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Training camp Day 5: Options take pressure off Wall, Beal


Training camp Day 5: Options take pressure off Wall, Beal

The roster hasn't been this deep for Randy Wittman since taking over as coach of the Wizards in 2011, so there will be as much emphasis on guarding the minutes of John Wall and Bradley Beal as there will be with speeding up the pace of the offense.

"We got to look at that with all our guys. Even John, Bradley, I don't want to have to play anybody 40 minutes a game," Wittman said after Saturday's practice at Verizon Center. "That's conducive to us being strong at the end of the year. I thought it was important to get bench help. Everybody's minutes. ... That's where your strength in numbers always can help you of wearing teams down during a single game or during the course of a year."

Last season, Paul Pierce had his minutes limited during the regular season when he played a career-low 26.2 minutes. He averaged 30 in 10 playoff games. Wall jumped from 36 minutes in the regular season to 39. Beal went from 33.4 to 41.8. Nene went from 25 to 28.

Ideally, with much more depth at guard, Wall and Beal can have their minutes shortened or take games off later in the regular season to recharge. Wall could've used such a strategy last season when he struggled -- and the Wizards struggled with him -- because of a pair of sprained ankles. He played through pain because they were so thin in the backcourt. Beal had another stress injury in his lower right leg, his third in his third consecutive season, that caused him to miss time.

Ramon Sessions is behind Wall and Gary Neal, who signed this summer, is behind Beal along with Garrett Temple. Rookie Kelly Oubre is a small forward but has practiced a lot at the two position. Otto Porter can fill in there as well, leaving the small forward spot to Jared Dudley and Alan Anderson. There are a lot of interchangeable parts. 

If all goes according to plan, he shouldn't have to do that in 2015-16. And speaking of rest, the Wizards will have Sunday off.

RELATED: Kris Humphries ready for role reversal

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.


Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."


Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

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!