Ryan Kerrigan joined CSN on Facebook Live, presented by Paisano's, to preview the Redskins' game in London and much more.
- Previewing Redskins-Bengals in London
- Free time in London
- How the team's game plan changes week-to-week
- The origin of his sack dance
Rich Tandler is talking live with Ryan Kerrigan at Paisano's Pizza and taking your questions ahead of the Washington Redskins' trip across the pond to take on the Bengals.Posted by CSN Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Key pieces may have changed between the Wizards and Atlanta Hawks, but the core players still here remember what transpired the last few regular seasons -- and in the playoffs -- before Thursday's opener (CSN, 6:30 p.m. ET).
The Wizards missed the playoffs last season but if it weren't for John Wall's broken hand and wrist they were in good position to unseat the No. 1 seed in the 2015 postseason.
It was during that series that Bradley Beal took over for Wall, who'd missed three of the games before they lost in six, and dealt out 22 assists and increased his scoring, too. It was the first real glimpse into his max-player potential.
"I love playing there. I love playing against some of the people they have there," Wall said. "It’s going to be a competitive game. It’s going to be chippy at times."
Wall was shoved to the floor by Jeff Teague during Game 1 and fell on his wrist to alter that series. When Beal lost his rhythm during a 41-41 regular season a year ago, he was struck in the shoulder with a knee from Teague that produced a contusion that kept him out for two weeks.
Teague is no longer there, replaced by Dennis Schroder as the starting point guard. Neither is Al Horford, who left in free agency. Dwight Howard replaces him in the middle. Schroder tried to irriate Wall by telling his teammates to intentionally strike him on his broken left hand/wrist during the playoff series, though it never happened.
"I think it’s the same exact team. Schroder is going to be starter instead of Teague. You have Dwight Howard back there instead of Al Horford that’s picking and popping," Wall said. "I think that kind of helps at times because when you used to play before you had to worry about two bigs that can run the floor so well and knock down shots from the perimeter. Now Dwight is more like a post-up, catch lobs and be able to protect the paint for them. It will be a different look."
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Horford combined with Paul Millsap at power forward to cause those matchup problems for Marcin Gortat and Nene, the latter of whom is gone from Washington. Their three-point stroke along with screening for the screener to free Kyle Korver for open looks always challenged the Wizards' discipline on switches.
“It’ll probably be chippy this game," Beal said, agreeing with Wall. "It’s our first game of the year. Everybody’s excited. Emotions usually run high. That’s a team we go back and forth with. They don’t have our best interest. We don’t have theirs either.
“Dwight is still a big body. He can still post up pretty well. In terms of getting us out of scramble situations , that helps us out a lot. Al was able to space the floor, shoot the three and put it on the floor. Having him and Millsap out there caused a lot of trouble. Now that they have Dwight their offense will probably slow down a little bit and they’ll probably try to throw I it into the post a little bit. That’ll play into our favor."
When the Wizards were teetering in and out of the playoff picture last season, they pulled out a big win in Atlanta on March 21 to get back to .500. Two days later at Verizon Center, the Hawks dropped them below .500 in a route. It was a significant setback in what would be a season full of them.
What happens between Wall and Schroder will go a long way to determining the outcome.
Said Beal: “I think John has it under control."