Wizards

Quick Links

Beal shines in preseason debut

908167.png

Beal shines in preseason debut

Updated 8:47 p.m.

Without any televised coverage of the Wizards 100-88 road preseason loss to the Bobcats, we're left to peruse the box score for clues as to what happened. Let's start perusing...

For starters, in addition to John Wall (knee) and Nene (plantar fasciitis), the Wizards played without Emeka Okafor, Trevor Booker and Jannero Pargo, who sat out the previous two days worth of practices due to an abdominal strain. Booker skipped Saturday's workout with hamstring soreness. The Associated Press recap had Okafor out with general "soreness." Non-roster players Brian Cook and Steven Gray also did not play.

Bradley Beal, playing in his first NBA game (yes its preseason, but still), and Martell Webster led the Wizards with 18 points apiece. Kevin Seraphin added 11...and that's about where the scoring highlights end. Collectively the Wizards shot 33.3 percent (33-of-99), committed 20 turnovers and put the Bobcats on the free throw line a whopping 46 times.

Obviously, those last three stats won't cut it and obviously they came with several key players watching, not playing. After Saturday's practice I asked Wittman what stat those of not watching the game should focus on. He said turnovers. Worth noting the Bobcats, led in scoring by Gerald Henderson's 19, committed 21 turnovers. Still...

Even with a full complement of roster options scoring concerns existed entering the season. Without Wall, last year's leading scorer, and their top frontcourt threat in Nene, concern jumps to DEFCON 5. Starters Jordan Crawford (6 points) and Trevor Ariza (8), the expected main scoring options in such a depleted scenario, finished a combined 5-of-20 from the field. The entire starting lineup, including Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely and A.J. Price, finished 14-of-49 (28.6).

In 27 minutes off the bench, Beal finished 7-of-17 including 2-of-4 from 3-point range. The rookie also made both of his free throw attempts and finished with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one turnover. Again, no context but I'm guessing Randy Wittman would take this stat line most nights out of the 19-year-old.

Some interesting numbers in the point guard derby. No Wall or Pargo meant lots of Price and Mack. In 25 plus minutes, Price scored nine points, but had one assist with five turnovers (Ariza led the Wizards with six). On the flip side, Mack led the team with seven assists and only a single turnover.

I'm still not convinced Mack isn't the odd point guard out when everyone is healthy, but those are strong numbers. For the moment he has time to make some noise during camp over the next three weeks and progress in his transition to the on-ball role. Also residual loyalty from Wittman for having been part of the late season turnaround under the coach cannot be ignored.

Webster, brought in with Beal and Cartier Martin this offseason to help the perimeter shooting, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. The 25-year-old swingman made half of his 12 shots and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Martin played only seven plus minutes, but made two of three shots. Chris Singleton, also in the small forward mix, finished with nine points and team-high nine rebounds in 16 minutes.

The Wizards return to George Mason Monday and Tuesday for consecutive two-a-day practice sessions. Tuesday's evening session, starting around 6:30 p.m., is open to the public and feature a scheduled performance by recording artist Wale.

The next contest comes Thursday at home against the New York Knicks, Washington's only preseason game at the Verizon Center.

Quick Links

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Jodie Meeks

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Jodie Meeks

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Jodie Meeks' season...

Player: Jodie Meeks

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 30

2017-18 salary: $3.3 million

2017-18 stats: 77 G, 14.5 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.9 FG%, 34.3 3P%, 86.3 FT%, 49.1 eFG%, 111 ORtg, 112 DRtg

Best game: 11/29 at Sixers - 21 points, 4 rebounds, assist, steal, 5-for-11 FG, 3-for-6 3PT, 8-for-9 FT

Season review: The Wizards took a flier on Jodie Meeks last summer in what seemed at the time to be a low-risk contract with a potentially high reward, if he could stay healthy and play to his career norms. They were in obvious need of help at backup shooting guard and three-point shooting for their bench.

Meeks fell short of those expectations for a variety of reasons. Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he could not make shots at the clip the Wizards were hoping for. His field goal percentage was not far off from what he posted in recent years, but his three-point percentage was nowhere near the 38.8 percent he shot in his previous four seasons.

Meeks bottomed out midseason, shooting 28.9 percent from three in December and 28 percent in January. Those numbers ticked up beginning in February, but Meeks never fully gained the trust of his coaching staff. He rarely got hot enough to alter games and his best stat-lines often came in blowouts. 

There was a domino effect from Meeks' struggles, as starting shooting guard Bradley Beal had no one to spell him. As a result, Beal logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player this season.

For Meeks personally, it was a bittersweet year because staying healthy was no small feat. He had a run of bad luck and finally broke out of it this season. On the other hand, he never made the impact he felt he was capable of and that wasn't easy for a guy joining a new team and a new locker room.

Meeks' 2017-18 season was ultimately defined by more than his shooting woes. First, he expressed interest in a trade in February and did not get his wish. Then, he was suspended for allegedy using performance-enhancing drugs after the regular season ended. He was out for the playoffs and will miss the first 19 games of the 2018-19 season without pay as he waits out a 25-game ban.

Meeks may or may not serve that suspension as a member of the Wizards. He has a player option for next season worth $3.5 million. He has yet to inform the team of his decision, but the expectation is that he will pick it up. Given how poorly his season went and ended, it would likely be the smart move financially for him to opt in and hope for better results next season.

Potential to improve: Shooting percentage, perimeter defense, passing

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

Tim Frazier, PG

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

usatsi_10570559.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Tim Frazier's season...

Player: Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2017-18 salary: $2 million

2017-18 stats: 59 G, 14.2 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 76.7 FT%, 44.5 eFG%, 105 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/27 at Hawks - 4 points, 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2-for-5 FG

Season review: The Wizards tabbed Tim Frazier to be their backup point guard nearly a year ago when they sent a second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans on the eve of draft night. They viewed Frazier as the solution to their years-long search for a capable backup behind John Wall. Frazier had thrived as a replacement starter in New Orleans and the Wizards saw him as worth a draft pick, even though he had just one year left on his contract.

Frazier began the season as the primary backup point guard, but ultimately lost the job to Tomas Satoransky once Wall went out with a left knee injury. Frazier became the starter and Satoransky the backup, but through two weeks Satoransky outplayed him and became No. 2 on the depth chart once Wall returned. Then, when Wall went down for months late in the season, Satoransky started and Frazier backed him up.

Frazier never found consistency as he moved back and forth between roles. His minutes, points and assists averages were all career-lows.

The Wizards added competition to their roster for Frazier and Satoransky midseason, first by signing Ramon Sessions in March and then adding Ty Lawson just before the playoffs began. That led to Frazier being inactive for four of the Wizards' six postseason games.

All in all, it was a frustrating year for Frazier. He even had to deal with a broken nose and surgery to repair it after getting inadvertently kneed in the face by Bobby Portis in a game against the Bulls in February.

Frazier has been part of small group of Wizards players continuing to work out at the team facility this summer. He has been there along with Wall, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. That said, it does seem likely Frazier returns given how the Wizards used him this season. He was completely out of the rotation for extended periods of time.

Helping his cause in that regard is that the Wizards have his Bird rights, meaning they can re-sign him while going above the salary cap. They currently have five open roster spots and not much money to spend. Frazier could represent a cheap option and help them fill out their roster.

Potential to improve: Shooting, on-ball defense, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!