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Wizards-Nets preview: Fat lady not singing, yet


Wizards-Nets preview: Fat lady not singing, yet

Matchup: Washington Wizards (37-40) vs. Brooklyn Nets (21-56)

When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. (TV: CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra) 

Season series: The Wizards won the only previous meeting, 111-96 on Dec. 26 in Brooklyn behind 25 points from Marcin Gortat. 

What to know

Wizards potpourri: Ernie Grunfeld staying? What went wrong this season? I touched on those topics and more on ESPN 980's "Two-point lead" podcast with Scott Jackson and Nick Ashooh. Yahoo's Michael Lee also joined the discussion and offered his thoughts on whether the Kevin Durant-to-DC plan was unwise and the handling of Kelly Oubre. 

Playoff picture: Until the fat lady sings, the Wizards are still alive for a postseason berth. Of course, that sound you hear is her warming up. Washington enters Wednesday 3.5 games back of Detroit (41-37)  for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Wizards have an extra game remaining and the tiebreaker. With a win over the Nets Wednesday plus a Pistons loss at Orlando and a Washington victory over Detroit Friday at Verizon Center, the home team could enter the weekend 1.5 games back with three remaining. There's your hope. 

Net effect: One thing working in Washington's favor is that little is working for Brooklyn these days. The Nets have lost five straight and will play the remainder of the season without frontcourt standouts Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. The margin for each defeat: 11, 34, 20, 14, 19. Two big men with local ties -- former Georgetown center Henry Sims and D.C. native Thomas Robinson -- were among five Nets to score in double figures in Sunday's 106-87 home loss to the Pelicans. 

John Wall knows overlooking a seemingly overmatched team has gotten the Wizards in trouble before.

"See, that's our problem, the All-Star said at Tuesday's practice. "When we see certain teams like in Sacramento we knew Rondo and DeMarcus were going to play. They were going to be good. We feel like those are the trap games... Those are the trap games if you think you're going to walk on the court and win. Those teams are not playing for nothing but certain guys are trying to get a contract, trying to show people they can play in this league for the other 29 games. They're going to go out there and compete as hard as they can. We got to go out and do the same thing. "

Washington plays at Brooklyn on April 11 in its penultimate regular season game.

RELATED: Morning tip: John Wall keeps focus on Wizards' lax effort

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

USA Today Sports Images

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 



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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:


2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:


4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result: