Archive for the ‘ Washington Wizards Blog ’ Category

John Wall speaks out on Charlottesville

Here’s what Wizards guard John Wall had to say about recent troubling non-basketball, non-sports events in Charlottesville, Virginia that have gripped the nation as of late, per the Washington Post:

John Wall speaks out on Charlottesville

“It’s been difficult. It’s been tough,” Wall said, referring to the previous week. “We go through times where times are going in the right direction for us. Our country is going in a positive way. Then we turn back around and revert back to the stuff we try to tell our kids not to do or what our parents told us … they went through in the past, and we thought we got away from that.

“It’s kind of amazing to understand that in 2017 going into 2018, we’re still dealing with the same type of things that our great, great grandparents dealt with and we thought we were going in a positive direction,” Wall continued. “All we can do is not use it as retaliation and try to stay positive and understand that we want to give these kids a brighter [outlook] of what’s going on and not use it to go back at these people.”

On the development of Otto Porter

Here’s CSN Mid Atlantic reporting on Otto Porter, who the Wizards just rewarded with a huge new contact. Specifically on what Porter will be working on as he continues his development:

On the development of Otto Porter

During the press conference to announce Porter’s new deal, the Wizards small forward outlined the specific areas he hopes to improve in the next few years:

“I want to continue to improve in getting stronger and being able to defend bigger guys. I definitely want to be able to do that. I’m going to continue working on my midrange and my three-point, extending my range out. The big thing for me is my ballhandling. I want to make sure I keep my ballhandling real tight, whether I get the rebound and push it up the floor myself, I just want to be able to maintain my skills.”

If Porter can get better at defending big forwards, that would be excellent for the Wizards in terms of playing small and switching on defense.

Wizards sign John Wall to contract extension

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed All-NBA guard John Wall to a multi-year contract extension.

“John is an exceptional talent and a cornerstone for our team – and our city,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder, Chairman and Majority Owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment. “This signing means stability for the Wizards for years to come and solidifies our commitment to drafting and then developing talent here at home. It’s John’s unique blend of skill and leadership that makes us a championship-caliber team.”

According to the Washington Post, the contract is “a four-year deal with a player option in the fourth year. The designated player veteran extension will keep him as the team’s cornerstone and pay him $170 million.”

With Wall at the helm, the Wizards won 49 games during the 2016-17 campaign (the most since the 1978-79 season), claimed the Southeast Division title (the first division title since the 1978-79 season) and returned to the playoffs, joining Cleveland as the only other team in the East to advance to the semifinals in three of the last four seasons. Along the way, he averaged career highs in scoring (23.1), field goal percentage (.451), assists (10.7) and steals (2.0), became the first player in league history to average at least 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 0.5 blocks per game and joined James Harden and Russell Westbrook as the only players to average a point/assist double-double during the regular season. He had the third-most double-doubles (50) among NBA guards, had the third-most games (49) with 10 or more assists and led the Eastern Conference in assists (831) for a fourth straight season (joining Isaiah Thomas from 1980-86 and Rajon Rondo from 2008-12 as one of three players to do so in league history).

Those accomplishments earned Wall All-NBA Third Team honors and his fourth straight All-Star selection. He was also tabbed the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December and was a two-time Player of the Week honoree.

“Returning to the only team I’ve known in my professional career was an easy decision for me,” said Wall. “I want to thank my family, Mr. Leonsis, Ernie Grunfeld, all of my coaches and my teammates for their amazing support over the last seven years. I understand my role as the leader of this franchise and I will continue to work hard to improve my game and make our team better. Washington, D.C., is my second home and I take seriously my efforts in the community and look forward to strengthening that bond. Our fans are amazing and I’m excited to bring them and this city continued success and a team they can be proud of.”

