sports Washington

Injury Report

Wizards: Dwight Howard (Out, Back)

Knicks: Courtney Lee (Out, Neck) Kristaps Porzingis (Out, Knee), Joakim Noah (Out, Hasn’t been stretched yet)

What to Watch for

Will we get to see Ian MatTHREEnmi?

The most interesting development to come out of Wizards training camp is that Ian Mahinmi is trying to add a 3-pointer to his game this season. He’s 0-of-8 from deep in his NBA career, but Scott Brooks said he wouldn’t be surprised if he made some this season. Here’s indisputable video evidence of him hitting one in practice last week:

If you think Mahinmi is too old to be adding something like this to his game, consider Aron Baynes. He made 11 threes in the playoffs for the Celtics after only making four in his entire career up until that point. Baynes is just one month younger than Mahinmi.

This might feel like the Kris Humphries Stretch Four Experiment all over again, but I think this is different for a few reasons:

  1. Getting Humphries to shoot more threes was part of an effort to keep using him at power forward, which was a bad idea from the get-go. He didn’t have the foot speed or the playmaking to be useful at that spot even when he was effective shooting the ball. Regardless of how Mahinmi shoots the ball from deep this season, he won’t be playing out of position.
  2. Even if Mahinmi doesn’t shoot the ball well, keeping him out on the perimeter may not be the worst thing for the offense. If he’s out at the arc, that means the Wizards won’t be trying to force-feed him in the paint where he’s had issues protecting the ball. Last season, he had the highest turnover ratio in the league among qualified players.

One cause for concern would be how it affects the Wizards’ offensive rebounding. Last season, Mahinmi was one of the best in the league on the offensive glass. However, as the league has shifted toward prioritizing transition defense in recent years, it has de-emphasized the value of scrapping for those second-chance opportunities. So with that in mind, here’s to hoping Ian let’s it rip.

A random moment in Wizards - Knicks history: John Wall shuts the door

Speed. Kills.