Wizards

Quick Links

Morning tip: Wizards ride John Wall but wins not adding up

usatsi_9100059.jpg

Morning tip: Wizards ride John Wall but wins not adding up

The season is almost over. There are roughly two months left before the playoffs begin and the Wizards, despite having Bradley Beal back in the lineup and John Wall stacking strong performances, aren't any closer now than they were a month ago to getting back in the picture.

"It's not pressure," Wall said after Saturday's 108-104 loss at the Charlotte Hornets when they blew a 19-point lead. "It's just simple."

Yes, it is. Make shots. Get stops. The Wizards (22-27) go through long stretches when they fail at both simultaneously.

They practice this morning at Verizon Center before leaving to play at the New York Knicks on Tuesday and Thursday at the Milwaukee Bucks. At best, they'll be three games under .500 entering the All-Star break. 

Wall had a season-high 41 points in an understandable loss to the Golden State Warriors, the NBA's best team, his first triple-double of the season vs. the lowly Philadelphia 76ers and his 28th double-double of the season in Charlotte. 

Despite the Wizards riding Wall heavily going into the break, they're not getting results. He has played 40-41 minutes three times since Jan. 28, including the entire second half against the Hornets when he finished with 23 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. 

"I wanted to," Wall said of never leaving the court in the final 24 minutes. "Just keep me in the game. We got to win this game. We got to get in the flow. I thought we had the opportunity."

Last season, with Wall batting sprained ankles, the Wizards were struggling heading into the break and couldn't rest him. And they were losing games, too.

The difference was because of a 22-8 start, they were well above .500 then and could've risked sitting him. Not now. 

It's difficult for anyone to say anything new about their problems not only closing games but playing with leads despite the efforts of Wall and Beal is eating at them. And it should.

"We're too complacent," Beal, who played back-to-back games for the first time since a stress injury to his lower right leg in early December. "The game is never over. Teams have come back from 30 before."

But will the Wizards come back from this? It's not impossible. They're only four games back in the loss column from the No. 4 seed in the East but the goal going into this season is the conference finals.

They've yet to show anything to suggest this team can meet that expectation.

MORE WIZARDS: KEVIN DURANT WORKS AS PHOTOGRAPHER AT SUPER BOWL

Quick Links

Blazers' C.J. McCollum has a theory on DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Wizards to reunite with John Wall

usatsi_10489757.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Blazers' C.J. McCollum has a theory on DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Wizards to reunite with John Wall

Blazers guard C.J. McCollum has a theory that may sound familiar to Wizards fans. The star shooting guard now hosts a podcast and said on his most recent episode that he could see DeMarcus Cousins teaming up with John Wall in Washington.

McCollum's Blazers happened to lose in the first round to Cousins' Pelicans, though Cousins did not play in the series due to injury. Now, McCollum has offered thoughts on his future.

Here is what McCollum said about Cousins potentially going to Washington on his Pull Up podcast, as transcribed by SLAM Magazine:

"No slight against the homie. I think he’s a very, very good player. But you just have to look at the team roster and try to figure out what’s best for that roster moving forward...

“I think team success, playoff success, factors in to decision-making with personnel moving forward. Obviously, Jrue Holiday, Rondo, AD will have input on what they decide to do going forward. So that’s something to keep an eye out on in the free agency.

“And if that is the case, Boogie would jump out in to the market as a free agent and be a very hot commodity, and could potentially team up with the Washington Wizards.

“You heard it here first. You heard that here first. You know that Kentucky connection, man. I could see that happening. That’s just something to think about going forward.”

The funny part of those quotes is that McCollum said "you heard it here first." Wizards fans, of course, have been banging that drum since, oh, 2010 when the two were drafted.

As it has often been throughout the last eight years, a reunion of Wall and Cousins is unlikely. Yes, Cousins is expected to hit free agency, but the Wizards currently do not have the money to sign him. They are in the luxury tax and would have to move some big contracts to make room.

Cousins is also coming off a torn Achilles injury. That creates major questions about his future and how much money teams will offer him. 

If healthy, Cousins would fit nicely with the Wizards who will need to get younger at the center position at some point. It just doesn't seem like a good bet given all the factors in play. 

You can listen to McCollum's full podcast here.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE ON THE WIZARDS:

WIZARDS COLLAPSE LATE IN GAME 5, OTTO LOOKS BANGED UP

WIZARDS HAVE TO FIGURE OUT DEROZAN AFTER GAME 5

WALL IS BOYCOTTING DRAKE'S MUSIC DURING SERIES

Quick Links

Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

There appears to be at least some chance the Wizards will be without starting small forward Otto Porter when they host the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of their first round playoff series on Friday night in Washington.

Porter, 24, continues to deal with a right lower leg strain. The injury is located on the outside of his calf and will require further testing from the Wizards' medical staff to determine his status.

Head coach Scott Brooks addressed the media on Thursday and did not rule out an MRI.

"We don't know as of yet, but he's banged up. So, hopefully we will find out some good news and see how he feels tomorrow," Brooks said.

Porter first suffered the injury on April 10 against the Celtics in the Wizards' penultimate regular season game. He missed the regular season finale, but has appeared in all five games of the Wizards-Raptors series.

Brooks did not make it seem likely that Porter will miss Game 6, but expressed uncertainty.

"Anything is possible," he said. "We hope for the best."

Porter appeared hobbled in Game 5 and has at other times this series as well. After the first two games of the series, Brooks was asked about Porter's health and said that he was "100 percent." It's unclear if Porter suffered a setback in the time between, but clearly that isn't the case anymore.

Porter is averaging just 10.0 points in this series, down from his 14.7 per game season average. Ideally, the Wizards would be getting more than that from their third scoring option.

"We need Otto," Brooks said. "We need Otto to be more of a nine or 10-point scorer for us to win this series."

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

WIZARDS COLLAPSE LATE IN GAME 5, OTTO LOOKS BANGED UP

WIZARDS HAVE TO FIGURE OUT DEROZAN AFTER GAME 5

WALL IS BOYCOTTING DRAKE'S MUSIC DURING SERIES