John Wall on what Michael Jordan would average in the NBA today

Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting on what Wizards guard John Wall thinks Michael Jordan would put up in today’s NBA:

Everyone has their take on the subject, and while some think Jordan would be just another guy today, people like John Wall believe he’d be even better than he was when he rattled off two separate three-peats.

“Imagine someone averaging 37 [points] when you’re getting beat up, no [defensive] three seconds, hand checks,” Wall said in an interview with 247 Sports. “Now, if you hit somebody like that you get suspended 10 games.

“Jordan’s averaging 45 and whatever else he wants,” he said. “You can’t touch nobody. You can’t hand-check. No hand-check, you playing 6’6 guys at center. The league is totally different. Like, I’m not knocking it, but if you can’t score right now and get a bucket one-on-one, you don’t belong in basketball.”

When the Sixers traded Moses Malone

Here’s NBC Sports Philly reviewing some of the worst Philadelphia 76ers trades in team history, listing the Sixers’ Moses Malone deal as their worst ever:

Malone had been the missing piece in helping Dr. J get over the hump in 1982-83. His numbers as a Sixer were outstanding (23.9 points, 13.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks per game) and it was the best era of Sixers basketball during his four seasons here.

But in 1986, the Sixers traded the 30-year-old Malone along with Terry Catledge and two first-round picks to the Bullets for Cliff Robinson and Jeff Ruland. The move was not received well by the players — especially by a young Barkley — and Malone made three more All-Star appearances.

Robinson was a pretty good player here, but not an All-Star. Ruland, who already had foot issues during the previous two seasons in Washington, played just five games with the Sixers before retiring. He made a brief comeback during the 1991-92 season but played just 13 games. This began what Sixers fans call “The Curse of Moses Malone.”

Wizards reportedly offer refunds for postponed games

Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting that won’t be a surprise, that the Wizards are offering fans some options regarding the batch of regular season games that were postponed:

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is preparing those around the league for games without fans and perhaps beyond the 2019-20 season, if and whenever it resumes. So, it should be no surprise the Wizards are taking steps to reimburse fans who have already paid for tickets.

The team sent out an email to season ticket holders explaining a new policy which will credit people for the remaining games this season for a plan next year. That can be taken as a refund if the ticket holders decide not to renew next season, or if they do renew then an additional three percent credit is added.

We aren’t keeping track of exactly which teams have done this already, but some have, and certainly the rest likely will soon.

The remainder of the 2019-20 NBA regular season remains postponed, not canceled, but with each passing day the likelihood of the season being completed diminishes. Perhaps the playoffs will still be played. We’ll see.

Veteran forward Trevor Booker announces retirement from NBA

Forward Trevor Booker has announced his retirement from the NBA, calling it a career by tweeting out the news in video format Tuesday evening.

He played in the league between 2010-18, and wasn’t on a squad last season or the currently-suspended one.

Overall, Booker averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, spending the most time on the Wizards, and also playing for the Jazz, Nets, Sixers and Pacers.

Booker has famously been involved in business, for years. Fans can expect to keep hearing his name on that front.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal going wild lately

Time to give Wizards guard Bradley Beal some extra attention. He’s certainly earned it. Here’s the Washington Post with a look at his recent play:

The NBA hath no fury like Bradley Beal scorned. While his team remains a defensively challenged work in progress, Beal, with an assist from the All-Star Game balloting results, has succeeded in keeping the Washington Wizards relevant. That’s no small feat for the leader of a rebuilding squad that’s 16 games under .500.

In the 10 games since Beal learned he was not voted an all-star reserve by the league’s coaches, the eighth-year pro has averaged 36 points to increase his scoring average to 30.1, second only to Houston’s James Harden (35.3). Beal has posted new career highs in consecutive games, with 53 points on Sunday against the Bulls and 55 in Monday’s overtime loss to the Bucks.

“I’m a winner, so you can throw those 55 out with the last 53,” Beal said after becoming the first player in NBA history to score at least 50 points on consecutive days and have his team lose both games.

The Wizards are 20-36 this season, and despite Beal’s heroics have lost three straight games.

Still, both he and his team have been fun to watch lately.

Wizards not far from playoffs in East

The Wizards haven’t gotten many mentions this season. That’s what happens when you aren’t playing particularly hot basketball. But lately, the team has been solid on the floor. Here’s the Washington Post with an update:

At the NBA all-star break, Wizards are making outsiders look closer. Washington compiled the fourth-best record in the conference over the last 10 games and are heading into the midseason respite with a 20-33 record. On some nights the Wizards have caught the attention of the Szczerbiaks of the world — beating playoff-caliber opponents such as the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks. However, over that same stretch, they’ve also lost to the worst team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors…

Despite the up-and-down stretch, the Wizards remain three games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed…

A major reason for the Wizards’ good position has been Beal’s play. Since Jan. 22, Beal has ranked second in the league with a 35.2 points per game average. Although Beal was not voted as an all-star reserve by Eastern Conference coaches, he will enter the break as the lone NBA player to have scored at least 25 points in 12 consecutive games.

