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After film session with coach Scott Brooks, Markieff Morris responds with big game vs. Pistons

Associated Press

After film session with coach Scott Brooks, Markieff Morris responds with big game vs. Pistons

Following a three-game stretch where he accrued just 18 total points, Wizards power forward Markieff Morris was summoned by head coach Scott Brooks on Friday morning for a one-on-one film session ahead of their matchup with the Detroit Pistons. 

Brooks had reviewed the tape on the Wizards' off-day on Thursday and had a few things he wanted to point out. Morris, in Brooks' opinion, was not his usual self, not the guy he had seen at times over the past few weeks and certainly not the player he had coached last season.

"He was showing me clips of last year and how I played last year," Morris said. "Basically, I was just playing three-point line to three-point line... he told me my activity was low and I stand around the three-point line too much."

Instead of bullying opponents with his aggression in the pain, Morris was tentative and instead relying on outside jumpers.

Those shots weren't falling and, with John Wall already out, his lack of offensive production was magnified. 

Brooks needed a change from Morris and against the Pistons he got it.

Morris hit his first three shots and had seven points in his first eight minutes. He finished with a season-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. 


Morris also helped contain Pistons' leading scorer Tobias Harris to 15 points and two rebounds, below his season averages. It was Morris' best game of the season by a good margin and it came at a good time for a Wizards team which had lost five of their last seven entering the matchup.

"I felt good. It was about time I had a good game, man," Morris said after the 109-91 win. So, that film session did the trick, right?

Another feather in the cap of Coach Brooks?

"No, not at all," Brooks joked when asked if he was the reason. 


"He came out with the force that I saw many times last year. By playing hard, it gives you a chance to play well. I thought he did that tonight. He's coming back from his surgery. I think that's behind him. He knows that with John out, we're down a man and he doesn't have to take over the scoring, but participate and get involved in more of the scoring."

The surgery may be behind Morris, but he's not fully back to form. Morris is still dealing with discomfort in his left ankle stemming from the Wizards' playoff series against the Celtics in May. He hasn't fully regained his explosiveness, but he's getting there.

"Hell no," Morris said when asked if he's 100 percent. "[I'm at] 85 or 90. It takes some time. I came back three weeks before I was supposed to."


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John Wall and J.J. Barea continue Wizards-Mavs beef with postgame war of words

John Wall and J.J. Barea continue Wizards-Mavs beef with postgame war of words

Add the Dallas Mavericks to the list of teams the Wizards just plain do not like.

The Wizards have had beef with a host of their opponents over the past several seasons between the Celtics, Warriors, Suns, Magic and many others. Now the Mavericks can be included and one could argue they were the instigators.

On Monday night in Dallas, the Wizards and Mavs got into it several times. First, Bradley Beal and rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. got tied up at midcourt and Beal gave Smith an earful afterwards. Smith grabbed Beal's arm and the Wizards shooting guard did not like it.

Beal's displeasure was understandable, as this could have caused a shoulder injury:


Soon after that, Mavericks center Salah Mejri was ejected and as he left the court, Kelly Oubre, Jr. waved him off. Mejri didn't like that too much:

Those incidents were all precursors to this, a dustup between John Wall and J.J. Barea. First, they had words for each other on the court and it resulted in a technical for Barea, one of five total handed out during the game:


After the game, they kept talking. Wall poked fun at Barea's height by saying this:

"It was cool. It was funny. It was just a little midget trying to get mad. So, I paid him no mind."

Barea then fired back with this to Dallas reporters:

"Now I have somebody in the NBA that I don't like. But I don't think his teammates like him either."

That's some decent trash-talking. But because they won in a blowout, the Mavs had the last laugh. 


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Wizards suffer another ugly loss to the Mavericks in game Otto Porter left with an injury

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards suffer another ugly loss to the Mavericks in game Otto Porter left with an injury

The Washington Wizards lost to the Dallas Mavericks 98-75 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

It happened again: No one who has been following the Wizards throughout the 2017-18 season will be surprised by this. Once again, the Wizards faced a team with a far worse record, yet they not only lost, they got thorougly dominated.

And for the second time this season, it was the Mavs who pulled off the upset. Dallas beat them in Washington all the way back on Nov. 7, before we know these troubles against bad teams would define the Wizards' season to this point.

Offense was a major problem for the Wizards. They scored just 15 points in the second quarter and shot 35.6 percent in the first half. They only scored 17 in the third quarter and finished with just 75 for the game on 30.6 percent from the field. 

The Wizards also continue to have trouble in revenge games. Despite having a chance to punch back, they have now lost twice to the Mavs, Nets, Hornets and Jazz.

This one was just plain ugly and the result was the Wizards' 11th loss to a sub-.500 team. That's tied for the most in the NBA. They know it's a big problem, but they just can't seem to figure out why.

The Wizards have now lost five of their last eight games. With just over two weeks left until the trade deadline, one has to wonder what the Wizards' front office will do to shake things up. At some point they have to do something. It's not early anymore.


Porter injured: The Wizards didn't just lose, they saw one of their best players go down with an injury. Otto Porter was the player and once again it was his right hip, a recurring injury that has sidelined him periodically throughout his NBA career, including at various times this season.

Porter left for the locker room in the third quarter and never returned. The Wizards have two off-days coming up which should work in his favor, but clearly this is a concern as Porter can't shake the injury.

Wall played: Wall had another bout with migraine headaches and missed the team's shootaround. He was considered a gametime decision, but was able to give it a go. Early on, he didn't look affected by the headaches at all.

Wall came out hot by hitting his first shot and have five points and two assists in his first five minutes. By halftime, he had 11 points, four assists, two blocks but also four turnovers. But Wall didn't score in the second half and only added one assist.


Bit of chippiness: The Wizards and Mavs got into it a few times in this one, providing some entertainment in what was otherwise a dumpster fire of a game. In the third quarter we saw Bradley Beal and Dennis Smith, Jr. have words for each other:

Then we saw Salah Mejri get ejected and Kelly Oubre, Jr. wave goodbye to him:

And in the fourth Wall and Mavs point guard J.J. Barea did some jawing. The Wizards and Mavs do not appear to like each other, but Dallas continues to have the last laugh. They have swept the Wizards in seven of the last eight years.

Up next: The Wizards are off both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is not necessarily a good thing. They will have to stew on this loss for longer than usual. Their next game is Thursday night at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on TNT, but you can catch pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington. It all starts with Wizards HangTime at 7 p.m.