The Wizards selected Wall with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. He has averaged 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting .433 from the field and .321 from three-point range in 500 games (488 starts) in his seven seasons with the Wizards. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (4,610) and steals (870). In 31 playoff appearances, Wall holds averages of 21.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks in 38.7 minutes per game. During Washington’s 2017 postseason run, Wall averaged 27.2 points, 10.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He became just the eighth player in league history to average at least 25 points and 10 assists in the playoffs (minimum three games). Of those eight players, only Wall and Westbrook (2015-16) maintained those averages for more than 10 playoff games in a single postseason.

“John’s passion for winning, dedication to his teammates and commitment to the community have been on display since we drafted him seven years ago,” said Grunfeld. “He has constantly worked to improve and expand his game and has developed into an All-NBA player who has elevated our franchise and electrified our fans. We are thrilled that he will continue to lead us through the prime years of his career and look forward to watching as he solidifies his place among the greatest players in our team’s history.”

Wall joins Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Chris Paul as the only players in NBA history to average at least 17 points, eight assists and four rebounds through the first 345 games of their career. He became the sixth fastest player in NBA history (124 games) to reach the 2,000 points/1,000 assists plateau and was the fastest player (134 games) to reach 2,200 points, 1,000 assists, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 90 blocks since steals and blocks became an official stat in the early 1970s. Wall became the first player in NBA history to record totals of at least 1,800 points, 800 assists, 150 steals and 50 blocks in a season during the 2016-17 campaign, and during the same season, was just the third player to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals since 2000-01. He is one of four players with 9,000 points and 4,500 assists through the age of 26 and is the third-youngest player ever to record a triple-double in NBA history at the age of 20 years and 65 days old (11/10/10).

Wizards retain Otto Porter Jr

Wizards retain Otto Porter Jr

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has retained its right of first refusal and matched the offer sheet extended to forward Otto Porter Jr. by the Brooklyn Nets.

Porter Jr’s contract is a huge one: four years, $106.5 million, according to multiple media outlets.

“Otto has developed into a vital part of our young core, which is why we made it clear that our priority was to keep him here to maintain continuity and build on the success of this group heading into next season and beyond,” Grunfeld said. “His versatility, basketball IQ and three-point shooting combine to make him a great fit for us on the floor while his character and work in the community show why we’re so pleased to have him as a cornerstone of our franchise.”

Porter is coming off a career year with the Wizards where he averaged career highs in points (13.4), field-goal percentage (.516), three-point percentage (.434), rebounds (6.4) and steals (1.5). His long-range shooting ranked fourth in the NBA and second in the Eastern Conference (Korver). He posted 14 games of 20+ points after having 10 total over the first three seasons of his career, hit 148 three-pointers after having 137 total over the first three seasons of his career and became the first player in franchise history to record back-to-back games with six three-pointers.

“After two years at Georgetown and four years with the Wizards here in Washington, D.C., I’m excited to be staying home,” said Porter. “I want our great fans to know that I will continue to work hard to improve my game in all areas and I hope to make an even bigger contribution to the Wizards’ success in the future.”
Porter was originally selected by the Wizards with the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Georgetown and has developed into one of the NBA’s most efficient players. He finished this season first among non-centers in effective field goal percentage at .608 (fifth among all players) and seventh among all players in true shooting percentage at .628. His two-point field goal percentage (.576) was third among non-centers (trailing only James and Durant) while his overall field goal percentage ranked fourth among guards and small forwards (trailing only James, Durant and Antetokounmpo) and his overall offensive rating ranked second in the NBA (Jordan). Porter’s offensive output translated to team success as well, with the Wizards ranking third in offensive efficiency, fourth in effective field goal percentage and fourth in fast break points with him on the floor. Defensively, the team was first in forcing turnovers with Porter on the floor.

