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Wizards put their record where their mouths are


Wizards put their record where their mouths are

The Wizards’ first victory of the 2012-13 season was significant for a variety of reasons.

Most notably, it took an incredible amount of pressure off coach Randy Wittman, who was beginning to run out of ways to motivate his players after opening the season with 12 straight losses.

But it is worth noting that it took a 26-point loss to the seasoned San Antonio Spurs for the Wizards to understand what they were missing and what they needed to change.

“After we lost to San Antonio, we just basically came together and said, ‘We need turn this around for ourselves. Not for anybody else, but for ourselves,’” forward Chris Singleton said Wednesday night after the Wizards’ 84-82 win over Portland.

“We don’t want to go down in history as one of the worst teams ever and so we’re just going to work our butt off.”

Following that blowout loss to the Spurs, Wittman let his players speak their minds. He wanted their opinions on things they thought they could do better and things the coaching staff could do differently.

“I just feel like he let us be basketball players,” Singleton said. “At the beginning of the season we were all hesitant to say anything. Now, he’s trying to tell us since we’re out there on the court that we should be the ones talking, not him or the other coaches coming back into the huddle and correcting everything. We have to correct ourselves if we’re going to get better.”

Wittman said he took the same approach at halftime Wednesday night. The Wizards and Blazers entered the intermission in a 43-43 tie and Wittman wanted to know what his players had to say about adjustments that needed to be made.

“I let them talk,” he said. “What is positive on the floor? What’s giving us trouble? Tell me. That’s the process we’re trying to get. I want our young guys to understand, yeah, this cross screen is giving us trouble; what can I do?

“Sometimes you hear it [from a coach], but you’re not listening. … I can draw it up on that chalk board and it looks good on the dang on chalk board. But you’ve got to be able to do it on the floor. And if we’ve got guys that have a way to tweak it and make it better for them, they are the ones that can do it and I’m always for that interaction from my players.”

Often lost in the evaluation of the Wizards’ early troubles is the fact that six of their 13 players were not on the roster last season and five of their six starters are playing for the first time under Wittman. Add the fact the Wizards have not had star point guard John Wall and have had Nene for just three games and you have a team still trying to find an identity.

Nene emphasized after Wednesday night’s win that the Wizards are still “very young and immature” and that it may take time for them to play to their potential.

With a Friday night visit to New York to face the 10-4 Knicks followed by a Tuesday night showdown at home against the 10-3 Miami Heat, the 1-12 Wizards will need to be quick studies if they hope to avoid falling deeper in the Eastern Conference standings.

“I don’t think that we can relax,” Trevor Ariza said. “We’re only 1-12.  We just gotta keep working hard every day and keep trying to get better.”

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Should Bradley Beal be an All-NBA selection?


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Should Bradley Beal be an All-NBA selection?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by guest co-host Travis Thomas to break down Bradley Beal's All-NBA chances and John Wall's injury rehab.

They also discussed the crazy Eastern Conference playoff race, Trae Young's draft stock and essentials for a good snow day.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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What are Bradley Beal's chances of earning All-NBA?

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What are Bradley Beal's chances of earning All-NBA?

Bradley Beal has been indispensable for the Wizards this season with John Wall having missed 33 of their 70 games, or nearly half of their schedule so far. Beal's numbers are up in several categories from last season and he earned his first All-Star selection as a result.

Becoming an NBA All-Star is very difficult. Usually, about six guards per conference are picked each year. Being All-NBA is even more exclusive, as only six guards are selected from the entire league.

Wall has done it before and Beal may be in position to accomplish the feat himself this season. As of now, Beal could be considered on the bubble for third-team All-NBA.


It is an extremely competitive race and there are several locks to earn the honors. At this point, guys like James Harden and Russell Westbrook should get in easily. But after that, the next four spots are hard to sort out.

Based on his numbers, Damian Lillard of the Blazers should be a shoe-in. He is the best player on the third-place team in the Western Conference and is second among all NBA guards in points per game (26.6). He is also averaging 6.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds. He has already been All-NBA twice in his career and should get his third nod after this season.

DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors is probably the next-most likely to get in. He has led the top team in the Eastern Conference, was an All-Star starter in February and got his first All-NBA selection last year.

After those is where it gets interesting. The reason why is injuries. Stephen Curry in any other year would be a guarantee for All-NBA, but as of now he has played just 50 games. Consider that the NBA requires a player to appear in 58 games or more, or 70 percent of his team's games, to qualify for statistical leaderboards. 


Curry has returned to practice, but due to health and possibly rest down the stretch of the season, there is a chance he doesn't hit the 58-game threshold. That may present an interesting question for the voters.

Kyrie Irving of the Celtics is also hurt. He has played in 60 games with 11 left on Boston's schedule. The same goes for Jimmy Butler of the Timberwolves. He is rehabbing a torn meniscus and currently has only played 56 games. 

Chris Paul of the Rockets has appeared in 53 games due to injuries. Though his numbers could put him in the All-NBA conversation, Devin Booker of the Suns has played in just 54 games.

If injuries do preclude Curry in particular from getting in, then the door could be open the door for Beal. He would then have to beat out guys like Victor Oladipo of the Pacers, Irving, Butler and others.

Setting aside the most likely three to get All-NBA - Harden, Westbrook and Lillard - and Curry, let's take a look at how Beal stacks up statistically to the rest of the pack. 

Bradley Beal - 23.3 ppg, 4.7 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 spg, 46.3 FG%, 37.4 3PT%

DeMar DeRozan - 23.7 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.0 rpg, 1.1 spg, 46.1 FG%, 32.4 3PT%

Victor Oladipo - 23.3 ppg, 4.2 apg, 5.2 rpg, 2.3 spg, 47.1 FG%, 36.6 3PT%

Kyrie Irving - 24.4 ppg, 5.1 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 spg, 49.1 FG%, 40.8 3PT%

Jimmy Butler - 22.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, 5.4 rpg, 1.9 spg, 47.3 FG%, 35.6 3PT%

Devin Booker - 24.9 ppg, 4.7 apg, 4.5 rpg, 0.9 spg, 43.2 FG%, 38.3 3PT%

Chris Paul - 18.8 ppg, 7.9 apg, 5.6 rpg, 1.7 spg, 45.9 FG%, 38.5 3PT%


As you see, not a whole lot is separating those guys. It may come down to team performance and other factors.

Working in Beal's favor is that he's been the most durable of the bunch. He has played in every one of the Wizards' games this season.

Beal has also helped keep his team in contention despite Wall's absence. The Wizards are on pace for 47 wins, not far off their 49 victories last year, and Beal has been the biggest reason.

But Irving's case is helped similarly by all the injuries in Boston, including to Gordan Hayward. He has been the best player on the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.

Oladipo has led the Pacers to an impressive season despite not having another All-Star in the lineup. DeRozan, Beal, Irving and Butler have better supporting casts.


Say injuries do work against Curry, Paul, Irving and Booker. And assume DeRozan is safely in as the fourth guy behind Harden, Westbrook and Lillard. That could mean Beal gets in alongside Oladipo.

If Curry, Paul or Irving get in despite missing double-digit games, that would probably bump Beal out of the mix. Oladipo has slightly better numbers and has drawn lots of acclaim for being the best player on a surprise Pacers team and he's no guarantee himself.

Beal has 12 games left to prove his case and clearly a lot of factors are in play, but the idea of him making All-NBA for the first time is not out of the question.

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