Recap: Three takeaways from the Wizards’ 2022 preseason finale

The Wizards lost their final preseason game to the Knicks 105-89 at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

The Knicks came out firing right away, taking a 23-5 lead to start the game. At the end of the first period, the Knicks had a 30-19 lead.

In the second quarter, things turned around for the Wizards. They increased their activity in defense and turned it into offensive opportunities in transition. Midway through the second quarter, they tied the game at 36 points apiece, but Washington never managed to take the lead. The Knicks fought back, regaining their double-digit halftime lead, and came out of the break on a 16-2 run, never looking back.

THE PHYSICS OF BRADLEY BEAL

After missing the final months of the 2021-22 regular season with a ligament tear in his left wrist, this offseason has been dedicated to Bradley Beal’s recovery and rehabilitation. All signs seemed to point in a positive direction heading into training camp, but the game reps are the only real way to see how a player is progressing.

After missing games two and three of the preseason due to rest and non-COVID illness, Beal got aggressive on Friday. He had an up-and-down shooting game, scoring 16 points on 6-of-13 from the field and 1-of-6 from deep, but it was his overall activity and physicality that stood out the most.

Beal did a bit of everything. He attacked the rim, scored from three levels of the pitch and was active in defence. Along with his 16 points, he also added five assists, five rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes of action.

It was a positive performance for Beal ahead of the regular season debut.

THE OFFENSIVE IMPACT OF RUI HACHIMURA

Rui Hachimura led the Wizard in scoring tonight with 20 points on effective shooting 7 of 14 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line.

Attacking the basket at will, running in transition, living close to the edge and stretching when needed, he was fantastic from the moment he set foot on the floor. In the end, Hachimura was one of the main reasons the second unit was able to keep wizards in the game.

At one point in the second quarter, Hachimura’s activity around the rim caught the Knicks’ attention so much that he immediately drew a triple team when he caught the ball in the post.

Hachimura also had eight rebounds and two assists.

DELON WRIGHT’S ACTIVITY ON DEFENSE

Part of the reason Wizards were able to get out of the hole they fell into early was because of Delon Wright’s activity in defense. He was a pest for the 24 minutes he was on the pitch tonight. From deflecting passes to blocking shots, Wright was everywhere.

“I think Delon gave us a little spark with his defensive intensity and made some really good plays with the pick and roll,” Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr said.

Wright finished the game with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. He also had the highest plus/minus of all Wizards at +20. To put it simply, Wright was phenomenal in his role tonight.

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