The four-year pro was one of only two players (Aldridge) to average at least 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and shoot .400 from three-point range last season and become just the fourth player in team history to record those numbers in a season (Ariza, Ballard, Webber). Porter is one of only two players (McCollum) to see their field goal percentage, three-point percentage, scoring and rebounding averages increase every year since the 2013-14 season and is one of only five players in league history to shoot .500 from the field, .400 from three-point range and .800 from the free throw line in their fourth season (Petrovic, Hornacek, Dumars, Hodges)

For his career, Porter has averaged 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steal while shooting .389 from three-point range in 266 games. He has averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 23 playoff games during the Wizards’ last two postseason outings.

Wizards sign Jodie Meeks

Wizards sign Jodie Meeks

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced Wednesday that the team has signed free agent shooting guard Jodie Meeks.

“Jodie will improve our backcourt rotation and fill a need with his scoring and shooting,” Grunfeld said. “He is an eight-year veteran who has been a reliable player throughout his career, and we look forward to him bringing that stability to our bench.”

Per the Washington Post, “Meeks, who signed a deal reportedly for two years and $7 million, has not played significant playoff minutes since his 2011-12 season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Therefore, Washington’s 49-33 record and run to the Eastern Conference semifinals served as the motivation for him as a free agent.”

Meeks (6-4, 210) spent last season with the Orlando Magic and averaged 9.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting .409 from three-point range in 36 games (10 starts). He returned from a thumb injury to play the last 12 games of last season, averaging 8.4 points and shooting .400 (20-50) from three-point range while scoring in double figures in six of those games. The veteran scorer has a career three-point mark of .376 and has shot over .400 from long range in three of the past four seasons.

Meeks has appeared in 454 games (204 starts) and has averaged 9.8 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting .881 from the free-throw line over his eight-year career with Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit and Orlando. He has also appeared in 20 career playoff games (six starts) with the 76ers, Lakers and Pistons. His best season came in 2013-14 when he averaged a career-high 15.7 points and shot .401 from three-point range in 77 games for the Lakers.

The 29-year old Norcross, GA, native was originally selected in the second round (41st overall) by Milwaukee out of Kentucky in 2009, where he named All-SEC First Team as a junior at after leading the conference in scoring (23.7 ppg, including games of 54, 46 and 45 points) and setting the school record for three-pointers in a single season (117) and a single game (10).

Wizards sign forward Mike Scott

Wizards sign forward Mike Scott

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Mike Scott.

“Mike’s toughness and ability to stretch the floor make him a good addition to our frontcourt reserves,” Grunfeld said. “His skillset fits in well with our offensive system and his tenacity fits in well with our overall team dynamic.”

Scott played four-and-a-half seasons with the Atlanta Hawks after being drafted by the team with the 43rd pick (second round) of the 2012 NBA Draft. During a three-year stretch (2013-14 to 2015-16, 223 games), Scott averaged 7.8 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting .346 from three-point range as a key contributor off the Hawks’ bench. He averaged a career-high 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 80 games for the Hawks during the 2013-14 season and shot a career-high .392 from three-point range over 75 games during the 2015-16 season.

The 6-8, 237-pound forward has appeared in 281 total games, averaging 7.1 points and 3.0 rebounds, over his NBA career. He has also appeared in 32 career playoff games, averaging 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds.

A native of Chesapeake, VA, Scott was named to the All-ACC First Team as a senior at the University of Virginia after averaging 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds. He finished third in Cavaliers history in rebounds and double-doubles and 16th overall in points.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets, who are ready to dish out massive money to talented young small forward Otto Porter:

Nets reportedly ink Otto Porter to offer sheet

The Brooklyn Nets made a splash in NBA free agency Tuesday night, signing restricted free agent Otto Porter to a four-year, $106 million max deal, according to multiple reports…

The Washington Wizards have until Saturday to match the deal.

Porter, a 6-foot-8 forward, had a career year for the Wiz, averaging 13.4 points and, 6.4 rebounds.

