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Case in point: Wizards lacking floor general depth

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Case in point: Wizards lacking floor general depth

Depending on what path the Washington Wizards take with Andray Blatche or ifthey desire a full 15-man roster entering the 2012-13 season, the franchise has2-4 spots unoccupied. While these yet-to-be named players likely are of thedeep reserve variety, there are specific areas on the roster that needaddressing.For some reason whenever adding another guard, specifically a point guard,is mentioned, resistance from the fan base emerges. Not to go all Star Trek:Next Generation on you, but resistance is futile. When constructing a roster, at a basic level there are two positions onemust be three-deep at: center and point guard. The former defends the rim, thelatter runs the offense. Without the necessary bigs, opposing offenses canscore easily. Without a floor general at the ready, one's own offense turnschaotic. Everything is needed, but roles can be adjusted to fill in. Can'tteach size and for some, you can't teach being a floor general.
That's why when the Wizards start doing more than window browsing, you wantErnie Grunfeld to bag a point guard - plus a frontcourt shooter - andpreferably a veteran one at that.Right now with Nene, Emeka Okafor and Kevin Seraphin, the Wizards are lockedand loaded inside. Right now with John Wall still learning to efficiently playin half court sets, Shelvin Mack simply learning to play with the ball in hishands and no other backcourt distributor on the roster, another point guard isneeded. (If you just thought "hey, Jordan Crawford can run anoffense", go sit in the corner.)Let'sstart with experience, or the lack of it. While the Wizards frontcourt has maturedfollowing two trades, the current backcourt corps remains in a teething stageby comparison. Including Crawford and rookie Bradley Beal, who in time couldemerge as a fallback point option, the Wizards top four guards have played atotal of five years in the NBA. Simply bringing back Roger Mason - a reasonable move considering Beal alonecannot fix all the shooting woes - does not change the dynamic. The soon-to-be 32-year-old can play the point in a pinch, but not strong enough to justify extended minutes. As strictly a two-guard, his minutesfigure to be limited behind Crawford and the Florida rookie. By the way, everyone wants totalk aboutOklahoma City's young squad. Even with Russell Westbrook and James Harden,the Thunder felt compelled to add atrue graybeard in Derek Fisher. Cannot make up forknowledge by talent alone.Speaking of Beal, one of the reasons told to me by several collegebasketball watchers regarding his 3-point shooting struggles in college stemmedfrom the Gators lacking a true point guard. Rather than getting set up forlooks, Beal's opportunities were random and often uncomfortable. Yes, he willplay with Wall at times, but assuming Beal comes off the bench, seemsreasonable to help his development - not to mention all the young bigs - byfinding a stable option opposite him.Then there is the in case of emergency situation. Let's say Wall suffers aninjury, big or small. For a single game, a team can get by with a mishmosh of alineup, but over time the offense will breakdown without on-court direction.Teams can get away with carrying two point guards if both options are trulyadept at running the offense. That's not the case here, not yet anyway.It's also not the case that any single realistic free agent option serves asa magic elixir for a postseason run. However, several options have been through the NBA wars or have shown some level of point guard aptitude.On the high-end backup scale, former WizardKirk Hinrich kills two birds with one transaction since he can handle and shootthe rock, though he likely is seeking a more established playoff team. JordanFarmar, expected to be bought out by the Hawks following his inclusion in theJoe Johnson trade, has played under the brightest NBA lights. John Lucas IIIturned in his best performance against the Wizards last season. For the right price,Jonny Flynn could be an interesting flyer.There are othersto ponder, but likely the true crop of available guards emerges after thebigger fish have been reeled in. To be clear, none of this means Mack must go, not even close. The 6-foot-3 guard isno empty vessel as a baller, but for now he is best off the ball, a role heplayed with great success at Butler. The Las Vegas Summer League will go a longway towards showing how far Mack has come as a lead guard or how much he still has to learn.Playing 10-12 minutes a game behind Wall is one thing. Playing extended minutes while having to direct other youngsters is another. Potentially being thrust into a 30 minutes a game scenario while still making the transition to becoming a lead guard is quite, quite another.Right now, if this is truly a playoff-or-bust year as a certain someone has said, going into the season with only two young point guard types isunacceptable.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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