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Wizards announce Markieff Morris will miss six to eight weeks after hernia surgery

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Wizards announce Markieff Morris will miss six to eight weeks after hernia surgery

Markieff Morris won't be available for the Wizards for six to eight weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a sports hernia. He underwent the procedure today. 

The team released the following statement with the news. 

Wizards forward Markieff Morris underwent surgery today to repair a sports hernia.  The procedure, which went as expected, was performed by Dr. Michael Brunt at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Advanced Medicine in St. Louis, MO.  Morris will begin the rehabilitation process immediately and is expected to miss approximately six to eight weeks.

Originally when the surgery was reported, Morris was expected to miss at least the beginning of Wizards training camp, which begins next week in Richmond, Va.

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The latest timeline, however, extends the forward's absence into the regular season, which begins in a little under four weeks on October 18.

Morris seems likely to miss the Wizards' first West Coast road trip, including the contest against the Warriors on October 27, and could be sidelined for the November 3 home game against the Cavaliers. 

The Kansas product cemented himself as the starting power forward for the Wizards, averaging 14 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. The 28-year-old sets a physical tone on defense and brings a veteran presence to the locker room, as well.

Backup forward Jason Smith will likely get the most minutes filling in for Morris, but coach Scott Brooks could take a look at new addition Mike Scott or play Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre together more. 

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NBA Power Rankings 2017-18: LeBron and the Cavs Continue to seem lost

NBA Power Rankings 2017-18: LeBron and the Cavs Continue to seem lost

The Cavaliers have been here before. 

Mid-season struggles, questions about chemistry, and worries about the future.

This time it feels a little different though, with a roster that was forced to be re-tooled in the offseason when Kyrie Irving wanted out.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

To add another new wrinkle, we're watching LeBron's old team, pass his new team, that was once his old team (still following this?), in the rankings this week.

The Wizards have stayed within the top-ten for a while now, but definitely, need more out of Otto Porter if they don't want to fall behind.

Oh yea, the Warriors are still really good, beating everyone, are even better on the road than at home, and likely not leaving that top spot anytime soon.

Sorry for the spoiler. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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Potential of Tomas Satoransky playing alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal is starting to show

Potential of Tomas Satoransky playing alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal is starting to show

Head coach Scott Brooks and the Wizards front office told Tomas Satoransky at the beginning of this past offseason that they wanted him to improve at playing off the ball. Knowing how much they rely on John Wall as an All-NBA point guard, backup minutes behind him are always few and far between. Positional versatility is the key to Satoransky earning a larger role in their rotation.

Satoransky worked diligently over the summer at parts of the game that are outside his natural point guard skillset. He put up countless three-point shots and trained to develop timing and precision cutting to the basket.

Satoransky got significant minutes this season at first because Wall was injured for a nine-game stretch in November and December. Since Wall returned, the Wizards have seen the dividends of Satoransky's improvement playing off the ball.

"Tomas, give him a lot of credit along with our staff," Brooks said. "He doesn't play exclusively backup point guard. We can play him at the two or the three or we can play him like we have in the last few games with John and with Brad [Beal]."

Satoransky played much of the fourth quarter with both Wall and Beal on Jan. 5 in Memphis. In the five games since, Brooks has experimented with different guard combinations as backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks continues to struggle with a 35.3 field goal percentage.

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On Monday against the Bucks, the potential of Satoransky running the floor with Wall and Beal was on full display as Satoransky caught alley-oop lobs from each of them.

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Satoransky is 6-foot-7 and is a prolific dunker with the ability to play well above the rim. Wall is one of the game's best passers and Beal has made tremendous strides distributing the ball.

Fastbreak dunks are an emphatic way of showing how Satoransky can play off the ball, but there are also little, less noticeable things he is doing to make the most of his time on the court with Wall and/or Beal. Most notably, his three-point shot has improved to 40.5 percent this season, good for third on the Wizards' team. He can help space the floor as Wall and Beal go to work generating the offense.

Satoransky says corner threes are "much easier" for him at the moment, but he is developing range from other parts of the court. Simply getting playing time has helpd.

"It was crucial for me to increase my percentage of threes in order to stay on the court and to play off the ball," he said. "When John got hurt and I knew I was going to play more games, that's when I caught that rhythm where I caught the confidence to shoot threes."

When it comes to cutting to the basket, Satoransky is developing instincts for when to break when Wall has the ball in his hands. Their chemistry is nascent, but the potential is obvious.

"[Opponents] know John tries to drive to the basket and that really sucks in the zone, so I'm trying to cut at good moments and play without the ball," he said. "You have to be sprinting a lot because he's very quick with the ball."

The Wizards are sorting out what to do with their backup shooting guard position. The trade deadline is coming up in a few short weeks on Feb. 8 and they are currently evaluating their options with Meeks slumping. Satoransky may not solve those problems entirely, but his development playing off the ball can only help their cause.

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