Archive for the ‘ Washington Wizards Blog ’ Category

Wizards keep struggling, fall to Sixers

Wizards keep struggling, fall to Sixers

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Wizards, who are dropping games left and right these days and are 33-26 for the season and losers of six games in a row:

No, the Washington Wizards had not reached their lowest possible point Wednesday, when they lost by 20 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the worst team in the Western Conference.

On Friday night, the Wizards sank even more with an 89-81 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, a franchise constructed to lose to land the best draft pick possible.

The loss, the Wizards’ sixth straight, earned Washington its longest losing streak in more than two seasons and was a full face plant into misery, code red for a team that just a month ago harbored title aspirations.

The defeat came on the heels of a team dinner Thursday, when all 14 players dined together at a Brazilian steakhouse. It was captured in an Instagram post by Marcin Gortat with the caption “Team dinner….Staying together!”

A night later, they were dreadful in a loss to a team they dismantled by 35 points in their previous meeting. The loss was Wizards’ 11th in 13 games and 13th in 17.

Paul Pierce out tonight with bruised knee

Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce was a late scratch Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of a bruised knee.

Pierce knocked knees with a Golden State defender in the closing seconds of a loss on Tuesday night, but coach Randy Wittman said before the game against the Wolves that he expected his veteran to be available.

– AP

Bradley Beal set to return for Wizards

Bradley Beal set to return for Wizards

The 33-22 Washington Wizards have won just 3 of their last 10 games, and on Friday got badly smacked down by the Cleveland Cavaliers. But there’s good news on the DC health front. Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting:

Bradley Beal set to return for Wizards

There was at least one positive development for the Washington Wizards on Friday: Doctors evaluated starting shooting guard Bradley Beal’s injured right fibula in the morning and have given him the green light to resume basketball activities Saturday.

“Things are progressing really good,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “They’re going to [ramp] him up more and more now so he can get out, shooting and running and stuff, and see how that reacts.”

Beal hasn’t practiced or played in a game since exiting the Wizards’ 94-87 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 5. He was originally sidelined with an inflamed right toe, but tests the following week revealed a mild stress reaction in his right fibula. It was Beal’s third injury to his right fibula in his three NBA seasons.

John Wall shows understanding of media

John Wall shows understanding of media

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on Wizards guard John Wall, who continues to rise as a star on the court while saying the right things when no game-clock is running:

John Wall shows understanding of media

The surliness rising to the surface with Kevin Durant, particularly when it comes to his comments about the media this weekend, isn’t as much of a surprise as some think. He’s just finally being honest. That’s good for him, but he’d benefit by taking a page from Wizards point guard John Wall, who has dealt with far more criticism and ridicule during his five-year career and doesn’t pout and rant about it.

“I think they do a great job. Sometimes media have to make their stories. Sometimes they’re going to have to say bad things, they’re going to say negative things but that’s part of their job,” Wall explained during Friday’s session. “It’s like us on the basketball court, sometimes you’re going to have good games, sometimes you’re going to have bad games.”

A reporter had just asked Wall if media criticism causes trust issues: “No, some players don’t trust other players neither. It’s all about you. You can build a friendship with them but understand it’s a business they have to do so if they make a bad story you can’t get mad at those guys for doing their job.”

Wizards guard Bradley Beal remains out

Wizards guard Bradley Beal remains out

Bradley Beal remains out for Wizards

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal will miss tonight’s game at Toronto. Beal missed the last two games with a sore right big toe and subsequent examinations revealed a mild stress reaction in his lower right fibula. He will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break.

Beal has averaged 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting .436 from three-point range in 42 games for the Wizards this season.

Patrick Beverley replaces John Wall in 2015 Skills Challenge

Patrick Beverley replaces John Wall in 2015 Skills Challenge

Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley will replace Washington Wizards guard John Wall in the 2015 Skills Challenge during All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 14.

As far as we know, Wall hasn’t suffered a new injury. He likely just feels he can use the extra rest and has chosen to not participate. We’ll update this info if it changes, but it probably won’t.

Beverley, in his third NBA season with the Rockets, is averaging 10.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 games. A second-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, Beverley signed with Houston in January 2013 after four-plus seasons playing overseas. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2013-14.

The Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and the Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague, all selected to play in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden, headline the Skills Challenge field. Defending champion Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Knight and the Phoenix Suns’ Isaiah Thomas will also compete in the three-round, obstacle-course competition that tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.

Bradley Beal says Wizards are playing soft lately

The 31-18 Wizards have the 9th best winning percentage in the NBA, but a lot of those wins came earlier in the season. Currently, they’re on a three-game losing streak, and in general have looked very average lately. Here’s the Washington Post Blog reporting:

“I think we definitely took several steps back in these last five games, especially defensively,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “We haven’t been the same team that got up and was physical and tough on them. We are pretty soft right now.”

Wizards Coach Randy Wittman offered a litany of reasons for the recent struggles.

