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Wizards training camp Day 1 recap: Injury news, Redskins fandom, Brooks isn't nervous anymore

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Wizards training camp Day 1 recap: Injury news, Redskins fandom, Brooks isn't nervous anymore

The Wizards held their first day of 2017-18 training camp on Tuesday on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Here's what you need to know...

Robinson is injured

The NBA career of Wizards' forward Devin Robinson did not get off to a great start. He has an unspecified foot injury that is expected to sideline him for the foreseeable future. Robinson wasn't walking with a limp, but sat out of practice and Brooks said the rookie does not have a timetable to return. 

Scott is a huge Redskins fan

New Wizards forward Mike Scott is a massive Redskins fan and not just in a casual sense. The guy plans to get a Redskins tattoo some time in the near future (he has tons of tattoos already, including lots of emojis) and probably speaks for the rest of the fanbase when he says he's taking a wait-and-see approach. When someone (me) mentioned how the Skins finally have a defense, he cautioned that it was just one game. He has to see them repeat that performance on Monday Night Football against the Chiefs before he completely buys in. Though Scott is now playing for his hometown team in the Wizards, he will be outnumbered by Cowboys fans in the Wizards' locker room. John Wall and Markieff Morris are huge Dallas fans and are not afraid to show it.

Brooks did better this time

The Wizards met as a team on Monday night after media day on the eve of training camp and there is a big difference in Brooks from Year 1 to Year 2, at least in the players' eyes.

"John [Wall] brought to my attention how I did a much better job at the team dinner. He said I looked a little nervous last year," Brooks said.

"Last night with our team meeting, I even told him last year 'you seem like you're a little bit more comfortable," Bradley Beal added. "Last year he didn't know what to expect from us and we were just trying to get to know him. We know who he is and what he's capable of. We know what he wants from us so everything is a lot smoother."

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Oubre added two inches to his vertical

Kelly Oubre, Jr. mentioned at media day on Monday how he added to his vertical this offseason. He revealed today that he added two inches. It was all through hard work, but extra impressive considering he began the offseason recovering from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment.

Beal comments on FBI case involving college coaches

A major sports news story broke just before the Wizards took the court on Tuesday, that four NCAA assistant coaches and others like an apparel company executive have been implicated in an investigation of bribery and other charges. Beal was a star player at the University of Florida before the Wizards drafted him third overall in 2012. He was asked about the allegations. They didn't involve his former school or anything, but he had an interesting take:

"I was always by-the-book, even in my recruiting process. I had coaches who wanted to offer me stuff or offer my family stuff, but that wasn't what I was about and that wasn't what my family was about. At the end of the day, I went to a program where Coach [Billy Donovan] didn't guarantee my anything. He didn't guarantee I was going to start or that I was going to play. That was something that I respected. Coming out of college, I was actually about to go back to college. I decided to come out on the last deadline day. For me, it wasn't like that. It's crazy what today's generation is like. Kids are taking stuff in high school, taking things in college and stuff like that. For me, my story wasn't like that."

Frazier is fitting in well

Tim Frazier is already one of the more vocal guys on the team, trash-talking both on the court and off of it. He was also hitting his three-point shot consistently in practice. Perhaps he has improved that part of his game from year to year.

Beal already thinks Frazier will help the Wizards' bench fix their reputation.

"You guys are going to be surprised. You killed our bench last year. You killed our bench," he said. "These guys are really working their tails off. They know the game and they play it the right way. That's what we need. Guys are going to defend, for sure, and get after it. They challenge us as starters... last year it was like one of us always had to be on the floor, but it won't be like that this year... last year was definitely tough on us and it weared on us down the line."

Morris still absent

Markieff Morris is not with the team yet following the sports hernia surgery he had on Friday.

[RELATED: OUBRE'S FASHION LINE, GORTAT'S NEW HAIR]

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After getting little rest during All-Star break, Bradley Beal aims to be smart in second half

After getting little rest during All-Star break, Bradley Beal aims to be smart in second half

If anyone on the Wizards deserves some time off to rest it's Bradley Beal, who currently ranks fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. While his teammates were off on vacation, many of them at relaxing beaches far away, Beal was making appearance after appearance in Los Angeles as part of All-Star weekend.

