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New-look Wizards make Verizon debut


New-look Wizards make Verizon debut

Wizards coach Randy Wittman doesn’t mind if you judge his team sometime in mid-December when he hopes to have a full squad.

Just don’t pass judgment tonight when the Wizards face the New York Knicks in their first and only home preseason game at Verizon Center. Asked what fans’ expectations should be for tonight’s game, Wittman asked for just a little patience.

“Just that we’re playing hard, we’re playing the right way,” he said. “That’s all fans want -- that you go out there and you give a good, honest effort and you play together as a team.

“If we can do those two things, win or lose, it’s not a concern. We still have a lot of people out. Guys have opportunities. We’ll see who steps up.”

The Wizards have been without star point guard John Wall [left knee] and forward Nene [left foot] since the start of training camp. They lost forward Trevor Booker to a strained left hamstring on Friday and just recently welcomed back veteran point guard Jannero Pargo from an abdominal strain.  

Booker said he’s close to returning to the lineup, but is not expected to be available tonight. He said the Wizards need to tighten up all areas of their game following Sunday’s 100-88 loss to the Bobcats in Charlotte in their preseason opener.

“The biggest thing from Game 1, transition defense,” Booker said. “We looked terrible at times. They had a lot of straight line drives in transition. And another thing is fouling. I think they shot 40-plus free throws in that game [46 to be exact]. I think that’s a crazy number.”

Following tonight’s contest the Wizards conclude their preseason schedule with six straight games on the road, visiting Cleveland, Brooklyn, Toronto, Milwaukee, Miami and San Antonio before beginning the regular season on the road in Cleveland on Oct. 30.

Five of the Wizards’ first seven games are on the road.

“We’re getting ready to go on the road forever,” Wittman said. “That’s good. We have a lot of road games in November. There’s a different mindset you need to have on the road.”

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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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

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Wizards power forward Markieff Morris. Morris looked back on the 2017-18 season and gave his side on what needs to be fixed.

Chris and Chase Hughes also had a heated debate about Bradley Beal not receiving any All-NBA votes. Chase is an awards voter and defended his ballot. Chris wasn't having any of it.

They also went into the conference finals and what it would mean if the Rockets beat the Warriors.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!