When: Thursday, December 17 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Russell Westbrook (Rest, Game-Time Decision); Bradley Beal (Rest, Game-Time Decision); Rui Hachimura (Eye, Game-Time Decision); Davis Bertans (Undisclosed; Game-Time Decision); Ish Smith (Lower Body; Game-Time Decision)
The Washington Wizards have their second preseason game Thursday night against the Detroit Pistons. It’ll be on the Wizards home floor where hopefully we’ll see Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook get to play together. In their opening preseason game, Washington lost 119-114 to the Brooklyn Nets without Beal and Westbrook. Granted a loss is a loss, but the fact they were able to keep up with majority reserve players does say a lot.
There’s no doubt that if we do see Westbrook and Beal, it’ll only be a few minutes nothing too long as to preserve the energy and load for the regular season.
A good player to keep your eye on will be Deni Avdija for consistency. Avdija didn’t miss in the first preseason game going 6-of-6, three shots coming from three-point range. He finished with 15 points. Keeping close tabs on him is pivotal as he could potentially take the starting small forward position. Not much to tell after one preseason game, but I’d say the position is definitely his for the taking.
Always say preseason the games don’t count, which they don’t when it comes to a team’s record but they matter more than anything for the players. It’s the time where starting positions are decided, rotations are figured out, and chemistry is developed. For the Wizards, this matters more than anything since they have the newcomer in Westbrook whose only familiarity is with Head Coach Scott Brooks from their stint in Oklahoma City. With only two games remaining in preseason, there’s not much time to get the Wizards going in time for regular season to prove that the loss of John Wall wasn’t detrimental.