NBA Wizards 

Wizards lose Mac in win over Cleveland

There’s always excitement when Cleveland comes to town, but it was short lived for the fans that packed the Capital One Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers sat nine of their top 10 players including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Isaiah Thomas. Washington’s own starters didn’t play as much, only one of them hitting the 10 minute mark in Marcin Gorat. John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter Jr didn’t hit that mark at all. Washington won the contest 102-94, their preseason record improving to 3-0. They’ll be on the road for the remainder of their preseason schedule.

Kelly Oubre definitely took advantage of the situation, he got the start and played well against Cleveland. He scored 12 points in 14 minutes, showing off the growth in his game in the process. There were highlights as one of the DMV’s own came home and acted out. Jeff Green is a new member of the Cavaliers and he got to know Ian Mahinmi pretty well. He unleashed two vicious dunks on the Washington big man, the second of which is still making it’s rounds on the internet.

The other big news on the day was the injury to Sheldon Mac. He had been playing well this preseason, like Oubre, his work behind the scenes was translating to the court. In the second quarter his season may of come to an end, it was ruled a lower leg injury, but Candace Buckner of the Washington Post cited that a source feared the injury was a torn achilles. Our own Cardell Dudley, called that out as the injury immediately and hoped that wasn’t the case. Mac is scheduled to get an MRI and the results will either confirm an achilles injury or maybe a lesser injury.

PHOTO CREDIT: Cardell Dudley/FinestMagazine/TheFocusTV

The Wizards final two preseason games are on the road, the first being a clash with the Miami Heat on Wednesday. They’ll wrap up the preseason schedule in New York with a game against the Knicks.

 

Observations

Ball Movement: This has been a trend over what’s now the third preseason game, Washington had 17 assists against the Cavaliers. The starters didn’t play much, but their depth had no issue coming in and moving the ball. The Wizards have several players capable of handling the ball, more importantly initiating and executing in pick and roll situations.

Tomas Growth: The youngster continues to impress, he had 8 against Cleveland in extensive playing time. He showed an aspect of his game that could really give the Wizards an advantage. In the second quarter he found himself with Jose Calderon guarding him, instead of trying to beat the smaller guard off the dribble, he immediately took him to the low block and scored over him. He was also stellar in regards to his decision making in pick-and-rolls situations. The possible ability to post up could give the Wizards a Shaun Livingston-esque type option on their second unit, that can initiate at the offense from the wing.

Scott’s versatility: Three games in and I believe Mike Scottt has made this section of every piece following a game. In his 21 minutes of playing time, he showed why he can not only fill the void for Markieff Morris, but play a big role on this team once Keef returns. Scott hounds the glass and in one sequence in the first half, he caught the ball on the wing in transition and gave #16 a double in-and-out with his right hand, that caused the defender to slide to Scott’s left, clearing room for an uncontested drive and finish. He’s strong enough to play bigger forwards and fleet of foot enough to guard wings and guards.

Oubre: The kid took over in the third quarter, really leading the charge as Washington rallied to take control of the game. He did it in a variety of ways, pull-up three pointers, drives to the rim and more. He looked very confident in his ability to put the ball on the floor, especially going right which was a struggle for him last season. The work he’s putting in is starting to show on the court and his improvement only helps the Wizards going forward.

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