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Morning tip: 'Ridiculous' whistles hinder Wizards


Morning tip: 'Ridiculous' whistles hinder Wizards

It wasn't until 1:58 remained in the fourth quarter that the Wizards were within five points or less of the Toronto Raptors, so there was no last two-minute game report issued by the NBA Thursday. That means there's no official word on whether John Wall's block of DeMar DeRozan, which sent him to the foul line for the 14th and 15th times, was the proper call or not.

DeRozan tried to back down Wall into the mid-post. Wall didn't bite his pump fakes and elevated to block it cleanly. Instead of the score being 90-88 with 48 seconds left, DeRozan was able to make it a two-possession game. Could the call have been because of lower body contact? Possibly. But the result, a 94-91 win by Toronto, wouldn't have changed anyway.

The greater issue, as Wizards coach Randy Wittman sees it, is that the Raptors went to the foul line 39 times compared to 17 for his team. He stopped short of saying too much to avoid a fine for publicly criticizing officiating.

"I ain't going to say anything about the whistle but some of that was ridiculous," Wittman said. "The block by John. I don’t know, because he got a technical you’re going to hold that against him? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask them.”

Wall was issued a technical with 3:13 left in the fourth by Pat Fraher. Marcin Gortat had just gone to the floor on a slice to the basket and didn't get a whistle and Wall felt like contact was made on his missed layup by Terrence Ross. Then when an off-balance Kyle Lowry appeared to sell contact on Otto Porter for two free throws, Wall was T'd up.

When it was all over, the Wizards trailed 90-81 before mounting a comeback in which they had several chances at the end to force overtime.

"I’m used to it by now," Wall said of his persistent frustration over not getting foul calls.

Lowry was issued a warning by the league for flopping in a game vs. the Chicago Bulls earlier in the week.

“We fought, gave ourselves three great looks at it and they didn’t go in. It shouldn’t come down to that," Wittman said. "In the first half we were non-aggressive. They were getting offensive rebound after offensive rebound. We can say we’re shorthanded. That’s an excuse. We got to do a better job of being the aggressor for 48 (minutes)."

The Wizards put themselves in a hole by allowing 15 offensive rebounds by the Raptors. The questionable call on Wall aside, the whistles tend to favor the more aggressive team over the long haul.

RELATED: Wizards hold ground in playoff picture, but big January wouldn't hurt

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

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!