Preseason game #7
Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers
October 23, 2013
The U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH
Radio: 106.7 the Fan
Projected starting lineups:
C- Nene, PF- Trevor Booker, SF- Trevor Ariza, SG- Bradley Beal, PG- John Wall
C- Anderson Varejao, PF- Tristan Thompson, SF- Alonzo Gee, SG- C.J. Miles, PG- Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving vs. John Wall
This matchup should be very fun to watch. That’s because Kyrie Irving can do this.
And John Wall can do this.
Need I say more, or do you get the point?
Bradley Beal. I won’t lie; I was a bit skeptical early on in the preseason. The praise being heaped onto Beal was premature in my opinion. However, I reserve the right to change my opinion. I always believed in Beal’s potential, but for him to consistently come out in the last few games and put up the numbers he has is extremely exciting if you are a Wizards fan. Although he only put up 17 last night (only 17…I know) he led the team in points again for the Wizards. He has shown the ability to find spots on the court to take shots that he feels extremely confident in. He’s shown the ability to take control of the offense when and if his team is struggling offensively. If we’re lucky, he might even find his ultimate sweet spot and milk it for all that it is worth.
C.J. Miles is a solid athlete, and not exactly a great defender. Alonzo Gee does have the ability to be very pesky on defense, although he is not a great “team-defender” as much as he is on the ball. Either way, if Beal shows he can put up points on the second night of a back to back on the road, I think we can “raise the praise” even more.
Ball Movement. Although Kyrie Irving is more of a gifted offensive player than a passer, the Cavaliers have done a good job of spreading the ball around this preseason. The Cavaliers have 5 players averaging double figures in points. Although Dion Waiters only averaged 3 assists per game last year, he is an underrated passer and he knows how to play within the offense. The Wizards will have to bog down the Cavaliers ball movement, especially since they are missing Jarrett Jack, who is one of their instant offense guys. On offense, the Wizards need to get easy shots. Recently, one or two players will have a great scoring night but the rest of the team doesn’t break double figures. If the Wizards want to win on the road, or even in general, they have to have a more balanced scoring attack. If John Wall isn’t going to score more than 15 points, he needs to dish out at least 7 assists. It’s becoming more evident that Bradley Beal can be depended on to shoulder a scoring load, so the rest of the offense needs to find and hone their roles.
What happened last time they played?
The Cavaliers were missing Kyrie Irving and still pulled out a narrow victory against the Wizards back in March of 2013. The Wizards got out to an 11-0 lead, prompting then Coach Byron Scott to pull all of his starters. This move worked, leading to Cleveland building an 11 point lead of their own going into the final period. Wall was the high point man for the Wizards with 27. Garrett Temple started in the place of Bradley Beal.
In shocking news, the Cavs will be without Andrew Bynum. Bynum, who has historically been extremely durable, was not up for playing tonight. Tyler Zeller is out due to an appendectomy. I’d rather eat ice cream in bed than go up against the Wizards daunting frontcourt. Jarrett Jack is out with a left knee injury. Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev are out with a mild sports hernia and a sprained left ankle, respectively.
The Wizards will again be without Emeka Okafor as he recovers from a herniated disc. Otto Porter is still recovering from a right hip flexor and will miss tonight’s game also. Chris Singleton will also be out as usual.
“Only one of us is going to make it out of here”
Both the Wizards and Cavaliers are expected to take huge leaps this year. The Wizards had a more than decent record last year when their starting lineup was intact. The Cavaliers have arguably the best young point guard in the game right now, and a roster full of other young players who have a lot to improve on but at the very least have the potential to. Although I’d still say it’s a stretch to see the Cavaliers in the playoffs, anything is possible in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards seem like they have more of a chance given Bradley Beal’s rapid development. Tonight is a good litmus test for the Wizards to see where they stack up against another talented but bottom-dwelling team. It will also be good to see how John Wall plays against a point guard like Kyrie who has the ball on a string in a way that only Chris Paul does. Will Bradley Beal come out strong again? Will Nene string together two strong games? Will Martell Webster make a financial investment in Moroccan Oil since his lack of a beard has diminished his need to purchase and apply it to his facial hair? I say yes, yes, and yes. I have failed horribly on all of my predictions this year so I will spare you my thoughts on who will win. I’d simply advise you to enjoy the match up at point guard. Both of these teams have begun their rebuild by drafting franchise point guards and then surrounding those guards with more young talent from the draft. The Wizards need to come out tonight and remind the Cavaliers that their playoff hopes are futile because the Wizards are grabbing one of those last seeds, at the very worst.
Make me proud Wiz Kids.
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