Quick Links

Always will be spots in NBA for players like Garrett Temple


Always will be spots in NBA for players like Garrett Temple

The reason Garrett Temple, who had bounced around the NBA, D-League and Europe before finding a home with the Wizards in 2012, is here is defense. But the combo guard occasionally can do more than that.

In tying his career-high of 18 points in a 108-99 win vs. the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Temple made his first start with Bradley Beal out with a left shoulder contusion. He was inserted over Gary Neal because coach Randy Wittman was concerned about Evan Fournier, who has been a problem matchup.

"I was going out looking to defend. Fournier has been on a hot streak averaging like 19, 20 a game. He still got his 18. I focused first and foremost on defense," said Temple, who made 3 of 6 threes and is considered the Wizards' best one-on-one defender. "Everything else falls into place."

Fournier only shot 7 of 17, including 1 of 6 on threes. Temple was in sync with John Wall from the beginning. He has spent a lot of time with Beal in the backcourt, too. When he was a rookie, Beal didn't have Wall to run with because he had a knee injury and Temple started a career-high 36 games in 2012-13. They won just 29 games but remarkably had a top 10 scoring defense which is virtually unheard of among losing teams. That's why he's a favorite of Wittman.

"Temp is one of the best teammates you can ever have because he’s always working hard, always one of the first and last guys (to come and leave). Never makes excuses if he’s not playing," said Wall, "but when his number his called, his opportunity is (there), he’s going to give you 110 percent. He’s not going to do nothing out of his game.”

It has taken time for him to become a better three-point shooter. When the Wizards didn't have Beal to start last season because of a broken wrist, Temple started the first nine games as they won seven. He made 14 of his first 27 threes before cooling off and settled back into his role of a situational player off the bench.

"I work well John because I know he knows where I'm going to be in the corners, running the lanes, so in the second half we were able to get out and run off of our defense," said Temple, who can assume some of the ball-handling duties to give Wall a chance to catch his breath. "That's when we were able to flourish.

"We worked on it every day, the catch drive and kick. A couple plays, we're catching it. If we have the space we shoot the shot. If not, we drive it, lanes open up, we're able to hit the bigs. I hit a couple times after the drive. That's just being aggressive, taking what the defense gives you and letting the game come to you."

It may be a while before he has another performance like this. Or it may happen sooner rather than later. That's how it is with Temple. He won't complain. He'll prepare the same way each day as he pushes Wall and Beal in practices. When the Wizards sometimes struggle defensively, Temple will be the only player that Wittman will praise for doing the right things.

"He gave us great energy. Starting him, from an offensive standpoint and defensively, it gives us that energized bunny that we need," Wittman said. "He lets things come to him.

"He's a speedster. He's not a guy  you want to play a walk-up offense with because of his ability to run the lanes, to handle the ball. ... This (offense) fits him pretty good, too."

MORE WIZARDS: Grant, Portis fall back while Oubre is on upswing with Wizards

Quick Links

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

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!