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Wizards notebook: More scrimmage talk!

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Wizards notebook: More scrimmage talk!

It's that time once again when your intrepid blogger breaks down all the on-court action from Tuesday night's Wizards split squad scrimmage. Don't even pretend you're not interested...

Earlier I wrote about Jannero Pargo's scoring surge and his returning from an abdominal strain. There is still plenty of time for Shelvin Mack and A.J. Price to change my opinion, but I'm still giving Pargo best odds of being John Wall's primary backup whenever he returns to action. The Wizards need 3-point shooting and on-court experience. Pargo brings both qualities. As for what happens with Wall out, Pargo's style may still be best suited for coming off the bench while one of the other two opens with the starters. The battle remains open.

Bradley Beal flashed his textbook jumper on a 3-pointer for the scrimmage's first points, but ultimately wasn't a major scoring factor. I honed in on the rookie during the first session before eventually becoming exhausted just watching his constant off the ball movement. Any Ray Allen comparisons are overblown at this point of their respective careers, but Beal does possess Allen's ability to keep his feet active while forcing defenders to chase. No doubt everyone is looking forward to seeing how his activity combined with Wall's speed and passing ability changes the Wizards attack.

After Tuesday's morning session, Randy Wittman noted Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely in particular needed to avoid the "dumb fouls" they and others committed in Sunday's loss at Charlotte. During the second period, Singleton raced to defend a camped out A.J. Price preparing to launch from beyond the arc. His good intentions went unrewarded and worse, the overly aggressive defender was whistled for a foul. While Price went to the line for three free throws, Singleton went to the bench, yanked by Wittman, who was otherwise leaving the coaching duties to his assistants.

Singleton later returned and turned in one of the scrimmages true highlights, coming
up with a steal and racing home with a thunderous dunk. No foul was called on either end of that play.

Trevor Booker continued to sit out with left hamstring soreness, joining John Wall (leg strain) and Nene (plantar fasciitis) on the sideline. There does not appear to be any immediate concern about the energy forward's situation, but we the media have not pressed the matter just yet. That could change if Booker misses Thursday home preseason game against New York.

Wall and Nene performed their most rigorous physical activity of the week, at least as far as the media could see: walking out on the court during player introductions. The key word is walking as the other players jogged or moved with pace to the center court when introduced. Wall's gait had a Sunday morning stroll kind of vibe while the laid back Nene was simply in no rush. Both are out of the commission for now so it's not as if anyone wants them sprinting like Bryce Harper to stretch a single into a double. Seeing as Wall is out several more weeks and Wittman offered no new Nene update earlier when asked, thought I provide one, ish.

The Wizards closed up shop out in Fairfax. Starting on Wednesday they are back practicing at the Verizon Center.

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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