Beal wants to be a playmaker in year two
The preseason opens for the Wizards here on Tuesday, when they face the Brooklyn Nets.
They've been doing three-hour sessions for a week going into Sunday, and given where they are at this is what to expect:
- Otto Porter won't play: The No. 3 overall pick has yet to practice going into Sunday. He has a right hip flexor strain after being limited by hamstring soreness on the same leg this summer. He's not ready with his conditioning to compete, and he doesn't have a grasp on the playbook, either.
- Careful with Nene: This is the obvious thing to do given the 7-footer's issues with his left foot. Granted, he's going to have to push himself to the limit at some point but there's no reason to go too fast too soon. Nene spent the summer rehabilitating his body. He has made it through camp without a hitch and mostly needs to just get into game shape. No need for heavy lifting with Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely itching for the chance to prove themselves.
- Lots of small ball: Coach Randy Wittman will be experimenting with plenty of combinations. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Al Harrington and Vesely could be one. If Wittman wants a better defender, he could opt for Trevor Ariza or Garrett Temple in place of Webster. Rookie Glen Rice could sub for Beal if he's ready for the minutes. The possibilities are endless. With Emeka Okafor (herniated disk) out indefinitely, the Wizards are going to have to perfect this style of play.
- Wall-Maynor backcourt: Eric Maynor was signed as a free agent to primarily back up Wall, but his versatility will give Wittman the option of playing both simultaneously. When it happens, it's more likely that Wall will remain running the point.
- Defense > offense: The Wizards have spent most of camp working on their system of defense and not as much offensively. The goal: Keep the ball out the middle and force it into the help. Harrington, Maynor and Rice have had to get those concepts down. The Wizards have made progress, and Wittman admitted recently that they're behind offensively particularly when it comes to turnovers. This was a top 10 defensive team last season. Naturally, they should be better there to start.