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Morning tip: John Wall's turnover problem explained

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Morning tip: John Wall's turnover problem explained

The NBA leader in touches per game is Wizards point guard John Wall, and that's for good reason. They can't win without him, especially with Bradley Beal out injured, and he has to do even more than usual. That means more scoring, assisting, ball-handling and turnovers.

Wall has posted three consecutive games of seven turnovers, but they were able to overcome them in Saturday's 105-99 win at the Orlando Magic when he also had 24 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and four steals. 

Wall averages 98.4 touches per game, according to the NBA's player tracking data from SVU, far more than Chris Paul (85.6), Stephen Curry (84.8) and even the ball-dominant James Harden (83.1). But how long does Wall possess the ball per touch? It's 4.19 seconds, which is 46th longest. That means Wall, who is second in the league with 9.6 assists, moves it. A lot.

After a deflating, 97-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday, coach Randy Wittman wasn't about to put the blame at the feet of his point guard who was named December player of the month in the East by the league. Garrett Temple has had a career season already with four games of 20 points or more in place of Beal. Jared Dudley is shooting 45.1% from three-point range, the best of his career since 2009-10 with the Phoenix Suns when he shot 45.8% with Steve Nash.

Wittman saw the issue in that game as bigger than Wall who didn't have anyone running the floor with him consistently. 

"We weren’t really committed to running," Wittman said. "It’s hard to run for 48 minutes. If you’re not committed your going to take jogs down the court rather than sprints to the corner like you’re supposed to to spread to floor to create driving angles. There’s a lot of times I thought we changed our style of play to walk the ball up rather than run."

Even when Beal was playing he had miscommunication with Wall over running to the right spots on the floor. At times, the ball would be delivered anticipating a teammate would run into a certain spot in the way a quarterback throws a receiver open in football. Other times, like Wall did in the fourth quarter in Orlando, he'll try a risky, behind-the-back pass in traffic to Marcin Gortat that would arrive at the big man's ankles.

"Some of them will be right there, backdoor, it hits their hands, they go out of bounds," Wall said. "I think I'm making the right reads. Sometimes we drop them. A couple of them are my fault. Give credit to the defense, I try to make a skip pass (to the weak side), they got their hands up. ... I try to make the right play if it's there and I feel like we can score off it. Sometimes we lose the ball. Sometimes it's a bad pass by me.

"If it's turnovers like that I can deal with it. It's the ones when I'm just trying to do too much and put myself in bad situations are the more frustrating ones." 

Wall has fewer weapons to work with than Harden, who is No. 1 in the league with 4.6 turnovers per game, and Russell Westbrook is third at 4.3. Wall is No. 2 at 4.5.

The rest of the top five are Rajon Rondo and Paul George (3.9), players who are offensive initiators for their teams. So while Wall's turnovers can be alarming at times, he's at least in elite company.

 

MORE WIZARDS: Bradley Beal is close to returning to Wizards

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Beal and Porter need to step up and so does the defense

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Beal and Porter need to step up and so does the defense

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller broke down the Wizards' 0-2 deficit and how Bradley Beal and Otto Porter need to play better.

They went into the potential change in the starting lineup, why the Wizards are doing so poorly on defense and the historical odds the Wizards are now up against.

You can listen to the episode 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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Drake calls Kelly Oubre a 'bum', Oubre doesn't take the bait

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USA TODAY Sports

Drake calls Kelly Oubre a 'bum', Oubre doesn't take the bait

One thing rapper Drake has been known for is being a very vocal sports fan, that always seems to make himself the center of attention.

He also seems to be a fan of just about any team that happens to be winning at the moment. 

He's been seen in everything from Kentucky gear at a basketball game, to Alabama and Texas A&M football apparel (seriously, just Google "Drake bandwagon fan" and take a look).

One team he's always seemed to stay loyal to though is his hometown Raptors. Especially when it comes to yelling at anyone he can on the other team.

First, it was John Wall having a back-and-forth with Drake on the court.

Now, it seems to be Kelly Oubre that gets to help Drake suck up more attention on social media. 

After C.J. Miles hit a three-pointer during the fourth quarter of Washington’s 130-119 loss Tuesday night, the cameras caught him doing what he just can't help himself from doing.

Oubre though, doesn't take it personally, even when it was pointed out to him postgame.

Maybe it's because Oubre wants to start his own fashion line, and hopes to have Drake help promote it.

Maybe it's because Oubre doesn't want to ever show up on a Drake diss track (even though he apparently deleted this tweet from a long time ago right after the game).

Or Maybe Oubre is just being the bigger man.

Either way, it's safe to say this trend will continue for Drake and whoever his next Wizards target is on the court.

Given Drake's history though, if the Wizards come back and win the series, will we see him in a Wall or Oubre jersey?

Considering all the bandwagons he's jumped on, it would surprise very few if it happened. 

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