Wizards-Knicks preview: Battle for Baltimore

Wizards-Knicks preview: Battle for Baltimore
October 16, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Beal, Wizards top Heat in preseason

BACK TO ACTION: The Wizards are hitting their stride as each preseason game takes on greater significance. They're 1-2 and will play four games within the next week before they start counting.

at Baltimore Arena

TV: Thursday, CSN, 7 p.m. ET

Last game: Beat the Miami Heat 100-82 on Tuesday at Verizon Center.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Kevin Seraphin. Knicks –- PG Ray Felton, SG Pablo Prigioni, SF Carmelo Anthony, PF Andrea Bargnani, C Tyson Chandler.

What to look for: 
1). Will coach Randy Wittman start Seraphin or use a quick hook if he's not playing up to par? Wittman could be seen chewing him out on the bench in the last game, when he had just one rebound.
2). Can the Wizards generate more assists than turnovers?
3). Is Booker going to start again, or will Jan Vesely get the job back?
4). Will the Wizards play for longer stretches with a small lineups?
5). Although the Wizards are the home team, Anthony is from Baltimore. Who will get the warmer reception? 

X-factors: Nene didn't return with the team after their game in Rio de Janeiro because of a family matter. He is expected to be back in D.C. on Wednesday but his availability for this game has yet to be determined. PG Eric Maynor, who sat out the Heat game because of soreness to his left Achilles, practiced fully Wednesday. 

He said it: "I don't talk to these guys in terms of wins and losses in the preseason. Did we get better? We got better last night. We got better in our execution. We got better in our pace. We got better in our defense. I can't really say that was true in the Chicago game (83-81 loss Saturday)." -- Wittman after practice Wednesday. 

Around the bend: The Wizards will practice at Verizon Center on Thursday before traveling to Baltimore. They'll practice here Friday, too, and then play vs. the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.