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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s season...

Player: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

Position: Small forward

Age: 21

2016-17 stats: 79 G, 20.3 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 0.6 apg, 3.3 rpg, 0.7 spg, 0.2 bpg, 42.1 FG%, 28.7 3P%, 75.8 FT%, 48.2 eFG%, 104 ORtg, 110 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Oubre's second NBA season was a productive one and a clear step forward for the former first round pick. He doubled his minutes under head coach Scott Brooks, carved a niche as a disruptor on defense and got some playoff experience along the way; some very memorable playoff experience, in fact. Oubre now enters his third season with the Wizards with an option on his contract for the fourth year that will be determined sometime over the next month.

This year represents a chance for Oubre to take another step and become an even more important cog in their second unit. Like most young players, the Wizards are looking for consistency from Oubre. They want him to let the game come to him and play within their system. Focus on defense and let the offense follow. 


On their revamped bench, Oubre remains the most athletic player and best wing defender. He also has a potentially important spot in the Wizards' small-ball lineups. Last season, Brooks found success with Oubre playing alongside Otto Porter with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Brooks liked how the four of them could switch from ball-handlers to wings. 

Defense is likely to be Oubre's calling card in the short-term, but he has a high ceiling on offense. He has been working extensively this offseason with trainer Drew Hanlen on dribbling and creating his own shot. Developing those skills should help him score more efficiently, as both his field-goal and three-point percentages dropped slightly last year as his volume of shot attempts increased. The more he can knock down threes, the more other teams will focus on him defensively and that can open up opportunities for other bench guys like Jodie Meeks.

Potential to improve: Three-point shooting, ball-handling, on-ball defense.


Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?



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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Sixers

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Sixers

Here are the five best moments from the Washington Wizards' 120-115 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena


1. John Wall posted up T.J. McConnell and finished with a thunderous left-handed slam in what was clearly the play of the game.

This may go down as one of the best dunks of the entire Wizards season:

2. Wall had some great dunks, but he played a solid game overall with 28 points and eight assists. Check out this block on Markelle Fultz, a fellow No. 1 overall pick who was making his NBA debut:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a strong game with 14 points and seven rebounds. He did a great job pitching in when Jason Smith left with an injury. His best play was this ridiculous putback dunk. Everything in the universe aligned perfectly for him to put one back and rock Capital One Arena in the process:

Oubre's postgame quote on the dunk was sensational:

"Man, I don't know. I just jumped in the air and the ball was in the rim. I blacked out, honestly, in that moment. I'm just happy it happened. It was all God. God took over my soul at that point."

4. Marcin Gortat had a monster night with 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Ten of his points came in the fourth quarter alone, including this powerful dunk assisted by Wall. Gortat broke out his signature celebration afterwards:

5. Wall could not be stopped in the second half. This was his second-best dunk of the night, but still a great highlight:

Afterwards, when Wall was asked about his collection of dunks, he replied: "it's Wolf Season, just keep watching."

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Marcin Gortat dedicates big game against Sixers to late former Polish teammate Adam W贸jcik

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Marcin Gortat dedicates big game against Sixers to late former Polish teammate Adam W贸jcik

Marcin Gortat is a legend in his home country of Poland and on Wednesday night he paid homage to one of his predecessors.

Adam W贸jcik, one of the most decorated Polish basketball players of all time, passed away in August after a battle with Leukemia. Months later, in the first game of the 2017-18 season, Gortat took the floor with W贸jcik's initials, the date of his death, a cross and 'RIP' inscribed on his shoes.

Gortat went out and delivered one of the best games of his career. He had 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks, just the third time in his 11 NBA seasons he has posted those numbers. His production was pivotal in the Wizards' 120-115 win over the Sixers in their season opener.

"I'm just glad I did that wearing the initials of the greatest players from Poland, Adam W贸jcik," Gortat said. "I'm glad in the first game, we came up with a win."


Ten of Gortat's points came in the fourth quarter, as he consistently fed off pick-and-roll mismatches. John Wall found him over and over, including for a big dunk that allowed Gortat to do his signature Polish Hammer celebration.

That Wall-to-Gortat combination is something head coach Scott Brooks wants to see more of.

"It鈥檚 simple for him. I鈥檝e been telling him for about a year and at the start of this season," Brooks said. "You run into your screen and you roll out, and you鈥檙e going to get open looks. We have some special players handling the ball. They鈥檙e going to have to guard with an extra man and if he rolls hard, he鈥檚 going be able to finish."

W贸jcik died at just 47 years old after a long and successful basketball career. He won eight Polish League championships and won MVP three times. Gortat and W贸jcik played together for the Polish national team and W贸jcik is someone Gortat looked up to for a long time.

"I dedicate this game to him," he said.