A win is a win, right?
It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Washington Wizards managed to sneak out of the United Center with a win over the Chicago Bulls tonight, 85-81. Here are some game notes:
Derrick Rose‘s return got most of the attention tonight, and he delivered with 11 points and 4 rebounds in under 14 minutes of action. He didn’t hesitate to attack the basket and made a few nifty layups which helped him get in a rhythm.
On the other hand, John Wall played 27 minutes tonight, but finished the game with just 8 points on 1-7 shooting. Although it’s just preseason, Wall settled for jump shots tonight and never really got much flow offensively. Wall did get his teammates involved, but it would’ve been nice to see him attack the basket more. Again, it’s just preseason, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Wall settle for too many jump shots.
Bradley Beal also struggled tonight, scoring 11 points on 12 shot attempts. Jimmy Butler played solid defense, but Beal missed multiple open shots that he regularly knocks down. As the preseason progresses, we’ll likely see him make more shots.
Marcin Gortat led the Washington Wizards’ starters with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Washington Wizards rested Nene tonight, so Gortat got most of the touches down low. Kris Humphries also chipped in with 6 points before leaving the game with a cut on his hand, but it was nice to see Gortat take advantage of another opportunity.
Paul Pierce and Pau Gasol both debuted with their respective teams tonight. Pierce struggled, scoring just 2 points and piling up 5 quick fouls. He set the tone early with a hard foul against Butler and the Washington Wizards lived up to the “DC Bad Boys” nickname DeJuan Blair gave them during training camp. Oh, and here’s a Vine video of a scuffle involving Pierce and Joakim Noah.
Speaking of DeJuan Blair; he finished the game with 8 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. It seemed like Blair got a rebound whenever he was under the basket and he also made a few floaters in the lane.
Nikola Mirotic, who also made his debut with Chicago tonight, scored 17 points in just over 21 minutes of action. Chicago needed to add scoring off their bench and Mirotic will certainly provide that for them this season. There aren’t a lot of big men that could handle the ball and shoot it from outside like Mirotic, and it should be interesting to see how he fits into Tom Thibodeau’s rotation.
Glen Rice Jr. led the Wizards off the bench with 18 points on 6-8 shooting. There were some questions about how his game would translate from his MVP Summer League performance and I think he proved that he’s capable of contributing for the Washington Wizards this season. Otto Porter, however, struggled. He scored just 4 points on 10 shot attempts.
The Washington Wizards seem to have a scrappy team this season, and the additions of Paul Pierce, Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair have added that element to the rest of the players. Their next game will take place on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans.