WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – After going 1-2 in the preseason, the Washington Wizards prepare for their season opener at Philadelphia, on Wednesday December 23rd.
In their last preseason game, the Wizards managed to squeak by with a win, beating the Detroit Pistons, 99-96; in a game where Russell Westbrook, and Davis Bertans made their debuts in a Wizards uniform.
Ahead of the season, Scott Brooks addressed the media on Monday; giving his explanation about the expectations he has for his team, and how to juggle them this season.
“We want to compete every night.” said Scott Brooks, “We’ve added some – really good players. We’ve added some toughness, we’ve added some size, we signed back one of the best shooters in the world in Bertans. And Russell and Brad’s leadership has made some pretty good improvements as this preseason has gone on. And I think that is going to continue to happen. There is so many similarities with those two guys, they’re all about winning and this is going to give all of us a chance to win.”
The Washington Wizards did announce that Rui Hachimura will be out for three weeks, due to an eye infection. Specifically, bi-lateral epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Rui averaged 13.5 points per game, and 6.1 rebounds per game for the team last season as a rookie.
“I was hoping last week, thinking that it would clear up in two or three days, he could be back on the court, couple more days later he’d be back. But he has a severe case,” Brooks said. “It’s a long season. I know sometimes when you’re in the grind it doesn’t seem every game is so important and so critical, but he’s a young player, and he needed those reps and practice and training camp, those exhibition games. We’re going to have to figure it out without him until he comes back.”
“Unfortunately, with Rui’s situation, but I think we can be able to manage that, as best as we can. We have a very competitive team.” continued Coach Brooks, on the season expectations, “This is – this year is not like last year at all, where the minutes – lot of the minutes were, let’s face it; lot of the minutes were establishing identity and lot of the minutes were developmental minutes. This is different. We got some really good players that are ready now, so some of the guys that maybe played a little bit more minutes last year probably won’t play as many more minutes this year but that’s a good thing cause that means we have a better team.”