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Marcin Gortat on his durability, perception of him among Wizards fans

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Marcin Gortat on his durability, perception of him among Wizards fans

Marcin Gortat has been known to fire back at his critics directly on Twitter and, like most professional athletes, he has some detractors, even within the Wizards fanbase itself. But Gortat knows his value to the Wizards and how well he fits on their roster.

Gortat prides himself on being durable and playing a full season, as he did in 2016-17, is not as easy as it looks. The Wizards big man talked about staying healthy and how fans value him on a recent episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast in a long interview with CSN's Chris Miller:

"'Well, obviously it's always good to hear that, the stuff that people see; the double-doubles and always being able to play. I'm glad people in their position see that. I like that. I definitely appreciate it. But at the end of the day, I feel like people forgot about that: who I am and what I bring to the table. It's funny, obviously nobody from management said it, none of the coaches said it, I just want to make that clear, but there were some fans who said 'oh, his time has come to an end in a Wizards jersey and it's about time to trade him.' But people don't understand that you miss players when you don't have them. I have been in a situation I remember with the Orlando Magic where the coach told me 'don't get too cocky with winning because one day you will see how bad it is to lose games.' I was like 'yeah, yeah, I don't think that's going to happen to me.' Then, all of a sudden, you get traded to the Phoenix Suns and you're going through a [20-win] season and you're one of the worst teams in the league. Then, you all of a sudden you realize 'wow, now I know what he was talking about.'

"I have the same feeling pretty much where I know what I can do, I know what I can bring to the table, especially with the crew that we have and the coaches that we have. I'm going to try to do the same this year: be available for 82 games or at least 82 games and give 110 percent from my tank. If I can come up with another season where I'm one of the top six, seven or eight rebounders in the league, that's going to be great. Obviously, I would still like to add a few blocks to that and a few points, but that depends on what kind of system we're going to have and what kind of role I'm going to have this season."

You can listen to Gortat's full podcast 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!

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Best moments from Wizards' win over Grizzlies including John Wall's amazing block

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Best moments from Wizards' win over Grizzlies including John Wall's amazing block

Here are the five plays or moments from the Wizards' 93-87 win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night that are worth revisiting...

1. John Wall played after missing nine straight games and it didn't take long for him to find his groove. He went off for nine points in the second quarter, including this dunk.

He threw it down with his left hand, of course. Just like he never left:

Wall finished with 13 points and four assists.

2. Marcin Gortat had a nice dunk early in the third quarter. He was guarded by Dillon Brooks in the post and made him pay for a big mismatch in size by spinning down the baseline and throwing it down:

Gortat had 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

[PODCAST: DAVID ALDRIDGE ON THE WIZARDS]

3. Otto Porter had a solid game with 14 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal. However, he had a bit of a rough night with a few tumbles and this play where James Ennis may or may not have gotten him with a cheap shot below the belt:

4. Soon after that things got chippy between the two teams after Mario Chalmers and Jason Smith got tangled up. Chalmers sort of shoved Smith and he wasn't happy about it. Ennis then stepped in and double technicals were assessed:

5. Here is the play of the night. Late in the fourth quarter, Chandler Parsons attempted a dunk after driving baseline. But Wall met him at the rim and stuffed him. 

It was a vintage block for Wall and it showed that his timing and instincts weren't affected much by the layoff:

The Wizards got a win the hard way in this one, but they got the win. On to the Clippers, who come to town on Friday.

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John Wall's return vs. Grizzlies shows exactly what the Wizards were missing

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John Wall's return vs. Grizzlies shows exactly what the Wizards were missing

Prior to John Wall's return after missing nine games on Wednesday night, head coach Scott Brooks remarked how he's often amazed at Wall's ability to regain his form quickly after sitting out. In his experience, many of the great ones can do that. It took Wall a quarter against the Grizzlies, but he didn't take long to back up that claim.

Wall erupted for nine points in the second quarter and by the end of the game served many reminders of why he is the straw that stirs the Wizards' drink. Even after two knee procedures and the rust of almost three weeks off, Wall rocketed past opponents to the rim with ease. Though he had just four assists, not even half of his season average, Wall's ability to penetrate opened up opportunities for everyone else.

All five Wizards starters reached double figures, including Wall who had 14. Despite amassing just 93 points as a team, the Wizards earned a win over the Grizzlies and showed potential to be the well-rounded offense we have grown accustomed to in recent years.

"I think it was cool," Wall said of his knee and his first game back. "We got the win, so that was key."

[PODCAST: DREW GOODEN TALKS WIZARDS, BROADCASTING]

Wall's nine-point second quarter included several quick drives to the rim, one that ended with an emphatic left-handed slam, his favorite way to finish.

Wall also hit a three in that frame and swiped a steal. His best play may have been a block on Chandler Parsons in the fourth quarter. Wall crossed the paint to stuff Parsons, who is four inches taller than him, off the backboard.

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Overall, Wall didn't appear limited at all by his left knee, which was administered platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment and viscosupplementation injections on Nov. 25.

"When I come off an injury, I do not think about it," he said. "If I am going to be out there thinking about it then that means I do not need to be out there playing because I am limiting what I can do thinking about that too much, and it is hurting my teammates, so I just go out there and play basketball and try not to think about it at all.”

Having Wall back in the lineup was of course appreciated by his teammates and Coach Brooks as well.

"He gave us a boost," Brooks said. "He made some amazing plays, blocked shots like I've never seen a point guard do ever and he makes it look easy."

There was plenty not to like about the Wizards' performance on Wednesday night, even though it resulted in a win. They coughed up a 17-point lead to a terrible Grizzlies team and only won by six points. But having Wall back is a huge step towards them getting past their recent woes and becoming the team they know they can be.

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