Wizards

Quick Links

Bradley Beal says he's almost ready to start again

usatsi_9083003_141983962_lowres.jpg

Bradley Beal says he's almost ready to start again

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bradley Beal played his most minutes (30) in almost two months for the Wizards, but he's not ready to reclaim his starting spot at shooting guard as they play tonight vs. the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 7:30 p.m.).

"I'm still coming off the bench. My minutes are around 28 (on average)," Beal said after the morning shootaround. "Probably will be like that for the next game or two and then we'll see where I'm at from there."

Beal had 11 points in Saturday's comeback 123-122 win at the Houston Rockets. He had 17 points in 26 minutes in Thursday's 117-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets in which a players-only meeting was called by Jared Dudley. 

MORE WIZARDS: ASSISTANT STEPS INTO LEAD ROLE WITH WITTMAN ON LEAVE

That's an average of 28 minutes since returning from a concussion and playing with a mask to protect a broken nose that caused him to miss one game. In the five games he had played leading up to those injuries, Beal hadn't played more than 25 minutes since returning from a stress reaction in his lower right leg that had him on the shelf from Dec. 10-Jan. 12.

Garrett Temple has started each game in his place. The players-only meeting galvanized them for the game in Houston, but it remains to be seen if that focus carries over against an elite team such as the Thunder.

"We have a little bit more control than we think," Beal said. "We can control the way we play, our approach to the game, our mentality, our energy. ... We realize that and we're going to hold each other accountable. It's just what we needed."

Quick Links

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

usatsi_9095555.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

Quick Links

5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

usatsi_10649028.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RAMON SESSIONS

4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS