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Beal, Grunfeld react to Wizards trade with Nets for Bogdanovic

Beal, Grunfeld react to Wizards trade with Nets for Bogdanovic

The only player for the nine-win Brooklyn Nets that gave the Wizards problems consistently was Bojan Bogdanovic, a 6-8 forward who was constantly in motion and beating them off curls and backdoor cuts to the basket. 

The Wizards still won all three meetings, but he's a difficult cover; a stronger, more physical small foward than Otto Porter but with some of the same principles of moving without the ball to be effective.

Now, after a multi-player trade with the Nets on Wednesday, Bogdanovic is on their side.

"He can put the ball on the floor and play multiple positions, probably two through four. He's shooting a lot better. He's a strong guy who can post up and shoot threes," Bradley Beal said Wednesday, after CSNmidatlantic.com reported the deal that also included 6-11 big Chris McCullough.

"He can put the ball on the floor and guard, too. He's pretty good at rebounding and backdoor cutting. He got me a couple times before. I'm excited. We made some good moves. It's unfortunate when you lose teammates, but that's the business aspect of it. I'm looking forward to him and McCullough, as well. We're going to roll and hopefully they can jump on board and help us out."

Bogdanovic is averaging 14.2 points and shooting 35.7% from three-point range. He had a chance to tie the score in overtime vs. the Wizards in their last meeting trailing 113-110 but missed. The Nets lost 114-110.

RELATED: NBA TRADE DEADLINE TRACKER

He was a high-volume starter in Brooklyn but will have a slightly reduced role in Washington. With the second unit, however, Bogdanovic will be expected to take the intitiave on offense.  

"I love his aggressiveness, he plays with confidence. It's difficult being on a Brooklyn team where he was taking a majority of the shots and he was aggressive. We kind of need that same mentality," Beal said. "Stay aggressive, knock down shots and shoot the ball when you're open. We're going to instill all that confidence in him and he has some in himself. We're excited. I don't know him personally but I am definitely happy that he's with us."

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld shared his thoughts on both Bogdanovic and McCullough on Wednesday.

"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," Grunfeld said. "He is a proven starter that will provide us an added boost off the bench and allow us to be creative with our lineups."

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

RELATED: WHY WIZARDS ZEROED IN ON BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

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How the Wizards have taken Raptors big man Serge Ibaka out of the series on offense

How the Wizards have taken Raptors big man Serge Ibaka out of the series on offense

The Wizards-Raptors first round playoff series has evolved to feature the emergence of several players who started off slowly including Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Kelly Oubre, Jr. The opposite has happened for Toronto big man Serge Ibaka.

After Ibaka lit up the Wizards for 23 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in Game 1, there has been a disappearance. His scoring has gone missing and it's a big reason why the Wizards have won two straight games and earned a 2-2 series split.

Head coach Scott Brooks knows Ibaka well from their days in Oklahoma City. He helped develop Ibaka and has since watched from afar as his game has changed to include a consistent outside game.

Brooks has on several occasions referred to Ibaka as one of the best three-point shooting big men in the league. The numbers back that up. Last season, he shot 39.1 percent from three on 4.0 attempts per game, excellent for a 6-foot-10 power forward.

This season that number dipped to 36 percent, but he hit 41 percent of his threes in his final 16 games of the regular season. That carried over into the playoffs when he went 3-for-4 in Game 1 as part of an 8-for-11 shooting night overall.

The Wizards made a point to take away those outside shots following their series-opening defeat. The way they are doing that is by crowding him when he gets the ball, even if it means him getting past the initial defender.

"You want to make sure you meet him on the catch. You want to take away his shot," Brooks said. "When he gets open shots, they are money. He's going to knock them down... We did a good job of meeting him on his catch and making him put the ball on the floor with his left hand. You can live with the results."

After his 23-point outburst in Game 1, Ibaka has scored just 20 points total in the last three games. He has gone 2-for-6 from three.

The Wizards are taking away his shot attempts in general. He took 11 shots in each of the first two games of this series, but just four in Game 3 and five in Game 4. In Game 3 he had three points and three turnovers and on Sunday he had seven points and four turnovers.

Here are two examples of the Wizards' defense on Ibaka. On this first play, Markieff Morris meets Ibaka as soon as he catches the ball and the result is a turnover:

On this next play, Morris follows Ibaka all the way to the rim and even though he goes up on a pump fake, Morris recovers to alter Ibaka's shot and force a miss:

The Wizards, however, did get away with one against Ibaka. He was left wide open for a three in the final minute, but the shot rimmed out:

As the first two plays demonstrate, Morris deserves a lot of credit for the Wizards' success against Ibaka. He has the size and mobility to keep up with him and is willing to use contact to his advantage.

"Just playing the tendencies," Morris said. "We're making them do things they are uncomfortable with and are getting better results."

Ibaka was fourth on the Raptors this season in points per game and third in shot attempts. He is their third option behind All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. If the Wizards can continue to lock up Ibaka, it will be difficult for the Raptors to beat them.

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MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

OUBRE IS HELPING THE WIZARDS WIN IN MANY WAYS

WALL WAS DUNKING ALL OVER RAPTORS BIG MEN

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM GAME 4 WIN

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller were joined by Julie Donaldson to break down the Wizards' wins in Games 3 and 4.

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat are back and the Wizards are a different team because of it. Plus, how regaining their Death Row D.C. mentality has changed this series.

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!