With a matchup against a potential Eastern Conference rival, the Washington Wizards fell flat in their preseason finale , falling to the New York Knicks, 105-89.
In typical Wiz fashion, the good guys got off to a gruesome start to the game. They quickly found themselves down by double digits, trailing 12-2 then letting that balloon to 23-5 after giving up another run of 11-0.
Washington was simply out-hustled by Mitchell Robinson. He corralled four offensive rebounds in each of the first two quarters, and kept even more balls alive with length and activity that Daniel Gafford just couldn’t match. The Wizards trailed 28-17 by the end of the first.
Rui Hachimura and Bradley Beal came out aggressive in the second quarter as Washington began with a 17-6 run of their own to eventually tie the game. The Rui-Brad tandem was the Wizards’ lone bright spot on offense early, combining for 26 points before halftime.
But once Mitchell Robinson was reinserted into the action late in the second, the game reverted back into the Knicks’ favor. He finished the first half with 14 points and eight rebounds - all of them offensive - as he tormented the much smaller Wiz centers. The Knicks led in second-chance points 19-0 (!!!) and parlayed that into a 52-42 lead at the break.
The Wizards trailed at half, but it was the Knicks that came out fired up with an immediate 8-0 run. D.C. did have a few spurts in them, including an 11-0 run of their own that helped cut the lead to nine. They also finally found their stroke from distance in the third quarter as Delon Wright and Will Barton combined for five three-pointers in that single frame.
But it was all New York in the second half. The offense simply couldn’t muster enough firepower to come back from the huge deficit as Wes Unseld Jr. waived the Isaiah Todd white flag in the closing moments.
- Rui Hachimura
Aggressive Rui was activated yet again tonight. He finished with a team-high 20 points off the bench with a lot of his buckets coming from powerful forays to the rim. Contract year or not, it would be a huge boost to see this Rui night in and night out.
- Delon Wright
Not that anyone was really doubting it, but Wright’s defense is legit. The veteran guard tallied a steal and two blocks but also made several deflections, closeouts, and extra steps on defense that made a difference. It was nice to see him stroke three triples as well.
- Johnny Davis
At this point, it feels like I’m daring Johnny Davis to prove me wrong but it felt like he was thinking “pass” every time he got the ball. His first three attempts were all because he had no choice with the shot or game clock winding down. He also got stuffed by Derrick Rose attempting a three and once again finished with zero field goals.
- 3PT misery continues
The Wizards didn’t look any better from distance, which was one of their worst areas on offense last season. They ended up with a 10-for-45 clip which is good for 22.2 percent. That actually looks better than it was given that they started 2-for-17 and got two garbage time threes from Isaiah Todd and Devon Dotson in the last two minutes.
Washington begins their season on the road as they take on the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, October 19th.