Wizards

Quick Links

Marcin Gortat mentions possibility of playing elsewhere, devalued role of centers

Marcin Gortat mentions possibility of playing elsewhere, devalued role of centers

When the trade deadline came and went a few months ago, Marcin Gortat was surprised to still be with the Wizards.

He seems to be bracing for a possible change now that their season ended in the East semifinals for the third time in five years, but he has two years left on his contract.

Gortat is realistic about the possiblities of what might happen after a 49-win season. He has two years left on a five-year deal that he signed for $60 million in 2014. The Wizards signed Ian Mahinmi, who was his backup, to four years for $64 million last summer.

RELATED: Olynyk the latest D.C. sports villian 

"I had 103 games this year and I haven't missed even one game. I didn't miss one practice or shootaround. On top of that I'm the oldest guy on the team," Gortat said during exit interviews. "I know how the business works. I'm the oldest guy on the team. They signed Ian also. He's younger than me and he got a longer contract. I just know how the business works so I'm prepared for everything just in case. We're going to talk. I'm going to talk to Ernie (Grunfeld). I'm going to talk to managment and we're going to figure it out."

Gortat didn't have a strong finish to the regular season as the double-doubles stopped. He had just six points and a game-high 11 rebounds in a Game 7 loss in Boston on Monday night. He shot 2-for-6 and had four turnovers as the Wizards couldn't take advantage of the smaller lineups the Celtics rolled out. 

Mahinmi played 11 minutes but was ineffective as he didn't grab a rebound or score. He picked up four fouls. 

"We tried to do out best," Gortat said of the 115-105 game 7 loss at TD Garden. "We had five talented guys in the starting lineup. Everybody wants to score. Everybody wants to be the guy but there's only one basketball. Somebody has to do sacrifices for the team. We just came up short.

"People don't thow balls into the post-up anymore because percentage-wise it's better to shoot a few more threes. ... It's not a secret. At the same time somebody has to take sacrifices for this team. You can't have five guys scoring, every game, 20 points. That's impossible. Nobody can do that. That's why someobdy has to be responsible for collecting rebounds and setting screens. Soembody else got to score. That's how it is on this team. I feel like this year it was me doing a lot of sacrificing. I got one of the most (under)appreciated positions in the NBA. Nobody respects centers anymore. Nobody looks at them as a valuable piece. I've been doing a lot of things for the team to win.

"I know there's a lot of freaking idiots looking directly at the column with the points telling me that, 'You only score four to six points. We lost because of you.' That's how it is. People that know basketball, they know what I bring to the table."

 

Quick Links

Wizards' offense stumbles without John Wall in loss to Raptors

usatsi_10425616.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards' offense stumbles without John Wall in loss to Raptors

The Washington Wizards lost to the Toronto Raptors 100-91 on Sunday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre. Here's analysis of what went down...

Not enough: The Wizards pulled off the upset earlier this month in Toronto when they were without star guard John Wall. On Sunday, there weren't as fortunate.

This time Kyle Lowry didn't get ejected in the first half and this time DeMar DeRozan (33 points, 15-for-26 FG) had a good shooting night. Bradley Beal (27 points) stepped up, but had five turnovers and didn't get much help from his teammates.

Otto Porter was held to 15 points and six rebounds. Those are decent numbers, but they needed more with Wall out. Markieff Morris had only three points on 1-for-10 shooting. Marcin Gortat (12 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists) played well, to be fair.

The Wizards have now lost two straight games and sit 9-7 on the season. Without Wall, the Wizards were the underdogs but they were only down three to begin the fourth quarter. They were outscored 21-15 in the final frame.

The Raptors snapped the Wizards' streak of holding opponents to under 100 points at five games on a DeRozan dunk with just 54.7 seconds left.

Wall out, may miss Monday: The Wizards held Wall out due his swollen left knee and it could keep him out against the Bucks on Monday. That's what head coach Scott Brooks told reporters in Toronto before the game. The Wizards proved on Sunday they can still compete against good teams without Wall, but the road won't get any easier. 

The Bucks have a very good backcourt with Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton. After dealing with Kyle Lowry in this one, Tim Frazier will have to keep up with Bledsoe if Wall isn't available.

Frazier and Tomas Satoransky filled the void on Sunday with Wall out and produced mixed results. Frazier put up some solid numbers with six rebounds and eight assists, but had four turnovers, including a badly timed one with 2:10 left when he dribbled off his knee and out of bounds. Satoransky also had three turnovers, but managed four points, three rebounds and two steals in 12 minutes. His best moments were on defense.

The Wizards' offense overall just couldn't get going without Wall running the show. They shot 42 percent despite going 11-for-19 (57.9%) from three. Their 11-for-19 (57.3%) mark from the free throw line didn't help.

[RELATED: TIMING IS RIGHT FOR NBA TO END ONE-AND-DONE RULE]

Perimeter defense: Here's a positive for the Wizards. The Raptors entered this game tied for 10th in the NBA in three-pointers made per game (10.9) and they chucked up a lot of attempts from long range. The Raptors hit 10 threes, but the Wizards deserve credit for holding them to 26.3 percent at 10-for-38 overall.

Three-point defense has been a big point of emphasis for the Wizards since Brooks took over. Last year they were 20th in opponents three-point percentage. They were eighth in the NBA coming into Sunday's game, a major improvement. 

The personnel is there for them to defend the perimeter well, even without Wall. Beal, Porter and Kelly Oubre, Jr. are all young, quick and long. So far this season they have been putting those skills to good use.

Injury scare for Keef: Markieff Morris took a hard shot to his nose in the first quarter on a loose ball play. Morris dove to the ground trying to get possession and his face slammed straight into the leg of Jonas Valanciunas. Morris would return in the second quarter and quickly hit a three.

Here's the replay of Morris' collision:

Ouch.

Up next: The Wizards head to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Monday night. It will be their first back-to-back set of the season. They are the last team to have one. Tipoff is a 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

[RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS]

Quick Links

John Wall out against Toronto Raptors with swollen knee

wall-james-usat.png
USA Today Sports

John Wall out against Toronto Raptors with swollen knee

For the second time this season the Wizards will be playing at the Toronto Raptors without star point guard John Wall.

Wall is sitting out this time due to a swollen left knee, head coach Scott Brooks announced on Sunday afternoon. Wall was limited in the Wizards' loss to the Heat on Friday night and said fluid had built up in his knee after he received IVs the previous weekend. 

The Wizards were able to beat the Raptors on the road on Nov. 5 without Wall. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was ejected from that game in the second quarter.

Without Wall, the Wizards will rely on backup point guards Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky. They could also use shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter to run the offense. Kelly Oubre, Jr. could be used on the defensive end to check Lowry.

The Wizards are 2-3 without Wall dating back to last season. This year he is averaging 19.9 points and 9.3 assists per game this season.

The Wizards play the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday in a back-to-back set. Wall could miss that game as well, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

[RELATED: SHOULD THE NBA END THEIR ONE-AND-DONE RULE?]