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Wizards favor wing defenders with threats like Paul George


Wizards favor wing defenders with threats like Paul George

The assignments don't get any easier for Wizards forward Otto Porter. In Tuesday's game vs. the Indiana Pacers, he'll be seeing a lot of Paul George who is playing better than ever since missing most of last season with a broken leg.

Porter already has seen Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Kevin Durant (Thunder) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) twice. 

“Watching film to see what I did that worked, see what I did that can do different," Porter said of how he prepares for these kinds of matchups. "Each game I’m watching film.”

Based on what coach Randy Wittman has done 10 games into the season, there's a good chance that rookie Kelly Oubre could make an appearance. He didn't play in Saturday's win at the Detroit Pistons, but at 6-7, being long and athletic on the wing is an asset as it can give Porter more rest and George a different look.

George is averaging 24.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game and shooting 42% from three-point range for Indiana (8-5). This season he's playing more at power forward, however, which would create a matchup problem with Kris Humphries. Coach Randy Wittman might have to adjust his lineups accordingly.

It's because of matchups like George why the Wizards (6-4) opted to trade up in the 2015 draft for Oubre rather than keeping Jerian Grant, a guard, who was dealt to the Atlanta Hawks before finding a home with the Knicks.

Porter was drafted No. 3 overall in 2013 for the same reason. Trevor Ariza was going to become an unrestricted free agent and no depth at this position guarantees little or no postseason success, or no postseason appearance at all. 

It has taken Porter two seasons to get to the point that he's in now, as one of the NBA's most improved players and a reliable third scoring option for the Wizards. The projection for Oubre is about the same. And with Porter and Oubre being on rookie scale contracts they're filling that need at minimal cost for now.

But none of this means that'll be enough to stop George. After failing to break 20 points in his first four games, no one has. 

RELATED: How resilient are Wizards? They're about to find out

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

The relationship between Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal and Bullets legend Phil Chenier goes beyond your average friendship between a current and former player, or a current player and team broadcaster.

Beal and Chenier are close to the point Chenier often offers advice as a fellow shooting guard who helped lead the organization to some of their most important accomplishments.

Beal is always open ears when Chenier is talking and took great honor in being the one to tell Chenier personally that his jersey would be retired by the Wizards.

The day has come for Chenier's No. 45 to be raised to the rafters and Beal feels a unique sense of pride in seeing a man he reveres to the highest degree finally have his day in the sun.

"It's unbelievable. It's more than deserving," Beal said. "I was happy to be the one who told him about it. It's a special night for him. He's been a mentor to a lot of us for many years."


Chenier was a three-time All-Star for the Washington Bullets back in the 1970s. Following his playing career, he became a legendary broadcaster calling Bullets and then Wizards games for over 30 years.

Beal is now an NBA All-Star himself, having earned the honor for the first time this season. He is a shooting guard, just like Chenier.

Chenier was the color analyst for Wizards games for the first five years of Beal's career and Beal has always seen Chenier as a model to follow both on and off the court.

"It's always motivation for me to get better and I feel like this is the final touch of it, having your jersey retired by the franchise that you played a part in their success," Beal said.


The honor Chenier is about to receive is another goal to strive for. Beal wants to achieve a lot of what Chenier has accomplished in his life from winning a championship to making All-NBA to now having his jersey hang in the rafters at Capital One Arena.

"It definitely motivates me for that to be a goal of mine. Especially with the fact we both play the same position," Beal said.


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For more on Chenier's jersey retirement, check out our in-depth interview with him on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: