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Wizards guard Tim Frazier has confidence in Sheldon Mac after his own Achilles tear

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Wizards guard Tim Frazier has confidence in Sheldon Mac after his own Achilles tear

Many in the Wizards organization were saddened by the season-ending injury to Sheldon Mac on Sunday, knowing it's a major setback for a well-liked guy who is trying to carve a niche for himself in the NBA. For point guard Tim Frazier, it all hit very close to home.

Frazier and Mac are both from Houston, Tx. and because of that held an instant connection when Frazier was traded to Washington. They were in contact all offseason, even checking in on each other after Hurricane Harvey in August. 

Frazier can also relate to Mac now on a different level than most. He too tore his Achilles once, back in college when he was at Penn State. He has since made it back to find lasting power in the NBA, exactly what Mac would like for himself.

"He's tough," Frazier said. "He will be able to bounce back. I was. You hear stories all the time like Kobe [Bryant], Rudy Gay right now, guys tearing their Achilles and coming back. Sheldon is going to do the same. He is going to work his tail off to get back and help us as much as possible. It's very unfortunate."


Mac, 24, hurt himself making a move towards the basket in the first half of the Wizards' win over the Cavaliers. He pushed off on his left foot, only to tear the tendon and lose his balance while dribbling.

The rest of the Wizards team met him at halfcourt as he writhed in pain. Mac was then lifted off the ground by trainers and into the locker room. Frazier, having been in that spot before, had a feeling it was the Achilles.

"I knew after he talked to me and told me the symptoms at halftime," Frazier said. "Obviously, for me to see it, I knew it because it happened to me. You kind of shed a tear because he was playing so well and had worked so hard all summer. But everything happens for a reason and he'll bounce back strong."

Frazier missed his the majority of the 2012-13 season when in college. He tore his Achilles in the fourth game of his junior season. Frazier returned for his senior year after a medical redshirt season and put up numbers good enough to sign with the Boston Celtics as an undrafted free agent.

Frazier knows Mac can battle through this as well. The key, he says, will be remaining patient.

"That's the biggest piece, the mental piece. Your body can heal up well and the trainers will do their job in getting you back," he explained. "It's the mental piece in going through the surgery and the pain, learning how to walk all over again. Then, when you get back on the court, it's the mental aspect of getting over it. Doing the same things that you were able to do. He's athletic. He's got one of the best stepbacks I have seen in our camp. I went through the injury and it's healed now."

Mac is unlikely to return to the Wizards this season with a recovery timeline of six to eight months. In the meantine, the Wizards' final roster spot will come down to guards Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan. Like always, it's next man up.


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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 

The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall remains out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.


The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.

The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home-court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.


By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.


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