Kings make big offer to Otto Porter

Wizards restricted free agent small forward Otto Porter Jr is about to get paid. The question is, by who. Right now it’s all about the Kings and their offer. Here’s the NY Post reporting:

Kings make big offer to Otto Porter

The Wizards didn’t offer Otto Porter Jr. a maximum contract, but the Kings did.

Now the question is: Will the Nets offer the restricted free agent one as well if they meet? And will the Wizards really match it?

The Kings’ offer to Porter — first reported by ESPN — is for four years and $106.5 million, the same amount the Nets could offer. Porter will continue taking meetings, even though sources told The Post the Wizards will match any offer for the small forward…

Despite Washington’s ability to match, trying to out-recruit the Kings is still a worthwhile pursuit. Porter, 24, is young enough to be part of a lengthy rebuild and is the top restricted free agent on the market. Porter was second in the NBA in Offensive Rating (129.1) and fourth in 3-point shooting (.434).

Jodie Meeks to sign with Wizards

Here’s the Washington Post with an update on the Wizards, on the second day of league free agency:

Jodie Meeks to sign with Wizards

On Sunday, the Washington Wizards added shooting depth to its bench unit by agreeing to terms with free agent Jodie Meeks.

Washington will bring in Meeks on a short-term deal for two years and $7 million by using its bi-annual exception: a salary-cap exception the team can use every two years.

Meeks, who will turn 30 years old in August, has played for five teams over his eight-year career. Known as a three-point threat, Meeks shot a career-best .409 percentage through a scattered and injury-plagued 2016-17 season with the Orlando Magic.

Wizards land Tim Frazier in trade

Here’s CSN MidAtlantic reporting on the Wizards, who yesterday traded for additional backcourt depth in the form of guard Tim Frazier:

The type of move I’ve talked about the Wizards making in the offseason — and having to do so out of necessity — came to fruition less than 24 hours before the NBA Draft when they traded their 52nd pick and sent their $2.3 million trade exception to the New Orleans Pelicans for Tim Frazier.

Frazier, a 6-1 backup point guard who bounced around the NBA intially after he went undrafted in 2014, has solidified himself as a rotation player. He averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists in 65 games last season. He also proved to be a more than competent backup for Jrue Holiday when he was out for personal reasons…

He’s proven and they needed that type of point guard immediately. Trey Burke wasn’t the answer as he couldn’t run the offense, that’s not a problem for Frazier. Brandon Jennings played with better pace but had a tendency to be erratic and was a turnstile on defense. His contract also is salary-cap friendly for a team that doesn’t have the room.

Pelicans trade Tim Frazier to Wizards

Pelicans trade Tim Frazier to Wizards

The New Orleans Pelicans have announced that the team has acquired the 52nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Washington Wizards in exchange for point guard Tim Frazier.

Frazier, 6-1, 170, was originally signed by New Orleans on March 16, 2016. In 81 career games with the Pelicans, Frazier averaged 8.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 24.6 minutes per contest. Undrafted out of Penn State in 2014, Frazier has appeared in 127 career regular season games with Philadelphia, Portland and New Orleans, holding averages of 6.2 points, 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.

New Orleans now has the 40th and 52nd overall picks in tomorrow night’s NBA Draft.

Here’s CSN Mid Atlantic reporting on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, who became a very well-paid player one year ago and lived up to most expectations this past season:

Good year for Bradley Beal under new deal

Beal signed his new deal, a five-year contract worth $128 million, last July. It was a max contract for a guy who had never made an All-Star team and who had battled injuries, including last season when he only played in 55 games and only started 35. Naturally, some wondered if he was worth the money because of his problems staying healthy through four NBA seasons.

But in his first year under a new contract, Beal achieved newfound durability. He had some minor issues here and there, but managed to play 77 out of the Wizards’ 82 games and then appear in all of their 13 playoff games.

“If anything, I’m proud of that. I’m happy for myself, being able to be healthy for a full year,” Beal said. “Being able to be on the floor, man, that’s all I wanted. Just being able to be here. I knew if I was healthy that I would have a successful year. I had that opportunity this season.”

