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Should Wizards rock big man rotation or roll with what's worked?


Should Wizards rock big man rotation or roll with what's worked?

The Wizards have dropped the last two games in the best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Hawks and now trail 3-2 heading into Friday's Game 6 in Washington. That means one more loss and summer vacation begins.

They've also won six of nine playoff games and easily could have triumphed in the last two. Pick up two more victories against the Hawks and the Wizards advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1979.

It's with that broad look at Washington's fortunes in the postseason with which coach Randy Wittman answered a question Thursday about possibly altering his frontcourt rotation. Specifically, what about using Kris Humphries considering Paul Pierce and Nene have struggled defending Atlanta's Paul Millsap. 

Nene, Marcin Gortat and Drew Gooden are the true interior options Wittman has used against the Hawks' mobile frontcourt with Pierce picking up minutes as a stretch-four perimeter shooter.

"It's been successful," the coach said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday about his big man rotation.. "You don't want to change too much."

In fact, Wittman liked certain aspects of the matchup in Game 5 with Millsap, who is a dangerous threat because he can beat smaller players (Pierce) inside and maneuver for jumpers against beefy defenders (Nene) outside. Millsap scored 14 points on 6 of 14 shooting.

"I didn't have a problem with them trying to post because that's not their game," Wittman said. "If they want to do that, put isolation in, try to go against our mismatch, I don't have a problem with that at all. Now the flow of their offense isn't what it can be. Paul (Pierce) got scored on a couple of times, but what did Millsap end up with, 12, 14 points? That wasn't a problem."

Pierce, Nene and Gortat aren't falling out of the playing mix regardless. As for Gooden, the veteran forward has been off his game of late. On Wednesday, he played 12 minutes, his fewest in the playoffs this season. Gooden missed all four of his field goal attempts, falling to 1 for 10 over the last two games. Like the others, he doesn't offer much resistance against Millsap or Al Horford.

There are reasons why Gooden has remained in the rotation while Humphries and Kevin Seraphin mostly watch. His ability to shoot the 3-point helps open the court for John Wall's penetration while providing room for either Gortat or Nene to work inside. 

We discussed during the regular season just how a lineup with Drew Gooden joining starters John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce and Marcin Gortat rocked. The Wizards went 12-1 in games that quintet played together (the lone loss came in double-overtime). In the playoffs, 4-0 (in fairness, we're not talking about substantial minutes with this unit, but wins are wins). That unblemished record remains because that unit did not receive any run together in Wednesday's loss. 

If Wittman chooses to shake up the rotation, Gooden likely falls off. If Wittman believes what he said Thursday, expect the coach to roll with what's been working overall in the postseason.

MORE WIZARDS: Wittman updates Wall's status, calls G5 effort 'Incredible'

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5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.


**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.


**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.


The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.