Wizards look to Buck losing preseason trend in Milwaukee

Wizards look to Buck losing preseason trend in Milwaukee
October 20, 2012, 11:30 am
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Back in town after a three-game road swing, the Wizards (1-4) hit the trail again for Saturday night's game on the Milwaukee Bucks (2-2) home court, Washington's next-to-last preseason game. As you follow the proceedings online - no television or radio coverage - or check out the box score post game, here are three points to ponder...

1) Lineup and rotation - At the start of training camp, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he would use the preseason games to try out different combinations - the early games that is. Well, we're now getting pretty late in the schedule. After facing the Bucks, only contests against the Heat and Spurs remain before the Oct. 30 regular season opener at Cleveland. With Nene sidelined until, well, a date yet to be determined and fellow center Kevin Seraphin joining him on the sideline (actually neither made the trip to Milwaukee but you get the point), Wittman continues on with a patchwork frontcourt. Trevor Booker (hamstring) and Chris Singleton (shoulder) returned to action against Toronto and participated on Friday's practice before the team jetted off for Milwaukee.

"We’re battling. We’re playing hard," Wittman said. "We went on a weeks trip. Obviously, won the game in Cleveland. Took Brooklyn down to the end, took Toronto down to the end. I like what their heart is. Toronto, we gave away. We beat ourselves. That was really the first game I really thought that after looking at the film. Because of the little things that we didn’t do. I thought it cost us the game. It is what it is. We’re obviously still shorthanded. It was good that we had Book back for 15 minutes. Chris only played seven minutes. Hopefully, again, Book is probably going to be limited a little bit in Milwaukee. I try to get Chris some more minutes. We’re trying to work guys back in and get guys healthy."

At point guard, A.J Price has started three of the five games and turned in his best work Thursday against the Raptors. Another quality high-assist/low-turnover night -could push him closer to the opening night starting gig.

2) Where art thou, Cartier? The veteran swingman played only five minutes at Toronto and 19 minutes total in three preseason games. Yes, the Wizards have played in five. Meanwhile free agent addition Martell Webster has started of late, taking a firm grasp of a potential battle for playing time between the two perimeter shooters. On some level, this is hardly news as we knew the Wizards had more bodies than minutes available at the small forward and wing guard positions. On the other hand...

3) Final roster surprise? The Wizards can keep 15 players for the regular season roster. With John Wall out for several more weeks, one can imagine Washington holding onto its three additional point guards - Price, Shelvin Mack, and Jannero Pargo - though the latter two are reportedly playing with only partially guaranteed contracts. Yet with no Nene or Seraphin for now, the Wizards projected interior options are lacking, meaning keeping another big man (Brian Cook? Shavlik Randolph?) who can play the four or five might become an opening night priority.