On the Wizards and fatigue

It’s completely logical to assume that most NBA players are a bit worn out by the end of the regular season. But if minutes are managed to keep certain guys well-rested for the playoffs? It’s a different story in the postseason, where — unless you’re the Cavs or Warriors — the luxury of rest disappears. Were key Wizards players worn out by the end of their series with the Celtics? Here’s CSN MidAtlantic reporting:

“I think we was fatigued, but that’s not an excuse,” Wall said.

“I’m not going to be naive and say we weren’t tired and that exhaustion didn’t play a little factor,” Beal added. “But at the same time you still have to be mentally tough to fight through it.”

“You can say maybe we did run out of gas a little bit,” Brooks said. “But that’s nothing to look back at and say ‘that’s the reason.’ Tip your hat off to them. They played well.”

Kelly Oubre suspended one game for slamming into Kelly Olynyk

Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has been suspended one game without pay for charging and making forceful and unwarranted contact with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Oubre was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 9:12 remaining in the second quarter of the Wizards’ 116-89 win over the Celtics on May 4 at Verizon Center.

Oubre will serve his suspension on Sunday, May 7 when Washington hosts Boston in Game 4 of an Eastern Conference Semifinals series.

John Wall fined for criticism of refs

Washington Wizards guard John Wall has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Wall made his comments to the media postgame following the Wizards’ 95-88 loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 31.

Markieff Morris fined for kick to Mason Plumlee

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris has been fined $25,000 for kicking Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee in the groin, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Morris was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 123-113 win over the Nuggets on March 8 at Pepsi Center.

Wizards sign Brandon Jennings

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Brandon Jennings.

In addition, the team waived forward Danuel House.

“Brandon gives us playmaking ability and experience at the guard position while adding another scoring option as well,” said Grunfeld. “His presence, along with the recent acquisition of Bojan Bogdanovic and the continued progression of Ian Mahinmi, will help our team as we continue our push towards the playoffs.”

Jennings (6-1, 170) has played seven-plus seasons with Milwaukee, Detroit, Orlando and New York. In 518 career regular season games, he has averaged 14.8 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 31.4 minutes per game. In 58 games (11 starts) for the New York Knicks this season, Jennings averaged 8.6 points, 4.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 25 minutes per game.

He has shot .349 from three-point range for his career, has ranked in the top 20 in the NBA in assists per game four times (including sixth in 2013-14 and averaged 16.7 points and 3.7 assists in 11 playoff games (11 starts) for the Bucks in 2010 and 2013 (including 18.7 points in seven games in 2010).

The former 2009 10th overall draft pick enjoyed his best season in 2011-12 for the Milwaukee Bucks when he averaged a career-high 19.1 points, 5.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals, while shooting a career-high .418 from the field. He was named to the 2009-10 NBA All-Rookie Team after averaging 15.5 points and 5.7 assists while playing all 82 games and played in Italy for Virtus Romas in 2008-09 after completing his high school career and before being drafted by Milwaukee.

House, who was signed as a free agent during the offseason, appeared in one game for the Wizards this season. He missed 39 games with a fractured right wrist and 10 games on assignment to the D-League.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired forward Bojan Bogdanovic and forward Chris McCullough from Brooklyn in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson, guard Marcus Thornton and a 2017 protected first round draft pick.

“Bojan is a very good shooter and a talented overall scorer whose versatility gives us an added dimension as we gear up for the stretch run,” said Grunfeld. “He is a proven starter that will provide us an added boost off the bench and allow us to be creative with our lineups.”

Bogdanovic (6-8, 225, name is pronounced BOY-ahn bog-DON-O-vich) has averaged career-highs of 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season while shooting .357 (99-277) from three-point range in 55 games (54 starts). He holds career averages of 11.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 212 career games (121 starts) while shooting .441 from the field, .366 from three-point range and .847 from the line in three seasons with Brooklyn. The 31st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft averaged 11.2 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting .433 from the field and a career-best .382 from long distance in 79 games (39 starts) last season.

