The Washington Wizards lost to the Miami Heat 117-115 in NBA preseason action on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena.
How it happened:
On Wednesday night, the Heat sat Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and Hassan Whiteside, giving the Wizards yet another matchup that felt even more meaningless than the average preseason game.
While the Heat held out their stars, the Wizards played their regulars. The Wizards, in fact, rode their main rotation guys for the entire game. Tomas Satoransky didn't play and neither did Carrick Felix or Donald Sloan, the two guys fighting for the final roster spot. That was surprising, given the Wizards have a tough decision to make.
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Jason Smith started at power forward and had his best game of the preseason. He finished with a ridiculous 20 points in 22 minutes on 7-of-8 shooting.
John Wall had 16 points (7-for-12 FG) to go along with eight assists in 26 minutes. Bradley Beal had 15 points and four assists in 27 minutes. Otto Porter had 11 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes despite an uncharacteristic three turnovers. Marcin Gortat had eight points with three rebounds. Oubre finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds in 25 minutes.
What it means:
Judging by Brooks' minutes distribution, the Wizards may have treated this game as their final preseason warmup.
It would not be a surprise if they rested some of their starters on Friday and instead let guys like Felix and Sloan get extended minutes.
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Smith finds his stroke:
Smith hadn't shot well before Wednesday night after breaking out last year as a three-point threat.
Before facing the Heat, Smith was shooting 35.7 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from three. Immediately, it was clear things were different in this game. He knocked down his first two threes and was 3-for-4 at the end of the first quarter. By the third quarter he had four threes in his first 15 minutes of play.
Smith's ability to shoot from three allows the Wizards to space out their offense much like they do with Markieff Morris on the floor. There were times when Smith was on the perimeter, spreading out the options for Wall with Beal and Porter also hunting outside looks.
Frazier looks good:
This was the first time we got to see Frazier, who was sidelined from the first three games with a groin strain. He had a heck of a debut with nine assists in 21 minutes.
Frazier found a rhythm early, but was dishing out dimes left and right in the fourth quarter. He had a nice bounce pass to Oubre for a layup and a crisp pass to Mike Scott at the elbow. Frazier also hit a smooth fadeaway with 5:20 left and took a charge with 4:43 remaining. For a guy who has been injured, that was a good example of why Brooks calls him a "gritty" player.
The Wizards head to New York for their fifth and final preseason game. It's set for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff at Madison Square Garden.
There's a good chance the Wizards rest some of their best players.
We'll see if the Knicks play Kristaps Porzingis.