Washington, led by 20 points from Brad Beal and 13 points and 10 rebounds from Markieff Morris, defeated the Miami Heat 121-114 for their first preseason win. The Wizards offensive execution was much better against Miami then in their first preseason game against the Knicks. With John Wall (9 points, 9 assist, 5 rebounds) setting the tone early going out his way to find teammates, passing became contagious for Washington. The result was a fairly efficient night as the Wizards shot 51 percent from the field and 30 percent from deep on 26 assist. 30 percent three point shooting was an improvement over their 21 percent performance in a loss to the Knicks. “I think they (starters) did a good job of moving the basketball,” said Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks. “We didn’t make a lot of threes again, but that’s not the main concern right now. I like to see the offense playing with the speed and space that we have been talking about.” As ideal as the offense was, there were other aspects that showed that Washington is on the right track to getting where they need to be. Here they are……
Kelly Oubre’s Scoring Off The Bounce –
Oubre improved last season as a spot up shooter and finisher, however he needed to add better ball handling and more tools to finish, such as runners and floaters this season as defenses will surely look to take away those things. Through two preseason games, Oubre is proving he has more in his bag. Against a tough Miami team, Oubre shot 4 of 5 from the field for 11 points, attacking off the bounce and scoring off runners, floaters, from either hand, which shows that he put in work over the summer. Scoring in those ways will take away bad passes when challenged by bigs at the rim and potential charges called on him while making him more efficient. A more efficient Oubre will take Washington to a new level.
Jeff Green More Comfortable –
Green had a rough debut (8 points/ 3-8 FG/ 0-2 3FG) as you can see he was trying to figure out how he fit in Scott Brooks system and with his new teammates. Against Miami, he didn’t have such issues. Green was in the flow as soon as he checked in, shooting 5 of 7 from the field including 3 for 4 from deep finishing with 15 points and 3 rebounds in a win. You saw his versatility defensively as well as he defended forwards and centers well, especially when Morris played a bit at center. Having Green have this type of impact throughout the season will be big boost for the Wizards.
John Wall Sets The Table Early/ Attack Late –
It’s no secret that the Wizards success starts and ultimately ends with Wall. With the deepest team he’s had around him expectations are high to start making noise into late May and early June. It’s a process however and one that takes time to come together. Wall through two preseasons games have taken the first quarter or so to feed his teammates and its clear he’s learning them just as much as they are learning him. Once he has them in rhythm, Wall gets aggressive late, looking to score and keep pressure on the defense. Against Miami, Wall nearly posted a double double in 24 minutes and helped six Wizard players finish in double digit scoring, showing the welcomed depth of the roster. Once the team chemistry comes together and Wall remains healthy, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Wall reach a level we haven’t seen from him throughout his career.
Chris Chiozza Impact Late –
Chiozza only played a little under five minutes, yet the impact he made defensively was eye opening. Chiozza routinely blew up pick and roll plays from the Heat by using his quickness to get around screens and get up under Miami ball handlers. On one play he read the inbounds play correctly and stole the ball and in the same motion threw a no look lob to Devin Robinson for a two hand dunk that had Capital One rocking. He also was able to make the correct read and find shooters as he posted 2 assist. His impact and poise on both ends led to Washington holding on for the win which is impressive considering it was his first game action of the preseason. Keep an eye on Chiozza moving forward, Washington may have a gem on their hands.