Sports

Wizards Open 2017 Preseason With Easy Win

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.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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