The one drawback of Beal being selected as an All-Star and a contestant in the three-point contest was that he got little rest in the past week. He only made it one round in the three-point contest and played 16 minutes in the All-Star Game, but all of it was enough to soak up much of the free time he's used to getting this time of the year.

"Not as much as I needed to," Beal said when asked if he got any rest over the break. "I guess that's one of the downfalls of being an All-Star."

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

The workload has really added up for Beal. He leads the Wizards in minutes (36.4/g) and is one of two players on the team who hasn't missed a game all season.

Beal did have Monday and Tuesday off, but that was after a crosscountry flight and a whirlwind of a weekend. He called the media and sponsorship appearances "overwhelming." Many All-Stars have been there before and know what to expect, but Beal was a first-time participant.

Beal and the Wizards will be given no breaks with their upcoming schedule. They have four back-to-back sets in the next three weeks and begin with a stretch of five games in seven days. Those games will feature the Cavs, Warriors, Bucks, Sixers and the Hornets. Charlotte is the only team of that bunch currently out of the playoff picture, but they have already beaten the Wizards twice this season.

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For Beal, it will be extra important to get any rest that he can.

"I will definitely be smart," he said. "I just gotta take care of my body. Listen to my body."

Beal says getting treatment from the Wizards' training staff in between games will be crucial. He also hopes to not over-exert himself in games by trusting his teammates and not trying to carry the load with John Wall out.

Though Beal may be tired from the weekend, he came out of it feeling pretty good about how he represented himself and the Wizards on the All-Star stage. He scored 14 points in 16 minutes in a game featuring the best players on the planet.

Beal now wants to make it an annual thing.

"I defintiely think it can push you more down the line. For me, it's just motivation to continue geting better," he said.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

 

 

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Scott Brooks preparing Wizards for much tougher road ahead

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Scott Brooks preparing Wizards for much tougher road ahead

The Wizards entered the All-Star break having won seven of their previous nine games since John Wall went down with an injury, so a natural question to head coach Scott Brooks looking ahead to their first game back on Thursday was how he and his team can keep that momentum going in the second half.

Brooks immediately pointed to the Wizards' schedule, which gets notably more difficult in the coming weeks. They have a stretch of games over the next month-plus that features the best teams in basketball and Brooks knows that will be a big factor in whether they can sustain what they have going.

"Definitely the schedule gets tougher," Brooks said. "We've got a lot of good teams coming up starting with the first one in Cleveland. It's five games in seven nights against really good teams."

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

In the next five weeks, the Wizards will play 15 of 17 games against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Cavaliers, Warriors, Celtics, Spurs (twice), Raptors and Timberwolves. 

That will represent a marked shift for the Wizards, who to this point have the weakest strength of schedule. Though they boast impressive wins over the Celtics, Rockets, Raptors and Timberwolves, they are about to play teams of that caliber more frequently with few nights off to rest. They have four back-to-back sets all in the next three weeks.

The upcoming stretch has been on the Wizards' minds for a while. Several players referenced their tough schedule before the All-Star break, knowing those wins leading up to the time off could prove extra important in hindsight.

The Wizards return to action on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, a team that has already beaten them twice. Both of those games were against the old version of the Cavs before they traded much of their roster at the deadline.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

Gone are Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder and Channing Frye. But they still have that guy LeBron James.

"Shoot, they looked good the other time, right? They beat us twice with the other group," Brooks noted. "LeBron is going to go down as one of the best ever. They are younger and more athletic. They're a good team and they still have an All-Star in [Kevin] Love who hasn't played because he's hurt."

The Cavs haven't lost in three games since the All-Star break and that includes road wins over the Celtics and Thunder. They look rejuvenated and, at least so far, improved from the aging, incongruent roster they had just weeks ago.

The Wizards have also been playing better lately, of course, and this upcoming stretch will be a major test for them. Wall has been out three weeks since he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He is likely to miss another three-to-five weeks. The Wizards will have to get through this without him.

If they can remain competitive and even beat some of these elite teams, they will only gain more confidence in their potential. That's the way Brooks plans to approach the schedule.

"We still want to be a better team when John comes back," Brooks said. "But the schedule definitely gets a lot tougher."

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