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What we learned from Wizards' Summer League, despite them going winless

What we learned from Wizards' Summer League, despite them going winless

No, the Wizards going winless in the 2017 NBA Summer League does not mean anything in the big picture. Though the passion is appreciated, those tweeting criticism about coaching decisions (that actually happened) should take a breath and settle down. Fidget spinners are said to be therapeutic. Maybe buy one of those.

Despite the losses, there was plenty to learn from the Wizards' five games. Here are some thoughts and observations...

Devin Robinson has legitimate, NBA-level athleticism

Robinson's addition to the Summer League roster added intrigue because his potential is obvious. He is 6-8 with a 7-1 wingspan and a 41-inch vertical leap. It turns out the Wizards had bigger plans for him, as they signed the Florida forward to a two-way contract, meaning he will have one of their 17 roster spots heading into next season. Robinson didn't have the best Summer League overall (3.4 ppg, 18.2 FG%), but he did show flashes in a small sample size. This putback slam in Friday's loss to the Timberwolves was a direct reminder of why the Wizards think this guy can turn into something some day:

[RELATED: Hannibal's road to Summer League as unusual as it gets]

Marcus Keene can definitely score

Keene proved in Las Vegas that his scoring ability is not just limited to the mid-major college level. It took him a few games, but Keene found his rhythm and left with a 11.3 points per game average on 50 percent shooting from the field. A 5-9 guard, Keene led the NCAA in scoring last season at Central Michigan with 30 points per game. He went undrafted, but felt this was the time to leave school after his junior year in part because of Isaiah Thomas' success this past season for the Celtics. After his performance in Vegas, don't be surprised if Keene draws interest from somebody on a two-way deal.

Daniel Ochefu and Sheldon Mac got better

We didn't see much of Ochefu or Mac at the NBA level this past season, as they were stuck on the end of the Wizards' bench for most of the year. But both clearly benefitted from having that year under their belt in this year's Summer League. Both played confidently and aggressively and looked like NBA players should when going up against lesser competition. For Ochefu, it was apparent in his play around the rim. There were several times where he flashed polish in the post. For Mac, it was his motor and speed on the fastbreak. He was blowing past people even with a bum ankle.

[RELATED: 5 things to know about new Wizards forward Michael Young]

Chris McCullough remains raw, but intriguing

McCullough got plenty of shots in this year's Summer League as a focal point of the Wizards' offense. He took 48 field goal attempts, but shot just 29.2 percent. Of his 14 makes, many of them were powerful dunks that provided some of the best highlights of the Wizards' five games. But beyond dunking, McCullough was still limited on that end of the floor. If he is going to play his way into the Wizards' rotation this upcoming season, he will have to earn Scott Brooks' trust on defense. His 5.6 rebounds per game in 22.2 minutes were solid. McCullough has the athleticism to play at the NBA level, but he has to find his niche. Once he finds a way to use his size and leaping ability to protect the rim, he could make a nice career for himself.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - Will John Wall sign the deal?]


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John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

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John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

Point guard John Wall was a notable absence at Friday afternoon's Wizards practice, as he sat out after having an MRI done on his left knee earlier in the day. 

Despite playing well against the Hornets in the team's last game, Wall is still feeling discomfort and now the Wizards wait to hear the test results. Wall may not play against the Blazers on Saturday night.

"John is definitely going to be questionable tomorrow," head coach Scott Brooks said. "We'll see how he feels [Saturday morning] and then make a decision from there."

Wall's knee issue dates back to two weeks ago. He first complained about swelling in his knee after a game against the Sacramento Kings.


Wall has since had his knee drained, but the problems have persisted. Wall says his mobility is affected most.

Wall, 27, has missed two games for the Wizards this season, one due to a sprained left shoulder and another because of his knee. He is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Wall had one of his best games against the season in Charlotte on Wednesday. Despite playing through pain, he managed 31 points and 11 assists. He played 41 minutes because the game went to overtime.

If Wall can't go against the Blazers, the Wizards will rely heavily on backup point guard Tim Frazier. Either way, they have a tough assignment at that position with Damian Lillard of Portland.


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Markieff Morris sees a lot of himself in Wizards teammate Mike Scott

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Markieff Morris sees a lot of himself in Wizards teammate Mike Scott

The early returns on backup forward Mike Scott have been quite good for the Wizards. Signed to a one-year deal in free agency, Scott is off to a strong start.

He's averaging 8.6 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from three. His 59.7 effective field goal percentage is second on the team behind Otto Porter.

At his best, Scott has proven to be instant offense and an efficient scorer. He's reached double figures in seven out of his last 12 appearances while shooting 59 percent.

Scott is the backup to Markieff Morris and Morris likes what he sees so far.

"He fits perfect. We should have been gotten him," Morris said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast. "I feel like me and him are going to have a couple great years together, if you ask me."


There are some similarities in the games of Morris and Scott. They are close in size and can score both inside and out. They offer a respectable three-point shot with a strong midrange and post game to complement.

Others have pointed it out and Morris sees it, too.

"I think he's trying to steal my game," he joked. "We kind of resemble each other a lot more than what I thought before he got here."

Morris of course has a twin in real life, Marcus who plays for the Celtics. But Scott is like his twin on the Wizards' bench, figuratively speaking.

"It's kind of hard to distinguish between the two sometimes when they're making shots because they play the same way," guard Bradley Beal said. "They can knock down threes, they can give you the post up game, they can handle the ball. They are definitely one in the same, in a sense."

"There's a lot of similarities. They have a lot of the same mannerisms," head coach Scott Brooks said. "They have this real, tough, calming influence on the group. I like guys that have that edge to them."

Morris also discussed his relationship with John Wall and Bradley Beal, how his season has gone so far and who Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons remind him of on the podcast.

Listen to the full interview 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!