Sure, being a few games out of the playoffs isn’t anything to write home about. But a team doing that is playing respectable basketball. Which for this season’s Wizards deserves a nod.

Wizards waive forward Johnathan Williams

Late Saturday night, the Washington Wizards waived forward Johnathan Williams, who had reached the 10-day limit on the team’s injury hardship exception.

Williams appeared in six games for the Wizards (four starts), averaging 5.5 points and 6.3 rebounds.

There are now 16 players on the Wizards roster, plus two-way players Garrison Mathews and Anzejs Pasecniks.

The Wizards are 11-24 this season. They’re being led in scoring by shooting guard Bradley Beal at 27.8 points per game, and have seven other players averaging double-digit points. And have one of the league’s most efficient offenses, despite playing without point guard John Wall this season. But their defense is one of the league’s worst.

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura to miss more time than expected

The Wizards injury train continues to plow through the station (I don’t actually know what that means, but it does leave you, the reader, with a correct impression, that the Wizards have a lot of injuries, so for the fun of it let’s go with that), as talented rookie forward Rui Hachimura isn’t close to returning to action just yet. Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting:

When Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura first went down with a groin injury and underwent a minor procedure, the team said he would miss at least five games before getting re-evaluated. He has since missed seven and now several more weeks can be tacked on to his return timeline.

Head coach Scott Brooks revealed that after the team’s practice on Tuesday, suggesting Hachimura would again be re-evaluated sometime in early- to mid-January. Hachimura, 21, has not only been held out games, he hasn’t been with the team.

And the Washington Post on some of the big picture:

Injuries have plagued the Wizards this season and it appears the start of the new year will not usher in good health.

Before the season started, the Wizards set into motion a cautious approach with injured players and applied for a disabled player exception for John Wall, who suffered an Achilles’ injury in February 2019. Only teams with a player who is expected to miss the season, as determined by a league-appointed doctor, can qualify for the exception. The NBA did not grant the exception. Still, almost 11 months after his surgery, Wall remains out and could sit the entire season.

Along with Bradley Beal scoring big and forward Davis Bertans showing big-time shooting ability, Hachimura turning out to be a talented rookie has been a bright spot for the Wizards this season. Hopefully he does return to action fairly soon.

Badly-injured Wizards step up and beat Heat 123-105

 

 

 

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After being outscored by 10 points in the first quarter, an incredibly short-handed Washington Wizards stepped up at home, outscored the Miami Heat 42-29 in the second quarter, and controlled the 4th quarter for a 123-105 win.

Inactive for the Wizards today were John Wall, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, CJ Miles and Davis Bertans. Their starting lineup was Isaiah Thomas and Gary Payton II at guard, Troy Brown Jr. and Johnathan Williams at forward, and Ian Mahinmi at center.

Here’s the Washington Post reporting:

Although seven players were inactive Monday night as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference came to play, the Wizards rolled past the Miami Heat, 123-105. And the final score doesn’t begin to tell the story of a bizarre yet delightful night.

The Wizards’ trio of Ian Mahinmi, Jordan McRae and rookie Garrison Mathews — the least likely Big Three — played like stars. Mahinmi made his first seven shots and scored a career-high 25 points. Mathews poured in 28 points — including a remarkable 20 in the second quarter alone — on 6-for-9 shooting overall and 4-for-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc, by far the best night of his young professional career. And McRae finished with a season-high 29 points and eight assists, the most he has ever had.

Although Miami (24-9) had a healthy team led by Jimmy Butler, who finished with 27 points, and a large contingent of fans who periodically started “Let’s Go Heat!” chants, the Wizards (10-22) closed the decade with one of their most shocking wins of the season.

Mahinmi shot 10 for 11. And McRae shot 9 for 14, including 6 of 8 three-pointers, for his 29 points in 35 minutes off the bench.

After the game, Mahinmi had this to say: “It’s huge, it’s huge. This is part of building character. When you’re down and you have a lot of injuries and stuff going on and not going your way… To have the toughness of a young player to come out and step up, make big plays, be aggressive, make the right read, play good defense and give everything you have is huge. All of our young guys are taking tremendous advantage of their opportunity, so it’s good. There’s a lot of stuff not going our way, but I’m very proud of what everyone is doing: Isaac Bonga, Scho [Admiral Schofield], Gary [Gary Payton II], obviously Garrison [Mathews] tonight, Johnathan [Williams] and Troy [Brown Jr.]. It’s great.”

It was a magical day for D.C. If you’re a Wizards fan and don’t have New Year’s Eve plans, staying home and watching a replay of this game isn’t the worst way to bring in the new year.