Wizards

Quick Links

Wizards like to have enforcer Markieff Morris on their side: 'He's not scared of anybody'

Wizards like to have enforcer Markieff Morris on their side: 'He's not scared of anybody'

In the NHL it is common to have an enforcer, someone who can set the tone with physical play or intervene when things go down between players on opposing teams. In the NBA it's less common, but the Wizards have a pretty good one in power forward Markieff Morris.

Morris was the tone-setter in the Wizards' Game 1 win over the Hawks on Sunday and has been the talk of both teams ever since. Hawks forward Paul Millsap said after Game 1 that the Wizards "were playing MMA" and that was a reference to Morris, who guarded him for much of the game.

Morris embraces that role.

"I've always been an enforcer, my whole life. My brother has been the talker and I was his backbone. I'm a guy who leads by example and not by vocal. That's what I do," he said.

[RELATED : Morris heard Millsap's comments, is prepared for 'double MMA']

Morris, put simply, is a guy you would probably hate to play against but love to have on your side. John Wall and Bradley Beal love having him as their teammate.

"He's not scared of anybody and that's a big help for our team," Wall said. "It's great. He brings other things to the game, offensively and defensively. Just with his physicality and playing defense."

"You always want to go to battle with a guy like that, somebody that you know will always have your back no matter what," Beal said. "It's great. People kind of underestimate his abilities. They underestimate his impact on the game. For us, we feed off his energy and his mindset each and every night. He's confident. He's all about us. He's all about winning. He's a great player who is unselfish. He sacrifices and he does whatever it takes to win."

If Game 1 was any indication, this is going to be a physical series and that is right within Morris' wheelhouse.

[RELATED: Millsap sees Morris, Wizards' trash talking as a trap]

Quick Links

The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and the timing is right

adamsilver.png
USA Today Sports Images

The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and the timing is right

The NBA is building momentum towards a significant change in their draft entry rules. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been outspoken about his preference to change the so-called one-and-done rule and on Thursday he met with the newly created Commission on College Basketball in Washington, D.C. to discuss the subject.

The meeting was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who says the league could once again let high school players be drafted. The compromise could be a rule requiring those who go to college to stay for at least two years. That would be similar to Major League Baseball, which stipulates three years of college.

Would a similar rule be a good idea for the NBA? While the players' union would like the option to go straight from high school, there was a reason the one-and-done rule was implemented in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement. The perception back then was that players left for the NBA too early and many flamed out because of it. The thought was that some players would have had better careers if they were older and more experienced when they became professionals.

[RELATED: WILL JOHN WALL MISS GAMES WITH HIS KNEE INJURY?]

Darius Miles, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry and Sebastian Telfair are notorious cases of draft busts who came out of high school. Many wondered if those guys would have been better off with a year in college to adjust to life on their own and with an intermediary step up in competition.

But there are important differences in the NBA's structure nowadays. Now there is a robust minor league system with G-League affiliates all over the country. There are also two-way contracts, allowing teams to pay more money to a prospect and have more flexibility in bringing them up to the NBA. Players don't have to adjust as quickly as they used to.

The G-League is going to continue to expand and the perception keeps changing. Now, it is more common to see players have a stint in the G-League either for development purposes or injury rehabilitation. Player development of baseball players is different, but the MLB's well-established minor league system is the reason why their rule allowing high school players to go pro really works.

The one year in college under the one-and-done rule, however, does have some positives. Most notably, it allows NBA teams to get a better read on draft prospects. Instead of evaluating guys exclusively in high school and AAU, they get to see them play in the ACC, SEC and other big college conferences.

NBA front offices may be hurt by it, but the time is right to go back to high school players entering the pros. Things are much different than they were in 2006 and the league can handle it. Ending the one-and-done rule would be better for the players and it should also make a lot of college basketball fans happy.

That is the good of what the NBA is considering, however, the rule requiring two years of college should not be part of the equation. If the NBA wants to grant some freedom, then actually do it. Some players may need just one year of college and nothing more. Don't punish them for it.

The two-year requirement seems like a very bad idea, but it could be part of the deal. Either way, it seems like the one-and-done rule could come to an end sooner than later and it's for the best.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL GOES 1-ON-1]

Quick Links

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Miami Heat

usatsi_10419609.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Miami Heat

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 91-88 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night at Capital One Arena...

1. The first half didn't feature many highlights for the Wizards, as they managed just 29 points in what was their worst half of the season so far. This play, though, was nice.

Mike Scott hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter:

Scott had only four points in nine minutes.

[RELATED: WILL JOHN WALL MISS GAMES WITH HIS INJURY?]

2. The Wizards had a special guest in attendance. Nationals ace Max Scherzer showed up and was nice enough to join Chris Miller on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast.

This particular part of the interview was funny. Scherzer was asked who would be the best basketball player on the Nats and who would play the dirtiest. Scherzer was honest:

3. The Wizards were down by as many as 25 points, but they made it a game in large part due to Bradley Beal catching fire in the second half. He hit three threes in the third quarter, including this one:

Beal finished with a game-high 26 points.

4. John Wall (eight points) didn't hit his first shot until there was just 5:25 left in the fourth quarter. But his first shot was a big one, a timely three that helped key the WIzards' comeback charge:

5. Wall would hit another three soon after that:

The Wizards had a final shot attempt, but Beal's stepback jumper rimmed out. They are 9-6 on the season with the Raptors up next.

[RELATED: WIZARDS STORM BACK, BUT LOSE TO HEAT]