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Alan Anderson senses 'something big' with Wizards


Alan Anderson senses 'something big' with Wizards

LAS VEGAS -- The thought of playing with John Wall, who has a tendency to assist shooters around him have career seasons, is just too intriguing for Alan Anderson to pass up. His eyes did a jackpot when asked about the possibilities.

"I just bring in some consistency, just hard work every night. I bring a lot to the game," said Anderson at Cox Pavilion after his one-year deal with the Wizards was officially signed Sunday. "They already have a lot of energetic guys, slashers. They already have everything. I just fit in really good to help make open shots, open the floor for Wall to do his thing."

Anderson, a 6-6 small forward who spent the last two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, averages 7.9 points for his career, not including three seasons he played in Italy, Israel, Russia, Croatia and Spain. He was brought in to help fill the void left by Paul Pierce who bolted to the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent. Jared Dudley was acquired by the Wizards in a trade, too.

"There's only one Paul Pierce. He fills his own shoes," Anderson said. "I'm a different player. I do different things than what Paul does. We'll see. I'll definitely be a plus."

Wings such as Anderson tend to benefit significantly when playing with the pass-first point guard. Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster, for instance, had career seasons with Wall which led to big contracts when they became free agents ($32 million and $22.5 million).

"I'm ready to knock it down," Anderson, a 34.8% three-point shooter last season, said of playing with Wall. "I know he's going to give me a lot of opportunity, lot of open looks, a lot of open shots because he's going to always beat his man. I just got to be ready."

Sitting in the stands chatting with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld, Anderson watched the Wizards' summer league squad get trounced 94-74 by the D-League Select team. Of that group of mostly free agents, however, only Kelly Oubre is expected to be a teammate for 2015-16. 

The Wizards have advanced to the East semifinals two seasons in a row, and if it weren't for Wall's broken left wrist they probably would've gotten past the Atlanta Hawks. Bradley Beal's emergence as the leading scorer in the postseason has added to the expectations that even without Pierce that the Wizards can be special.

"They're right there on the edge of things, where they can be right there and win something big, some hardware, a championship banner," Anderson said. "I just wanted to be a part of it. You got a great core. A great group of guys.

"Those two young players, they play hard, they bring it every night. Playing against those guys I knew I was going to have to bring it every night. Combining us all together I think it's going to be something exciting to see."

[MORE: Serious talks have begun with Bradley Beal over a long-term deal]

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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 

The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall remains out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.


The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.

The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home-court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.


By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.


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