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Ian Mahinmi offers some heartfelt advice for Daniel Ochefu after getting cut by the Wizards

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Ian Mahinmi offers some heartfelt advice for Daniel Ochefu after getting cut by the Wizards

Due to added depth to the Wizards' roster this preseason, center Daniel Ochefu became the first casualty as Washington continues to narrow down its roster ahead of opening night against the Sixers next week. Ochefu was waived by the team on Monday, allowing the Wizards to shift their focus to the final spot, which is expected to go to one of two veteran guards between Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan.

Ochefu, 23, now finds himself at a crossroads. After going undrafted last summer out of Villanova, Ochefu caught on with the Wizards and signed as a free agent. He spent the entire season at the NBA level, in part because of Ian Mahinmi missing most of the year due to injury. Now Mahinmi is healthy and there just isn't much room behind him.

Ochefu's locker was right next to Mahinmi's at Capital One Arena and the two had grown close over the past calendar year. Mahinmi offered some heartfelt advice to Ochefu when asked about the move on the Wizards Tipoff podcast this week:

"D.O. is a great guy. I treat him as a little brother. I took him out a lot of times. He's one of the guys I kept in touch with [in the summer]. Obviously, when I heard the news I texted him right away. This is the nature of our league. This is the nature of our business. Decisions like that have to be made. I told him to not take anything personally. Don't get into that negative mindset of 'I did everything I could for this team, I can't believe it.' It's not like that. Obviously, it's a tough decision for the Wizards and it's a tough time for D.O. But I told him don't get into that," Mahinmi said.

"Now it's all about how you're going to bounce back. You have to keep a positive mindset and more importantly, you've gotta get better. Whatever you did is good, but not good enough, so you've gotta work more. You've gotta find different things to do to get yourself better and get yourself ready for that next opportunity. So, I told him that 'it's going to be you.' Throughout careers, we are all going to have stuff like that and times like that. It's how you bounce back."


Mahinmi's career began as a first round pick and he's now a nine-year NBA veteran. But he has had tough times along the way, including when he was Ochefu's age of 23. 

He has shared his story with Ochefu in hopes it can help.

"I was with the Spurs for three years and at some point they have to pick up my fourth year option. They didn't pick it up. I felt like I had done everything I was supposed to. I played well in the minutes that [Gregg Popovich] gave me. I was on a veteran team. I was like 'man, what could I have done better?' They sent me to the D-League and I did everything I could. I played very well in the D-League. I took the team to the championship game. I was like 'man, it's still not enough. What do you guys want me to do?' This was kind of a tough blow, but just like D.O., I had to look at myself. It was like 'alright, man, you weren't good enough and you have to do better.' I did that and I got a chance with the Mavericks and I bounced back. I never looked back after that," Mahinmi said.

Mahinmi also talked about himself on the podcast. He discussed the early returns of his offseason training program in which he lost 10 pounds and revamped his diet. Listen to the full 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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Wizards have letdown on defense, fall to Hornets in overtime

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Wizards have letdown on defense, fall to Hornets in overtime

The Washington Wizards lost the Charlotte Hornets 129-124 in overtime on Wednesday night at the Spectrum Center. Here's analysis of what went down...

Frustrating loss: The Wizards will not head into the Thanksgiving holiday a happy bunch. After an impressive road win at the Milwaukee Bucks, they let a winnable game slip away against the Hornets. They were up nine points with 3:32 left in the fourth, yet allowed the Hornets to force overtime and then dominate the extra period.

Defense was the problem for Washington. After holding opponents to 95 points or less in six of their last seven games, the Wizards gave up 129 points to an average offensive team. Yes, 15 of those points came in overtime, but the Wizards won't be happy with their defense after this one. They will probably regret the 53 bench points they gave up more than anything.

Beal, Wall heated up late: Neither John Wall or Bradley Beal had a rhythm in the first half, but both woke up later on for the Wizards. Wall had eight points in the first half, but on 3-for-11 shooting. Beal had seven points, but also on 3-for-11 from the field.

