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Bench efficiency contributes to Wizards' road turnaround

Bench efficiency contributes to Wizards' road turnaround

The road issues have been solved, at least for now, with the Wizards trampling the Atlanta Hawks by 26 points and on their way to New Orleans for a game Sunday.

They cleaned up a lot of the mess they created for themselves on Oct. 27, the regular-season opener for both teams, when Dennis Schroder lived inside the paint and Dwight Howard dominated rebounding. 

Friday, Schroder was 3-for-11 for nine points with four turnovers. Howard had 12 points and 13 rebounds, but most of his scoring came after halftime when the outcome was clear. It marked the Wizards' third win in their last four away games.

"We did a great job of keeping their guys out the paint," Wizards point guard John Wall said. "Everybody was into the ball. ... Challenged every shot, just about."

The Hawks were limited to 30 points in the lane (14 fewer than Oct. 27) and were outrebounded 52-41 (they won this category 52-40 on Oct. 27)

Then everyone not named Wall and Bradley Beal made their shots. Marcin Gortat was 7-for-8, Otto Porter 7-for-11, Tomas Satoransky 4-for-5 and Trey Burke 4-for-7.

"A lot of teams are going to double-team me and Brad or trap us in pick-and-roll situations," Wall said. "We just try to make the right plays."

Coach Scott Brooks has been pleased that his preaching of spacing since training camp has gotten through. 

"Everybody touched the ball," he said. "Everybody was getting good looks."

Reserves tend to play better at home than away, but in the last four road games: Burke is 11-for-17 shooting with 10 assists; Satoransky is 5-for-7; Smith is 15-for-23 with 16 rebounds; and Kelly Oubre was 12-for-20 before he went 2-for-11 Friday, but he has 10 rebounds and six steals.

RELATED: Safe to say the Wizards have turned the corner

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John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

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John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

Point guard John Wall was a notable absence at Friday afternoon's Wizards practice, as he sat out after having an MRI done on his left knee earlier in the day. 

Despite playing well against the Hornets in the team's last game, Wall is still feeling discomfort and now the Wizards wait to hear the test results. Wall may not play against the Blazers on Saturday night.

"John is definitely going to be questionable tomorrow," head coach Scott Brooks said. "We'll see how he feels [Saturday morning] and then make a decision from there."

Wall's knee issues date back to two weekends ago. He was administered two IVs by the Wizards training staff in order to play in a game against the Hawks. Those IVs were given to him due to him being sick and dealing with migraine headaches. But the fluids did not settle correctly and collected in his knee.

[RELATED: MORRIS HAS GROWN VERY CLOSE TO WALL AND BEAL]

Wall has since had his knee drained, but the problems have persisted. Wall says his mobility is affected most.

Wall, 27, has missed two games for the Wizards this season, one due to a sprained left shoulder and another because of his knee. He is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Wall had one of his best games against the season in Charlotte on Wednesday. Despite playing through pain, he managed 31 points and 11 assists. He played 41 minutes because the game went to overtime.

If Wall can't go against the Blazers, the Wizards will rely heavily on backup point guard Tim Frazier. Either way, they have a tough assignment at that position with Damian Lillard of Portland.

[RELATED: MORRIS IS A BIG FAN OF MIKE SCOTT]

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Markieff Morris sees a lot of himself in Wizards teammate Mike Scott

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USA Today Sports Images

Markieff Morris sees a lot of himself in Wizards teammate Mike Scott

The early returns on backup forward Mike Scott have been quite good for the Wizards. Signed to a one-year deal in free agency, Scott is off to a strong start.

He's averaging 8.6 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from three. His 59.7 effective field goal percentage is second on the team behind Otto Porter.

At his best, Scott has proven to be instant offense and an efficient scorer. He's reached double figures in seven out of his last 12 appearances while shooting 59 percent.

Scott is the backup to Markieff Morris and Morris likes what he sees so far.

"He fits perfect. We should have been gotten him," Morris said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast. "I feel like me and him are going to have a couple great years together, if you ask me."

[RELATED: MORRIS STANDS UP FOR RAPPER MEEK MILL]

There are some similarities in the games of Morris and Scott. They are close in size and can score both inside and out. They offer a respectable three-point shot with a strong midrange and post game to complement.

Others have pointed it out and Morris sees it, too.

"I think he's trying to steal my game," he joked. "We kind of resemble each other a lot more than what I thought before he got here."

Morris of course has a twin in real life, Marcus who plays for the Celtics. But Scott is like his twin on the Wizards' bench, figuratively speaking.

"It's kind of hard to distinguish between the two sometimes when they're making shots because they play the same way," guard Bradley Beal said. "They can knock down threes, they can give you the post up game, they can handle the ball. They are definitely one in the same, in a sense."

"There's a lot of similarities. They have a lot of the same mannerisms," head coach Scott Brooks said. "They have this real, tough, calming influence on the group. I like guys that have that edge to them."

Morris also discussed his relationship with John Wall and Bradley Beal, how his season has gone so far and who Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons remind him of on the podcast.

Listen to the full interview 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!