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Morning tip: Gortat holds his own with Pistons' Drummond


Morning tip: Gortat holds his own with Pistons' Drummond

The look on everyone's face when Andre Drummond's name is mentioned reflects awe. The center for the Detroit Pistons averages 19 points and an NBA-leading 19 rebounds per game and they'll be the Wizards' opponent tonight (CSN+, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 7:30 p.m. ET).

The Pistons (7-5) moved on from Greg Monroe and have gone to a system that coach Stan Van Gundy prefers -- and that the Wizards now use, too -- of one big inside and four perimeter players.

"He's a specimen. Good Lord don't make a whole lot of those. When he does it's good to get one," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Drummond who is 6-11 and 280 pounds. "It opened the floor from him. They basically went four out, one in. For a guy like him that can run that can jump, very athletic, probably the most athletic big man in the league. He can do a lot of things, rebound, score, block shots. I think that's really helped him without another big down there clogging it up. It's what Stan did in Orlando when they had Dwight (Howard), Rashard Lewis, Ryan Anderson, and those type of players they put around him to spread the floor."

The formula for the Wizards' success last season was to get Drummond, who is prone to picking up cheap fouls, into trouble early. In a 107-103 win, Drummond only had two points and five rebounds. In a 99-95 victory, Drummond was held to 13 points and nine rebounds. In between those wins, a game in which Drummond avoided foul difficulty and had 18 points and 16 rebounds, Detroit won 106-89.

Marcin Gortat began his career under Van Gundy and assistant coach Brendan Malone, also in Detroit, with the Orlando Magic. He'll be matched up with Drummond.

"They're going to clog up the paint I'm quite sure. I already know how Stan is. It's going to be a tough game for me," said Gortat, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds, 24 points and 10 rebounds and 16 points and 17 rebounds in the three meetings. "I don't think he even changed the calls. He's got the same calls. More or less, I'll remember half of the plays. I know what to expect."

Gortat's first game with the Wizards after being acquired just before the season began in 2013 was in Detroit. Drummond battered the Wizards in that game. After a shaky start to this season, Gortat can't be too concerned with his stats vs. Drummond's. As long as he's doing the dirty work, he's doing he'll be doing his job. 

Throwing a lot of bodies at Drummond, such as Nene and DeJuan Blair, to make him work and earn his points at the foul line could end up being the plan especially if the score is close down the stretch. Drummond shoots just 42% from the stripe.

"He looks like he's overweight sometimes but he's quick. He's explosive and sometimes you can turn around and you can see the guy standing straight and stop moving then all of a sudden he crashes the boards quickly when you turn your head back. You got to stay alert," Gortat said. "Probably, I'm going to stick to him and try to box out. I don't want to even focus on going for the rebounds. The guy is grabbing 20 rebounds per game for average. 

"The guy has already had 20-plus rebounds four or five times. You can't miss that. Dwight back in the day was putting PlayStation numbers but this guy is just ridiculous also. We got to put him on the foul line. He can't shoot free throws."

MORE WIZARDS: Martell Webster's season officially over after surgery

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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.


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.


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:


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:


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: