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Wizards have some positives in first preseason win

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets
Wizards guard Delon Wright is having a stellar defensive preseason.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Wizards’ bad luck may be finally changing — oft-injured big man Kristaps Porzingis lasted into the third preseason game before spraining an ankle.

I (mostly) kid. It didn’t look particularly serious, but it’s hard to make even a decent guess when we’re talking about a 7-3 guy who’s missed many games over the years with various ailments and injuries.


  • Porzingis was terrific until he stepped on Terry Rozier’s foot. He could be more active defensively, and he probably will be when the games matter.
  • Delon Wright put on another stellar defensive performance. If he keeps this up, he’ll be the team’s best backcourt defender since young John Wall.
  • Jordan Goodwin did a lot of everything — 7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals in 21 minutes — and made a strong case for being on the Wizards roster to start the season.
  • Kyle Kuzma had a nice third quarter.
  • Daniel Gafford got dunks and offensive rebounds and handed out three assists.
  • Quenton Jackson is really fast.

Not So Positives

  • Twitter and my text messages were filled with praise for Rui Hachimura. I was unimpressed, as I have been with his performance throughout the preseason. He scored 15 points but on subpar efficiency, he missed all three of his three-point attempts, and he managed just three rebounds in 25 minutes.
  • Monte Morris — 0-8 shooting from the floor. Yikes. And the defense? Yikes-Yikes. He did produce seven assists to just one turnover.
  • Gafford’s interior defense was nonexistent, and cripes does he foul a lot — five in just 23 minutes last night.
  • The team’s transition defense was horrible. Porzingis and Gafford got beat down the floor multiple times. In a couple instances, Hachimura should have recognized his teammates were behind the play, but instead of picking up Nick Richards streaking to the rim, he just picked up his own man on the perimeter.
  • LaMelo Ball turned his ankle in the third quarter. In other words, both teams had their best player injured in an exhibition game.

Next up for the Wizards is a final preseason game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, Friday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

The regular season gets underway on Wednesday, October 19 against the Indiana Pacers.