In their second preseason game with this quick-paced offense, the Wizards' defensive lapses and inability to contain an elite scorer such as Carmelo Anthony led to Friday's 115-104 loss to the New York Knicks at Verizon Center.
Otto Porter had his hands full defending Anthony, who heated up after the first quarter to score 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Porter had 22 points in Tuesday's win but ended this one with nine points on 4-for-11 shooting. Marcin Gortat had 15 points, John Wall 13, Bradley Beal 12, and Kris Humphries and Gary Neal 11 each.
Bradley Beal only shot 5-for-14 for the Wizards but was aggressive in attacking the basket throughout. He had eight rebounds and three assists. His end-to-end dunk over Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis was the highlight of the night.
The Wizards were minus six players because of injury. Joining Alan Anderson (left ankle), Jared Dudley (back surgery) and Martell Webster (right hip), neither of whom played in the opener, were Garrett Temple (left hamstring), DeJuan Blair (left knee), Drew Gooden (right glute).
In his first year with the Knicks, Derrick Williams came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points. Kevin Seraphin, who spent his first five years in Washington, didn't make the trip because of a knee injury.
- The Wizards were intent on challenging three-point looks but have been willing to concede long twos. Blending defensive principles with this fast-pace offense is still a work in progress. New York made half of its 42 field goals in the first half. They shot 5-for-11 from three-point range.
- Porter still needs to gain some strength if he's going to defend the likes of Anthony in the mid-post. Porter played good position defense and contested him in the first quarter when Anthony missed 3 of 5 shots. Anthony is a master at using his backside create space by bumping off his defender. Even though former Wizards forward Trevor Ariza was thinly built he gave Anthony fits with his anticipatory skills and fought him for every spot on the floor. Porter has his work cut out for him to do it on both ends when facing someone of this caliber.
- Beal stayed true to his word and avoided long twos. He attacked the basket -- and few oohs and aahs for an in-and-out dribble in transition -- and created for others though his assists doesn't show it. His should've had at least six.
- Oubre not only had his first action as a pro but got a nice chewing out from coach Randy Wittman for what appeared to be missing a defensive rotation. If the scouting report on him coming out of Kansas is accurate, the 19-year-old can handle it. He dealt with Bill Self. He was 0-for-7 in 25 minutes.
- Kris Humphries is now 3-for-10 from three-point range in two games. When Beal dribbled into the paint, he drew multiple defenders which left Humphries with an unobstructed view. He'll get plenty of clean looks until he can prove he's a consistent threat. He made two long twos early in the fourth quarter which is where he's clearly more comfortable.