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Grading out: Where Jared Dudley stands at All-Star break

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Grading out: Where Jared Dudley stands at All-Star break

Where Jared Dudley came from, after having lower back surgery in the offseason, his play has been better than the Wizards could've expected. They essentially landed him for nothing, via trade exception as the Milwaukee Bucks were trying to unload salary. 

Dudley has started 33 of the 50 games that he has played, slotting as the "stretch" power forward instead of Nene or Kris Humphries. Humphries started initially and has had issues with his right knee and matching up with quicker players at the position. When the injury bug was at its worst, Dudley, at 6-7, even logged time in the middle and the Wizards were successful.

The stats: 8.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 48.6% FG, 46.6% 3pt FG

Offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions): 104.2

Defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions): 104.5

Net rating: minus-0.2.

Until recently, the Wizards were on the plus side with Dudley. The overall rebounding will suffer -- just as it did when Humphries started -- because the "stretch" option runs to the three-point line and not the basket. They can compensate with the pace-and-space style because Dudley is a matchup problem for opponents. The ball moves better. The Wizards' offense is ninth in the NBA in scoring (102.7), fifth in three-point shooting (36.2%) and fourth in pace (100.19)

Grade: A

Aside from Dudley's liabilities, being undersized and not as athletic as a lot of players he defends, imagine where the Wizards would be without him. It's about more than his accuracy from deep but he is the voice of reason and the one who does a lot to quarterback the defense when they're out of position (which is often). Dudley also isn't afraid to say they're waiting too long to make adjustments with their coverages. He may not be Nene, who has started the last few years at power forward next to Gortat, but the Wizards were 1-3 with that experiment this season. Dudley has maximized every ounce of ability he has to help right the ship. He makes the correct rotations. He sees the floor correctly. When John Wall left Langston Galloway wide open for a three-point look that could've tied the score at the buzzer against the N.Y. Knicks before the break, who was the player to recognize the mistake and try to run over to cover for it? Dudley. That the Wizards haven't gotten their act together has nothing to do with his shortcomings.

MORE WIZARDS: WALL TO LEBRON? WAS ONE OF ASG'S BEST HIGHLIGHTS

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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:

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:

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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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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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