The Washington Wizards’ first preseason game Monday was used by head coach Scott Brooks as a bit of an “experiment,” with All-Star point guard John Wall sitting out and his backcourt mate Bradley Beal playing less than eight minutes.
The trial went well as the Wizards blasted Guangzhou Long-Lions of China, 126-96, at Capital One Arena in northwest D.C.
The game was livestreamed on Monumental Sports Network, a digital platform owned by Monumental Sports and Entertainment and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.
The Wizards easily plowed through the Guangzhou defense, burying 10 of 24 from deep, led by newly acquired shooting guard Jodie Meeks.
Although he only played 16 minutes, Meeks led the Wizards in scoring with 19 points on 4-5 from 3-point range.
“I just tried to come in and knock down shots,” he said. “Fortunately, my first one went in and confidence kept growing from there. The main point of preseason is to get in shape and find a rhythm [and] get acquainted with your teammates.”
The Wizards signed two other players this summer, Mike Scott from the Atlanta Hawks and Tim Frazier from the New Orleans Pelicans. Scott played 12 minutes and scored six points, while Frazier sat out with a groin injury.
All three players are expected to help bolster the bench this season, especially Meeks and Frazier, who will spell Wall and Beal throughout during the season.
Brooks praised Meeks, especially his ability to shoot from the perimeter.
“He gives us a knock-down shooter off the bench,” Brooks said. “He’s a 40 percent 3-point shooter. With our playmaking guards, I think he can get a lot of open shots. That’s why we brought him in and it showed tonight.”
The Wizards anticipate stiffer competition in their second preseason game at 7 p.m. Friday when the New York Knicks visit the District. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to the city for a 3 p.m. contest Sunday.
The Wizards’ last two preseason games are on the road Oct. 11 in New York City and Oct. 13 in Miami.
The regular season begins Oct. 17 in D.C. against the Philadelphia 76ers.