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Seraphin on track for Saturday's home opener


Seraphin on track for Saturday's home opener

Day two of Kevin Seraphin's return to practice went well, better than day one. If the trajectory continues, expect the center to play in the Wizards regular season home opener Saturday night against Boston.

"I’m ready to play tomorrow so tomorrow I will play," an all smiles Seraphin said following Friday's practice. "Now I’m ready to play good and help my team on defense and offense."

Out since straining his right calf on Oct. 13 in a preseason win over Cleveland, Seraphin's recovery is apparently ahead of schedule. While the team had been vague when asked about the third-year center's projected return, Seraphin said, "I’m supposed to be out like four weeks, and [now] just two weeks. I’m just cool. I’m just good."

That is good, especially since it remains unclear when the short-handed Wizards will have the services of Nene (foot), the team's primary interior option. Certainly not for Saturday's home opener against the Celtics (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet) and their ageless center Kevin Garnett. John Wall (knee) is not projected back until around Thanksgiving.

In between the most recent practice sessions, Seraphin required some maintenance.

"The first practice, yeah, I was a little bit tightness because I have like blood between my muscle in my calf. So yesterday, we go to hospital to pull it out," the 6-foot-10 center said. "Now I feel good. But the first one, yeah, I feel a little bit tight. But I only play half court so that was cool. No full court.

Following that descriptive medical procedure nugget, Seraphin was asked whether he's truly ready or is simply anxious to return and thus is convincing himself he's good to go.

Seraphin: "I really feel ready because I practice. I have to practice to see, like a test, and I did great. I can play. I can run. I just can play. I think so I am ready. I’m don’t try to convince myself I’m ready, but my body and me, we know we’re ready."

His youngest teammate concurs.

"Kevin looked good," 19-year-old Bradley Beal said. "He probably has to get back in shape, he's been out for a while, he'll lose some wind. But he's posting hard, he's finishing, he's been doing the same things that he was doing before he got injured so we're happy to have him back and he's going to bring in good minutes for us. We're short at the big man position, we're glad to have him back."

As for how many minutes Seraphin will see against Garnett and the Celtics, much depends on how the injury holds up overnight.

"He practiced yesterday, not any soreness today," Wittman said on Friday. "But we have to see tomorrow. Again. You never know that second or third day how it feels. We’ll monitor that, then I’ll talk to the doctors before the game to get a grasp of if there will need to be a minute thing. I haven’t talked to them. I can’t really answer that question. Hopefully not, but there might be."

After a trying rookie campaign, Seraphin showed he was indeed ready for the NBA during the second half of last season, averaging 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over the final 15 games. His quality low post moves and shooting touch will boost the offensively-challenged Wizards' scoring and open up space for Beal and other perimeter options. No doubt his presence on the glass will be welcomed, especially after being dominated on the boards in the season opening loss at Cleveland. Seraphin certainly is aware he's a main cog.

"My toughness inside, my defense. Everything I do. I play defense, I’m a big part in offense now and on defense, my presence inside, and just with my teammates."

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:


2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:


4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:



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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.


Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:


Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.