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Magic Johnson says Lakers should play inside game

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Magic Johnson says Lakers should play inside game

LOS ANGELES (AP) Magic Johnson questioned new coach Mike D'Antoni's system with the slumping Los Angeles Lakers, saying ``it doesn't fit the talent the Lakers have.''

The Lakers (9-12) fell to 4-8 in the 12 games since D'Antoni took over from the fired Mike Brown with a 100-94 loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday night in Cleveland.

``I'm not down on him yet as a coach,'' Johnson said earlier in the day at a Dodger Stadium appearance, although he criticized D'Antoni's plan to make the Lakers into a running team.

``You can't run with these guys,'' he said. ``There's one guy who can get up and down the court and that's Kobe (Bryant). You've got to take that ball inside. That's how you win games.''

Johnson said the Lakers have two of the best 7-footers in the NBA in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, and the offense should revolve around Gasol, who missed his fifth straight game Tuesday night with tendinitis in his knees. Point guard Steve Nash has missed 20 games with a broken left leg he sustained on Oct. 31.

Johnson called Gasol ``the best passing big man in the NBA.''

``His game is catch it on the low block and face his man,'' the former Lakers star said. ``The first question should've been, `Where do you like it because that's where I'm going to give it to you.'''

When it comes to the Lakers' dismal defense, Johnson agrees with D'Antoni and Bryant.

``We can score points but the defense is breaking down,'' he said. ``We have to correct our defense. Every night guys have to come with passion and urgency.''

Johnson said he thinks that once Gasol starts playing well, the Lakers will follow suit with Nash's help.

``This is one of the most challenging stretches of my 17 years, and the most baffling, too,'' a puzzled Bryant said after losing to the Cavs. ``We have the talent and personnel to do it, but we're not, and it's baffling. It's extremely frustrating.

``It doesn't make any sense. We're still finding ways to lose games.''

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.