“We point fingers and until we all get back on the same page and come out and play hard for 48 minutes, and look at ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do more?’ rather than point our finger and say ‘It’s not me,’ that’s where we are at,” Wittman explained. “Like I said, I’ll take the blame for that, of allowing us to get there.

“There are some good teams in this league that can maybe get away with coasting for a half, but we are not one of them. When we’ve played to get to where we were, it’s because we played hard every night and accepted coaching. We’ve had some success when we’ve taken it a little easy, but we are paying for it. That’s what the bottom line is. Until we play hard, all out, and have each other’s back rather than pointing fingers and saying, ‘It’s not my fault, it’s his fault,’ we are not beating anybody. That’s kind of it in a nutshell.”

Washington Wizards notes: Jan. 20, 2015

wizards notes

The Wizards were victorious last night after defeating the 76ers 111-76 at Verizon Center. Washington now leads the season series with Philadelphia 1-0.

D.C. shot .556 from the field and .500 from behind the arc. All five starters scored in double figures and Otto Porter and Kevin Seraphin also reached double digits in scoring off the bench. Washington was led by Marcin Gortat who tallied 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds in 29 minutes. John wall added 11 points and 10 assists in 29 minutes of action.

Washington allowed an opponent-season-low 76 points and their 35-point margin of victory was the biggest of the season. Nene finished with 12 points and six rebounds. He also connected on his fourth career three-pointer in the third quarter. The last time Nene hit a three was on Feb. 1, 2014.

- The Wizards are now 29-13 and in second place in the Eastern Conference. At Verizon Center, Washington is 18-5. Washington leads the Eastern Conference with 18 home victories.

- Washington is 16-0 when leading after three quarters and 24-1 when holding their opponents to less than 100 points.

- Washington shot .556 (45-of-81) from the field last night against Philadelphia. This marks the first time Washington has shot at least .550 from the field this season. Washington is 13-0 this season when shooting at least .500 from the field.

Wizards beat Sixers by 35 points

The Washington Wizards, playing at home, beat the Philadelphia 76ers 111-76 on Monday. In the win, Marcin Gortat shot 9-of-11 for 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. The Wizards shot 55.6% and hit 7-of-14 three-pointers. Nobody on the Sixers scored more than 13 points. Tony Wroten and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute didn’t play. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Henry Sims, who started in place of sidelined power forward Luc Mbah a Moute (left knee contusion), led the Sixers with 13 points. Nerlens Noel scored nine of his 11 points before intermission. He turned into basically a bystander, missing both of his shots in the second half.

The rookie center said he didn’t think his play caused him to score just two points after halftime. Noel said he and a lot of the Sixers’ big men kept their energy all game.

“But we have to be able to reward them,” Noel said. “We have to move the ball. I think we were stagnant. Sustaining energy that long isn’t an easy thing, especially when you’re not getting big guys the ball.”

Perhaps that was one of the problems.

Michael Carter-Williams’ struggles were another problem. The point guard, who was last season’s rookie of the year, had seven points on 2-for-13 shooting. Carter-Williams also had five assists, one rebound, two steals and four turnovers.

Wizards waive Glen Rice Jr.

The Washington Wizards waived guard Glen Rice Jr. today, the team announced.

Rice appeared in 16 career games with Washington in parts of two seasons, averaging 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game.

The Wizards’ roster now stands at 14.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on veteran Wizards guard Andre Miller (4.4 ppg in 12.8 minutes per game this season), a pass-first player with limited leaping ability who still manages to score when necessary:

andre miller

Miller understands his skill set. He rarely shoots jumpers — he made his first three-pointer on his fifth attempt of the season Friday — and utilizes a remarkable post-up game to overwhelm point guards who are usually not accustomed to defending in the post. He did it against Westbrook on Friday and against New Orleans’s Austin Rivers on Monday when the Wizards needed it the most.

“I think it’s just the rhythm of the game, how it goes, how it pans out,” Miller said. “It depends on how the defense is playing and what the team needs at the time and I kind of just play from there.”

Emeka Okafor may not return until next season

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on veteran NBA big man Emeka Okafor:

emeka okafor

Former Washington Wizards big man Emeka Okafor will consider holding off his return to the NBA until the 2015-16 season.

Okafor, 32, missed all of last season to recover from a herniated disk in his neck.

Now the veteran center is drawing attention from teams that need a little frontcourt help. However, he might wait until the summer before he commits to a new team to give himself more time to extend his strength and conditioning work.

Wizards begin road trip, starting in Houston

The Wizards begin their five-game road trip tonight in Houston. Washington will face five of the top nine seeds in the Western Conference while book ending the trip with two sets of back-to-backs.

Tonight’s matchup is the first of two meetings with Houston. The Rockets won last season’s season series 2-0. The two teams will meet again on Mar. 29 in Washington.

Through the first 14 games of December, the Wizards are 11-3 (8-2 at home). The Wizards are averaging 103.6 points per game on .482 shooting from the field during the month. Washington is holding opponents to 98.6 points per game on .440 shooting from the field.

Quick Hits

John Wall leads the NBA with nine games of at least 20 points and 10 assists.

Wall averaged 21.0 points and 12.0 assists in two games against Houston last season.

Wall is averaging 17.4 points, 11.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds while shooting .497 from the field in the month of December (14 games).

Kris Humphries is averaging 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last two games off the bench.

– Washington Wizards notes

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on key Wizards big dude Nene, who continues to play while recovering from injury:

Nene coming off Wizards bench as healing process continues

On Friday night, Nene posted his best performance since coming back from a five-game absence because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot earlier this month. He posted 20 crucial points on 8-for-10 shooting in 26 minutes off the bench, as the Wizards came back to beat the Miami Heat on the road.

The showing indicated the Brazilian big man is getting closer to reclaiming his spot in the starting lineup. But though he believes he belongs in the starting five, pain remains in the foot and Nene isn’t in a rush to increase his workload

“Until I see improvement, I’m going to stay on the bench because the season is long,” Nene said. “I don’t want to do crazy stuff.”

Paul Pierce fitting in on Wizards

Here’s CSN Washington with a look at veteran Paul Pierce, as he and his new team, the Washington Wizards, continue to adapt to each other. So far, they’re off to a good start, as the team is 11-5 to begin the season:

Paul Pierce fitting in on Wizards

Pierce is averaging a career-low 12.5 points. Watching the small forward on a regular basis, the sense he’s waiting for the right moment to take over and giving space for his new teammates to establish themselves. When needed, Pierce produces. He scored five straight points inside the final three minutes to put the Wizards up for good in Saturday’s 83-80 win over the New Orleans Pelicans and had 25 in a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks last month when Washington trailed by double digits early and lost Nene to injury. Never known for his athleticism even during his younger days, Pierce has helped the Wizards maintain the defensive high standard set during last season’s playoff run.

Nene returns to practice for Wizards

Here’s the Washington Post blog with an update on the 10-5 Wizards, who have been without the services of starting power forward Nene (10.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg in 27.1 mpg this season) in recent action:

Nene returns to practice for Wizards

Nene missed his third straight game with right plantar fasciitis Saturday — an 83-80 win over the New Orleans — but took part in practice for the first time in over a week Sunday and is officially listed as questionable for Washington’s meeting with the Miami Heat Monday. Garrett Temple, nursing a sore right heel, is also officially questionable.

Temple was the Wizards’ starting shooting guard in their first 13 games until Bradley Beal was inserted in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Temple played just 26 seconds in Cleveland and didn’t play at all Saturday.

With a 7-3 record through Thursday, the Washington Wizards have the 7th best winning percentage in the NBA; a fantastic start to a promising season. And the team is poised to get even deeper once Martell Webster becomes available to play, which should happen in the relatively near future. Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting:

martell webster

Bradley Beal’s return Wednesday wasn’t the only significant steppingstone for an injured member of the Washington Wizards this week. Martell Webster has been cleared for contact and was a limited practice participant Tuesday and Thursday.

Webster, 27, underwent his third back surgery in four years on June 27 and was given a recovery timetable of three to five months. He said his return remains “on schedule,” which would mean a return by the end of November. On Thursday, Webster participated in half-court work with contact.

“No anxiety. It’s more the mental game,” Webster said.

Wizards assign Glen Rice to D-League

Wizards assign Glen Rice to D-League

The Washington Wizards announced today that guard Glen Rice has been assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Rice has appeared in five games this season for Washington while averaging 2.2 points in 8.5 minutes per game.

Wizards now 6-2 after beating Pistons

Wizards now 6-2 after beating Pistons

The Wizards are 6-2 after defeating the Pistons 107-103 on Wednesday night at Verizon Center. Washington is in first place in the Southeast Division and tied with Chicago for the second best record in the Eastern Conference.

John Wall led the charge last night, scoring a team-high 27 points with 11 assists, three steals and one block. He has now tallied five double-doubles in eight games this season. Wall tallied a career-high 29 double-doubles in 2013-14.

Washington scored a season-high 57 points in the first half, including a season-high 33 points in the second quarter. Five Wizards scored in double figures including a season-high 18 points from reserve swingman Rasual Butler. Butler was 7-of-8 from the field and 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Kris Humphries added 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Marcin Gortat notched his third double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds.

Wizards notes: November 12, 2014

Wizards notes: November 12, 2014

Washington will face Detroit tonight at Verizon Center. The Wizards and Pistons split the 2013-14 season series 2-2. Washington hasn’t won a season series against Detroit since the 2005-06 season when they swept the Pistons 3-0.

With a win tonight the Wizards would improve to 6-2 which would mark their first 6-2 start since the 1975-76 season.

With a win over the Pistons, the Wizards would improve 3-0 at home for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

John Wall averaged 25.8 points and 8.6 assists in four games against Detroit last season.

Wall is averaging 2.8 steals in his last five games.

Paul Pierce recorded his 4,500 career assist in Saturday’s win over Indiana.

Pierce has averaged 21.1 points per game in 52 career games against Detroit.

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