Quick Links

Morning tip: Wizards' offense plays to Sessions' strengths


Morning tip: Wizards' offense plays to Sessions' strengths

This is the same Ramon Sessions who had to play his way into the NBA as a second-round draft pick, who averaged double figures for a season five times and who now is the best backup John Wall has had in his sixth year.

In fourth quarter, Sessions is sharing the backcourt with Wall and the results are much like what happened in Wednesday's 100-91 victory vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. 

Mike Conley's layup at 6:13 had trimmed the deficit to 90-83, but a three-point shot from Garrett Temple and a runner by Sessions with the shot clock winding down secured the Wizards their third win in a row.

"When he throws it to me, that split second I'm trying to attack while they're still paying attention to him," said Sessions, who had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. "It's tough. A guy like John you always got to pay attention to. You swing it to me and I'm downhill. It's one of those things you got to pick and choose your battles."

The Wizards (13-14) are winning them. With the new offense, Sessions will take charge of running side pick-and-rolls, too.

"If I get tired, I still get to be out there with the team. He's able to make plays off the pick-and-roll and make shots," Wall said. "He changes the pace also and can push it. I can pass the ball on the outlet and catch a little break on the weak side resting."

Sessions is averaging 12.6 points per game during the win streak. He has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games. What the Wizards are doing now is more conducive to his skill-set.

"My game has stayed the same. It's a different system, obviously," said Sessions, who was acquired in a trade with the Sacramento Kings last season when he was slowed by a lower back strain. "In Sacramento I wasn't as healthy as I needed to be early on in the season. For most part it's just a different system where for my game it's perfect, push the tempo, get to the basket, attack. In Sacramento it was more we're trying to post the big fella (DeMarcus Cousins)." 

With Bradley Beal (leg) and Otto Porter (thigh) out and Gary Neal (lower back) on and off because of the nature of his injury, Sessions has to pick up more of the scoring slack.

"It's more freedom in the offense. I'm trying to attack the paint, draw fouls," said Sessions, who had a team-high six foul shots vs. Memphis. "Playing these kind of lineups, when we do get healthy if we got to go this route we know what it takes and we know how to get it done."


Quick Links

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Washington Wizards

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!


Quick Links

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 


The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall reamins out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.

The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.


The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.

By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine, if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!