John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT NEW YORK KNICKS
Where: Madison Square Garden
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington+
Live stream: NBA.com
Three things to watch...
Final roster spot
The Wizards surprisingly did not play either Carrick Felix or Donald Sloan on Wednesday night in their fourth and penultimate game of the preseason. They are deciding between the two on their final roster spot, yet didn't see the need to play either of them with time running out. One has to think that will be different for the finale. In fact, it would not be surprising if they played Felix and Sloan heavy minutes to get a good final read.
It would also make sense if rookie Mike Young got more playing time than he has in the first four games. Young may stay with the team to begin the season with Markieff Morris out, given Young is allowed 45 days at the NBA level under his two-way contract.
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Friday night will also be Brooks' last chance to experiment with his power forward rotation in a game before the regular season begins. With Morris out, he will need to pick someone else to start. We have seen Jason Smith start there, same with Otto Porter and Mike Scott. Smith had his best game of the preseason on Wednesday in Miami with 20 points in 22 minutes on 7-of-8 shooting. He was 4-for-5 from three.
Porter playing the four allows Brooks to insert Kelly Oubre, Jr. into the lineup and in most cases get good returns defensively. The question then becomes who plays the small forward/wing position in the second unit. Starting Smith or Scott gives the two units more balance, though Oubre in there may be their best lineup in a vacuum.
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Will the Wizards rest anyone?
The Wizards have played three NBA teams in their four preseason games and each time their opponent rested their best players. The Wizards did rest John Wall in their first game against China's Guangzhou Long-Lions, but is it time for them to empty the bench? Wall and Bradley Beal, in particular, have had very good preseasons and probably don't need any more work before the regular season begins. They know what they are getting in Marcin Gortat and Porter and really don't need to see any more.
Unless Brooks really needs to see his power forward options alongside the starters, it seems like New York is a good place to let Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Tim Frazier and others run the show. Get through this one without injury and look ahead to Oct. 18 at home against Philly.