October 17th, 2014 at 4:31 PM
By Matt Graber
The Washington Wizards waived center Daniel Orton yesterday, bringing their roster down to 17 with three preseason games remaining. The decision shouldn't come as a surprise, as Orton failed to see the court in the Wizards' first five preseason games while dealing with a calf injury. With with Xavier Silas impressing in his appearances, Orton quickly fell out of the race for the 15th roster spot. Silas, Rasual Butler, and Damion James are the three remaining Wizards invites.
The 24 year old Orton was a first round pick in 2010 and one of five first rounders from the University of Kentucky, including Wizards point guard John Wall. Orton has filed to stick on an NBA roster thus far in his career, with brief stints in Orlando, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. He has posted career averages of 2.8 PPG and 2.5 RPG.
Despite his failure to make the Wizards, Orton has the tools to stick around in the NBA. At 6'11", 275 pounds, he has great size and has demonstrated a decent shot , not to mention some underrated passing skills, during his time with the Wizards Summer League team. His former teammate Wall is bullish on his future. From the Washington Post: Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 16th, 2014 at 10:26 AM
By Matt Graber
The Washington Wizards drove their preseason record to 4-1 after a closer than expected 101-95 victory over Israeli team Maccabi Haifa. With Bradley Beal injured and Nene and Paul Pierce resting, the Wizards were without most of their projected starting lineup, so Coach Wittman basically let the backups and young guys run the show, led by the increasingly impressive Otto Porter Jr. Given that the Wizards are working with a severely depleted roster and their opponent wasn't an NBA team, it's hard to take that much away from this game, but their were a few things worth noting.
Otto Porter Jr. looks better and better
Porter put on an impressive and well-rounded performance last night, recording a team-leading 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. He went 7-13 from the field and, more importantly, he was 4-4 from the foul line, an area where the Wizards have really struggled. He's looking more and more confident on offense, moving well, and showcasing his scoring ability on the perimeter and in the post. He also turned in a stellar defensive performance with four steals and a huge block. He's starting to look like the guy the Wizards expected to get when they drafted him third overall last year.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 15th, 2014 at 1:48 PM
By Matt Graber
After opening the preseason against the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, and Detroit Pistons, the Wizards will host their fifth preseason game tonight at the Verizon Center against … Maccabi Haifa. Yes, rather than another NBA team, the Wizards will test their mettle against last year's runners-up in the Israeli Super Basketball League. It has become common for NBA teams to schedule preseason matchups with international clubs, as Haifa themselves have played against NBA teams several times in the past. Here's a quick primer on tonight's opponent.
- Maccabi Haifa were among the original eight teams to form the top division of Israeli basketball in 1953.
- The team has had a great deal of success in the Israeli Basketball Super League, defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv to win the the league championship in 2012-2013 and losing in the finals to Tel Aviv last season by an aggregate score of 163-161 in a two game series.
- The team has developed a bit of an international presence in recent years, producing an international broadcast called Inside Israeli Basketball and posting game videos on Youtube. Haifa is also the first Israeli basketball team with an international development team, the Miami Midnites of the Florida Basketball Association.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 13th, 2014 at 5:23 PM
By Matt Graber
Bradley Beal's fractured left wrist, which will cause him to miss six weeks, has left a gaping hole in the Washington Wizards' backcourt. With the unproven Glen Rice Jr. and Garrett Temple the only healthy shooting guards left on the team, it would appear the Wizards need to make some kind of move to shore up the position. But the team realizes that Beal will be back sooner than it may seem, and they dont appear likely to make any rash decisions. From CSNWashington:
Will the Wizards rush to make some sort of trade?
No. Beal isn't out for half of the season, and after talking with persons with knowledge of the situation, they aren't going to make a knee-jerk reaction. They're going to give the guys they have now a chance. And the truth is regarding free agency, there aren't many quality free agents out there beyond Allen who are worthy of the risk. The Wizards are not going to lock themselves into anything with long-term consequences for what's a short-term predicament with Beal. Allen could decide after the season starts and surveying the landscape where he wants to play. Or someone of quality who is not available now can be released or put on the market. Overreacting isn't the best course of action. Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 13th, 2014 at 12:22 PM
By Matt Graber
The Washington Wizards improved to 3-1 this preseason, as a go-ahead dunk from Kevin Seraphin with 5.7 seconds remaining helped seal the deal in a 91-89 win over the Detroit Pistons. Admittedly, it's hard to get excited about a Wizards preseason win given the recent injury news concerning Bradley Beal and Kris Humphries. But there were a few bright spots and some positive takeaways from the narrow win.
Kevin Seraphin steps up
Kevin Seraphin played what was by far his best game of the preseason, scoring 14 points, including the game-winner, and grabbing 8 rebounds in 22 minutes. Seraphin played well against the Pistons' strong frontcourt duo of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe and once again demonstrated his offensive potential. With Humphries hurt and Nene and DeJuan Blair suspended for the regular season opener, the Wizards will need Seraphin to play some big minutes right off the bat, and this performance should help inspire some confidence.
Point guard looks rock solidRead more... Join the Conversation...