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Sessions teaches Raptors he can run the Wizards attack


Sessions teaches Raptors he can run the Wizards attack

Ramon Sessions' run of four teams over two seasons eventually landed the point guard in the playoffs. The Washington Wizards are better off for it.

The Wizards jumped on the Raptors quickly in Game 4 on Sunday night and eventually swept Toronto out of the playoffs with ease. There was however one minor moment of trepidation during the 125-94 romp. 

Washington built a 20-point lead in the second quarter, but Toronto showed some life. The margin dipped to 14 in the second quarter as John Wall headed to the bench with three fouls and 4:02 remaining before halftime. Less than 30 seconds later, the Raptors closed within 55-44. Enter the locker room down single digits and perhaps the Raptors put up a fight while ignoring their 0-3 hole.

That didn't happen even with Wall only watching. Sessions had things under control.

"John went out with three fouls and I knew I had to come in," Sessions said.

He scored two baskets inside the final 2:36 including one of his three 3-pointers, matching a career-high. On Washington's final possession of the half, Sessions caught a pass on the right wing, pumped faked a defender in the air, took a quick dribble inside the arc and before the defense arrived snapped a pass to  Otto Porter on the low block for a floating jumper. The Wizards led 66-50 and the Raptors never got closer.

"I thought [Sessions] came off the bench and gave us a huge lift," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.

Whether running the offense or playing opposite Wall, Sessions effectively chipped in. He scored 15 points, his second-highest total since Washington acquired him from the Sacramento Kings for Andre Miller before the trade deadline during the mid-February All-Star break.

How Sessions scored the bulk of points was a bit surprising, at least considering his reputation at the time of the trade.

Washington swapped point guards hoping the 6-foot-3 Sessions would provide the roster with another dribble penetrator besides Wall and a quality defender. He's done that with the added bonus of sinking long balls.

The eight-year veteran is a career 31 percent 3-point shooter. Sessions was far worse than that in 36 games with Sacramento, hitting only 6 of 28 (21.4 percent).

Apparently the East Coast agrees with him. Sessions went 13 of 32 (40.6 percent) from beyond the arc in 28 regular season games with the Wizards. He made his first three deep shots in Game 4. The last time Ramon Sessions made three 3-pointers in a game? December 21, 2012. 

"They're playing me for the drive now so it's leaving me (open)," said Sessions, who added three assists. "With John coming off the pick and roll and me playing some of the two, I know I'll be spotting up a lot so I'm just working on that. They're giving it to me so I've got to take it." 

Sessions thought his second career playoff appearance would take place with Charlotte last year. Three stops later, it finally did.

"Man, it means a lot," he said of the deal to the Wizards. "Last year I was with Charlotte going to the playoffs and I got traded to Milwaukee, which was a rebuilding team. This year, I was in Sacramento rebuilding and got traded to the Wizards. It's been a blessing. The start of the season wasn't the best for me, but now I'm with a team that's in the playoffs. I'm just here to contribute and get wins."

He's doing just that.

“[Ramon] Sessions has been tremendous on both ends of the floor," guard Bradley Beal said. "He accepts that defensive challenge on any guard and on top of that he is learning the offense quick. He is able to push the ball when he is in transition. He gets to the basket fine when he needs to. He is really growing a lot so we are glad to have him on board and he has been nothing but good.”

RELATED: [Morning tip: 5 reasons why Wizards won series with Raptors]

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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!