Stars can only be held in check for so long and Wall and Beal broke ultimately broke through. Wall had 11 points in the third quarter and Beal had seven. 

For a while it looked like Wall and Beal had taken the game over, but the Wizards couldn't take advantage despite Wall ending up with 31 points and 11 assists and Beal having 22 points, four rebounds and two steals.

Beal's night was highlighted by a series of dunks in the first half, including this one with two hands:


Howard was a beast: The Wizards did a good job limiting Dwight Howard this past spring when they faced the Hawks in the playoffs, but they had no such luck on Wednesday in their first meeting with Howard's Hornets. Howard was dominant down low with 26 points and 13 rebounds. The Hornets did a good job feeding him in the post and when he has position there are little options beyond sending him to the free throw line. 

Marcin Gortat (eight points, 11 rebounds) is a good match for Howard on most nights. They know each other well as former teammates with the Orlando Magic. Gortat had a fine game, but Howard was at his best on Wednesday. He was coming off of a 25-point, 20-rebound performance and he kept it going against the Wizards.

Howard also blocked Beal's buzzer-beater at the end of regulation. Beal got the ball with two seconds left and tried driving to his left down the baseline. Howard read the move and swatted the ball out of bounds. Howard then had a big bucket with less than a minute to go. He had a putback on an airballed three that was a backbreaker for the Wizards, who needed a stop.

Meeks and Scott were a plus: The Wizards got a nice boost from their bench from Jodie Meeks (nine points) and Mike Scott (13 points), two guys who have proven this season to be instant offense when they're at their best. Scott came in and hit a three with a pair of midrange jumpers in the first half. Meeks was getting it down in the paint with floaters and layups on nice cuts to the basket. 

Scott hit three threes and is now shooting 44.8 percent for the season. It's only on 29 attempts, but that's not bad at all.

Lamb was a problem: The Wizards had a lot of trouble with Hornets reserve Jeremy Lamb, who has been Charlotte's most improved player so far this season. He was a force off the bench with 24 points in 37 minutes. Lamb has always had a lot of potential as a freak athlete with a sweet jumper. He may be starting to truly put it all together.

The Wizards even tried Kelly Oubre, Jr., one of their best defenders, on him. But Lamb kept getting buckets and added seven rebounds and five assists. 

Up next: The Wizards are off for Thanksgiving and Friday. They pick back up on Saturday with the Portland Trail Blazers in town. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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Markieff Morris stands up for rapper Meek Mill, was happy to see support in Philly

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Markieff Morris stands up for rapper Meek Mill, was happy to see support in Philly

Rap star Meek Mill going back to prison has affected many of his fans, Markieff Morris among them. The Washington Wizards forward is from Philadelphia, like Meek Mill, and loves his music.

Morris posted information for a rally to support Meek Mill earlier this month on his Instagram. Hundreds of fans showed up, including Sixers legend Julius Erving, Eagles players and Rick Ross.

The whole tri-state pull up and support!!

A post shared by KeefMorris5.0 (@keefmorris5.0) on


Morris joined the Wizards Tipoff podcast this week to discuss a series of topics, including Meek Mill. Morris is upset about the situation, but was happy to see the support.

"The city was big. We needed that, man," he said. "For them people to come out, it was a great thing for us, man, to see the support that the city is really behind him 100 percent."

Morris defended Meek Mill's character and pointed to his charitable efforts.

"Meek does a lot of stuff that goes unseen in Philly. He's kind of like us when it comes to showing support for the city and doing stuff while not looking for cameras to be broadcast it that he's doing something nice. He just does it because he's a good person," Morris said.

Meek Mill is going back to prison for violating his probation numerous times over the past several years. He was sentenced to two to four years.

Morris also talked about his relationship with John Wall and Bradley Beal, why he loves playing with Mike Scott, why the Wizards are a tough team and many other subjects.

Listen to the full interview 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!