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Scott Brooks won't allow Markieff Morris to strong arm him into playing Game 2 vs. Celtics

Scott Brooks won't allow Markieff Morris to strong arm him into playing Game 2 vs. Celtics

BOSTON – Not a whole lot has changed in regards to Markieff Morris’ status for Game 2 vs. the Boston Celtics, but coach Scott Brooks isn’t going to allow his starting power forward to scare him into letting him play with a sore left ankle.  

“He’s going to play tonight if he feels comfortable along with our staff, our medical staff, and myself. (If he doesn’t), he won’t play,” Brooks said after shootaround Tuesday morning. “He’s not going to play no matter how many times he punches me in the face. It’s not going to happen. He is pretty intimidating, but I’m not going to allow him to intimidate me.”

Morris, who rolled his left ankle in the first half of Game 1, got up shots and tested the ankle at a light, 30-minute shootaround but didn’t make any sharp cuts. He rolled it after Al Horford stuck his foot underneath him on a jump shot in Game 1 that Boston seized 123-111.

“I’m feeling cool. Going to talk to my coaches. Game-time decision,” Morris said. “It’s sore but I feel like I can push through it.”

Morris has had a long history with ankle injuries, and he eventually missed time after going down in November in a game with the Miami Heat.

“The swelling has gone down. He’s been diligent along with our staff to get treatments around the clock. You have to factor he has a toughness about him. He has an edge,” Brooks said. “He wants to play. I still don’t know. I’ll find out more probably 65-70 minutes before the game.

“We’re going to do what’s best for him. Every competitive athlete wants to be out there with their team. It’s the playoffs. We’re down 1-0 but with all that being said we’re going to do what’s best for him long-term.”

[RELATED: Celtics' Horford on whether he intentionally hurt Morris]

If Morris isn’t able to go, Kelly Oubre will start in his place. Oubre began the third quarter of Game 1 when Morris didn’t return.

“At this stage, you have to play through some soreness and pain. But you’re not going to play through an injury. We’re not going to allow that. There’s a big difference,” Brooks said. “If you’re hurt you’re going to sit down and get ready to play when you’re ready to play. If you’re sore you’ve got to take a look and test it.

“We don’t want him to be out there (like) Willis Reed, make two shots and sit on the bench, emotional lift. We want him to be able to play and be effective for us.”

Morris will get treatment throughout Game 2 when playing and ride an exercise bike to keep it loose and warm.

He doesn’t know how it will respond unless he’s in real-time action. He said the ankle feels better after he estimated his pain was at a 5 on a 1-10 scale on Monday.

“It went down some,” Morris said of the swelling, “but you don’t really get the full effect unless your adrenaline is going. Me being out here shooting with a little bit of pain won’t be the same as a game when my adrenaline is on 100 so that’s just basically where we’re at right now.”

Morris’ mother wants him to play. His twin, Marcus, wants him to play, too.

Though he respects Brooks’ authority, Morris wants it to be his decision.

“It’s my career isn’t it?” he said.

[RELATED: Morris wants face-to-face meeting with Horford after injury]

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Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, George Hill, Larry Nance, Jr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington Plus)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Back in action

The Wizards return to the court after a week-long layoff due to the All-Star break. Add in the fact that they had three days off before their last game and this will be just the second game for the Wizards in the last 12 days. What is this, football?

The Wizards will try to overcome the rust to keep their momentum going. They entered the All-Star break having won seven of their last nine games. Though the time off was needed due to a wide array of injuries, the Wizards had a good thing going and will aim to recapture that against a good Cavs team.


Tough stretch

The Wizards come back with a game against the Cavs, a difficult first assignment after such a long layoff. But this is just the beginning of what will be a very difficult part of their schedule. In their next 17 games, the Wizards will play 15 times against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Warriors, Celtics, Spurs and Raptors.

The schedule is tough beyond their opponents. Four times in the next three weeks they will play back-to-back games and they have five games in the next seven nights. Hopefully the players recharged their batteries because it won't be easy.


New-look Cavs

The Wizards and Cavs have played twice this season already and Cleveland took both of those matchups. However, that was all before the trade deadline when the Cavs overhauled their roster. They have won all three of their games since and look rejuvenated with younger players.

Now surrounding LeBron James are a host of new faces like George HIll, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards match up with this new group.


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Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

As a member of the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal has had many battles with LeBron James over the years, first with the Miami Heat and now with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the weekend, Beal got to experience having James as a teammate for the first time at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

It was an eye-opening endeavor. Beal got to see up close and personal James' abilities and his routine to maximize them. In a group of the best players on the planet, James stood out.

"It was surreal at first, just being around all the guys," Beal said. "Even just being on his team for two days, that was an unbelievable experience."


Beal, 24, is six seasons in to his NBA career and from experience has learned how to train for the rigors of an 82-game regular season. What James does at 33 years old to stay in peak form, however, is next level.

"To see his preparation, his focus and his mentality and what he does to take care of his body before and after games," Beal said. "That's the true testament to a Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever play the game."

James actually assisted Beal's first points in the All-Star Game, a two-handed dunk in the first quarter. James attacked the rim on a fastbreak to draw attention, then found Beal with a dump-off pass for an easy bucket.


It was an example of James' tricks of the trade. He is not just the most athletic player on the court, he is also the smartest when it comes to the game of basketball.

"His approach and his leadership and everything, it's top notch. It's crazy because you always play against him and to play with him, you get experience the other side of it," Beal said.

Beal, however, did note that much of what he gleaned from James was by watching him. At the end of the day, they are competitors and James isn't going to give away all of his secrets.

"He's not disclosing that information," Beal joked.

The Wizards happen to play James and the Cavs in their first game back from the All-Star break on Thursday night. Once again, Beal will be on the other side.