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Morning tip: Jaleel Roberts savors 2nd chance with Wizards


Morning tip: Jaleel Roberts savors 2nd chance with Wizards

Jaleel Roberts is a bit surprised that he's here with the Wizards considering he didn't blow them away during Las Vegas summer league. But Tuesday represents another chance if he's able to get on the court against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 6:30 p.m. ET).

Jarrid Famous shined among the bigs on the summer league team and it earned him a three-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Still, the Wizards saw something in Roberts, paid him to attend a private camp run by longtime NBA assistant coach Tim Grgurich and he didn't disappoint.

"Summer league I didn’t go as well as I originally thought it would. After that I didn’t really know what the journey was going to look like for me," said Roberts, a 7-foot center from UNC-Asheville who went undrafted. "When I got the call after summer league about going to Gurg’s camp, I knew the setting would be different as far as the format. I just went into it thinking it was another opportunity for them to see me, for me to learn regardless of what my situation was. I wasn’t looking ahead or anything like that because I still didn’t know if this was a possibility for me to be here today."

Roberts initially thought he'd be going overseas but the offer turned out to be not what he expected. 

The Wizards have the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts on the roster for the 2015-16 season which means Roberts, or one of the other four free agents signed for training camp, will have to blow them away now to make a move such as waiving someone to create space. 

Other than Marcin Gortat, the Wizards may not have much low-post size under contract after this season expires, with team options on Drew Gooden, Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair.  

"Any opportunity to work hard here so they can have that in their mind next summer, if they're still interested, we can build on what we worked on here," Roberts said. "That to me is great. I want to put myself in the conversation. If you're not in the conversation you don't have anything."

Roberts is a project and the Wizards, even though they don't have a D-League team, are vested in his development no matter what happens next. 

"Defense is huge for me, especially if I want to play for the Wizards. This is a defensive team," Roberts said about where he has to get better in order to make the next step here. "Knowing where to be on defense. Offense, you get better in the offseason working on that stuff. That in-game defense is something that I'm struggling with now. My man setting the screen, stuff like helping over, stuff like that. That's something I want to develop with my feet. Get there faster."

[RELATED: Wall gets legendary praise for off-court charity work]

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Wizards take out Sixers to tie season series behind Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter's hot shooting

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Wizards take out Sixers to tie season series behind Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter's hot shooting

The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 109-94 on Sunday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Playoff implications: Later in the season the stakes are raised and the Wizards' win over the Sixers on Sunday night could loom large in just a few weeks.

By beating the Sixers, who had won seven straight entering the matchup, the Wizards tied up the season series with their second win. A loss would have handed Philly the tiebreaker in playoff seeding if the two teams finish with the same record at season's end.

Now that their season series is over and locked even, it will come down to their record against other Eastern Conference teams if they tie. At 22-15 vs. the East, the Wizards currently have the edge on the Sixers, who are 18-14 in that category.

The Wizards dominated the Sixers for much of the night and they did so by once again moving the ball with generosity and precision. They had 35 assists on 43 field goals. The Wizards have had 30 or more assists in five games this season and four have come within the last month.

Those four games have been part of a 9-3 surge for the Wizards since John Wall got injured. With their win against Philly, the Wizards moved to 35-25 on the season and a half-game out of third in the East. The Sixers are among several teams nipping at their heels in an increasingly crowded conference.


Oubre put on a show: The Wizards led 67-48 at halftime and that was in large part due to Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s impact on both ends of the floor. He had eight points in each of the first two quarters, including four threes, and made several key plays on defense.

Oubre had three blocks to set a career-high by halftime, including one on Robert Covington that bounced off Covington's leg and gave the Wizards possession. He also took a charge on Ben Simmons and flashed a smile for the cameras as he sprinted back down the floor.

Oubre ended the game with 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting. It wasn't long ago that Oubre was in a significant shooting slump.

In his last 11 games before the All-Star break, Oubre was averaging just 9.4 points on 31.2 percent shooting. In three games since the break, Oubre has scored 47 points (15.7/g) while shooting 51.5 percent. It's safe to say he's put those shooting struggles behind him.

Oubre had been making his mark defensively as the Wizards closed the first half on a tear, but Sunday showed how much of a boost he can provide when he's in a rhythm offensively. He completely changed the game and helped the Wizards knock off a team that came to Washington super hot.

Porter wasn't fazed: Otto Porter did something on Sunday that likely has never been accomplished before. He hit not one, not two, not three but four buzzer-beaters all in the first half. Three of them were to beat the shot clock. Then, he hit another one to end the first half:

That shot capped an 8-1 run to end the second quarter for the Wizards and it brought a burst of energy out of the crowd. Porter had 14 points in the second quarter and shot 6-for-6 in the frame. The Wizards outscored the Sixers 37-20 in the second and Porter led the charge.

Porter finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Much like Bradley Beal, who had 24 points in this game, Porter has thrived in this second extended absence for Wall. Both Beal and Porter battle inconsistency as they adapted to being the primary focus of opposing teams back in November when Wall first went down. But this time around, they have answers to everything teams are throwing at them.

Porter's patience at the end of the shot clock on Sunday was an example of that. His confidence seems to be at an all-time high, knowing he has enough tricks to keep his opponents guessing. That was on display with under two minutes to go when he drained a three in Covington's face, turned around to stare at him afterwards and then shook his head as he trotted down the court, as if he were saying that no one can stop him. 

Up next: The Wizards are off Monday before playing back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Bucks and Warriors. Tuesday is an 8 p.m. tipoff on TNT. We will have pre- and postgame coverage of Wizards-Bucks on NBC Sports Washington Plus beginning at 7 p.m.


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Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall, dies in car crash

Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Caravan

Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall, dies in car crash

NBA agent Dan Fegan, who had previously represented many high-profile NBA clients including John Wall, died in a car crash Sunday morning, according to The Aspen Times. 

According to the report, Fegan's SUV was struck by a bus while trying to merge onto Highway 82 in Colorado a little after 9 am this morning. 

The two passengers in the car - an unidentified woman and Fegan's 5-year old daughter - were airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. 

Fegan was 56.