The 27-year-old sharpshooter has scored in double digits 44 times and tallied 20+ points 12 times this season. He played for the Croatian National Team during the 2016 Summer Olympics, leading all scorers with 25.3 points per game while shooting .506 from the field and .450 from three-point range. Bogdanovic was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 9.0 points and shooting .355 from three-point range in his first season (2014-15). Prior to the NBA, he played 160 games for Fenerbache Ulker of the Turkish Basketball League, averaging 13.7 points and 2.3 rebounds.

McCullough (6-9, 215) holds career averages of 3.9 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting .429 from the field in 11.4 minutes per game. As a rookie in 2015-16, the former 29th overall draft pick averaged 4.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 24 games (four starts). This season, the Syracuse alum has appeared in 14 games with Brooklyn averaging 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds and has played in 31 games with the Long Island Nets of the D-League where he averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds to earn 2017 D-League All-Star honors.

“We feel Chris is an intriguing prospect as a first-round pick who was recently named a D-League All-Star,” said Grunfeld. “He has high potential and we look forward to our staff continuing his development.”

Nicholson has appeared in 28 games with Washington this season after signing with the team as a free agent on July 7, 2016, recording averages of 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game. Prior to joining the Wizards, Nicholson spent the first four seasons of his NBA career (2012-16) with the Orlando Magic, appearing in 247 games and posting averages of 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. The 27-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario was originally selected with the 19th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by Orlando after a standout four-year career at St. Bonaventure University, where he earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors, as well as All-American Honorable Mention, while leading the Bonnies to their first-ever Atlantic 10 Tournament title in his senior season.

Thornton has appeared in 483 career games with New Orleans, Sacramento, Brooklyn, Boston, Phoenix, Houston and Washington, recording averages of 11.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 23.4 minutes per game. In 33 games this season with Washington, Thornton has averaged 6.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17.4 minutes per game.

“We thank Andrew and Marcus for their professionalism and their contributions to our team,” said Grunfeld. “We wish them both the best moving forward in their careers.”

Washington Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe has been fined $5,000, and the Wizards’ organization has been fined $15,000, for Lowe’s standing on the playing court and potentially impacting game action during Washington’s 113-110 win over New York on Jan. 19 at Madison Square Garden, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Catch up with recent Wizards success

The Wizards opened the season 2-8 under new coach Scott Brooks, but they have been one of the NBA’s hottest teams over the last six weeks.

Washington is 13-8 since Nov. 17, including eight victories in their last 11 games and a current seven-game winning streak at home. The Wizards (15-16) have closed within one game of .500 for the first time since losing their season opener.

The team’s turnaround has featured outstanding play from John Wall, who is averaging a career-high 23.7 points, ranks third in the NBA in assists (9.9 apg) and leads the league in steals (2.24 spg). The three-time All-Star finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in Wednesday’s 111-105 win over the Pacers, becoming the first player in Wizards franchise history to reach all of those statistical minimums in a game.

With Wall and Bradley Beal (21.8 ppg, 3.6 apg) leading the way, the Wizards are rolling on offense. Washington has shot 47.9 percent from the field in its last 21 games – the highest mark in the East and the third-best figure in the NBA during that stretch.

Fourth-year forward Otto Porter has figured prominently in the team’s improved marksmanship. The 23-year-old is shooting 58.9 percent from the field in December, including 49.2 percent from three-point range. Porter is averaging 24.0 points on 70.3 percent shooting from the field over his last three games.

Center Marcin Gortat has joined Porter in supplying steady production in the frontcourt. The 32-year-old from Poland is averaging 11.2 points and ranks in the NBA’s top eight in rebounding (career-high 11.7 rpg) and field goal percentage (career-high 57.1).

– Via NBA News

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