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Dave Johnson: Wizards 10th Straight Loss Is Dramatic

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Dave Johnson: Wizards 10th Straight Loss Is Dramatic

Saturday, March 20, 2010 12:48am

Wizards vs. Trail Blazers Game Highlights & PostgameBy Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comPortland----With both teams shooting below 40 percent it didnt figure to be a thriller. In the end it was. Brandon Roy hit a 22-foot jumper from the wing with 0.9 seconds left to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 76-74 victory and extend the Washington Wizards losing streak to ten games.The losing streak, the Wizards longest since 1995, does not reflect the teams effort. The Wizards struggled against the Trail Blazers defensive pressure on the perimeter and could not find any flow on offense, but stayed competitive with defensive pressure of their own.The Blazers, who were led in scoring by LaMarcus Aldridge with 19 points and 12 rebounds, only shot 32 percent from the field. The Wizards shooting percentage wasnt much better but with a late surge finished 39 percent from the field with Mike Miller leading the way with 16 points.We didnt make shots but out defense was pretty solid for most of the game, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. We went to a 2-3 zone with about six minutes to go and that helped change the tempo. We just could not secure some rebounds late and Roy made a helluva shot.It appeared as if Roy could have been called for traveling on the winning shot as he weaved around the Wizards Alonzo Gee to get an open look from just inside the arc. It was Gee, just signed to a second ten-day contract by the Wizards, who helped limit Roy.Before the game-winner Roy had missed 14 consecutive shots after making his first three attempts of the game. Roy ended up scoring 14 points and spoiled a spirited Wizards come back from a ten-point fourth quarter deficit.The Wizards held Portland to just 13 points in the third quarter, but were in trouble when the Blazers opened the fourth quarter with an 11-5 run to a build a 66-56 lead with 6:34 remaining in the game. Thats when the Wizards switched to a zone defense and started to crawl back.The crawl turned into a full-blown charge when the Wizards pulled to within two-points in dramatic fashion with less than three minutes to go. The Blazers Nicolas Batum missed a three point attempt that ricocheted high off the rum and forced James Singleton to tip the rebound to Andray Blatche.Blatche not only secured the rebound in traffic near the foul line, but he had the vision to find a sprinting Al Thornton , who despite a hard foul by a chasing Batum, was able to throw-down a slam dunk with two hands. Thornton landed hard on the floor but was able to make the free-throw and bring the Wizards to within two points at 69-67.Thats when Randy Foye took over for the Wizards and gave the Wizards their first lead since the first quarter. Foye was able to work off a Singleton screen and hit a three pointer to put the Wizards up 70-69 with 2:11 left in the game.He got aggressive Saunders said of Foye who scored 10 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. He started going north-south with the ball instead of east-west. He got them back on their heels and s made big shots and put us in good situation.Indeed thanks to a seven point splurge by a Foye in a little over a minute; the Wizards enjoyed a 74-72 lead with 1:01 to go. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Al Thornton fouled out battling Aldridge for a rebound. Aldridge then made two free throws to tie the game at 74.With 33 seconds left the Wizards had a wonderful opportunity. They were able to get the ball to Blatche on the block and he made a strong move on the baseline to the basket, but missed the layup.On Blatches drive to the basket there was a strong challenge by Aldridge, and there appeared to be contact, but no foul was called and the Blazers got the rebound and the ball with 18 seconds left.It was an off night for Blatche who was 6 o 19 from the field. Part of that was double-teams by Aldridge and Marcus Camby, but it also must be noted that Blatche was playing despite a sprained left ankle suffered Tuesday in Denver.He (Blatche) could not move nearly as well as he usually does, Saunders observed. We got him a great look late and usually I think he would have scored but just could not get the shot up quick enough.It was an amazing game. At half-time the Blazers led 43-30. The Wizards 30 points were a low for a first-half this season. Still it took a Brandon Roy last second shot to beat the Wizards on a night when their best scoring option was hampered by a bad ankle.

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2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday night as the newest wave of potential superstars like DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Mo Bamba and Luka Doncic enter the league. Here is everything you need to know for the big night...

2018 NBA DRAFT

When: 7 p.m.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: ESPN
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: ESPN

Wizards draft picks: 15th overall in the first round, 44th overall in the second round

First round order:

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
9. New York Knicks
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Los Angeles Clippers
13. Los Angeles Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets
15. Washington Wizards
16. Phoenix Suns
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Atlanta Hawks
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Utah Jazz
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Indiana Pacers
24.Portland Trail Blazers
25. Los Angeles Lakers
26. Philadelphia 76ers
27. Boston Celtics
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Brooklyn Nets
30. Atlanta Hawks

Top prospects:

1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
2. Marvin Bagley III, Duke
3. Luka Doncic, Slovenia
4. Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State
5. Mo Bamba, Texas
6. Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri
7. Wendell Carter, Duke
8. Trae Young, Oklahoma
9. Collin Sexton, Alabama
10. Kevin Knox, Kentucky

Three things to watch...

Will Leonard get traded?

Last year's draft featured some big trades including Jimmy Butler going to the Timberwolves. This year, there seems to be at least a decent chance it happens with Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs. He wants a trade and they have been meeting with him in recent days, perhaps for a last-ditch pitch to remain with the team. If he gets dealt on draft night, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.

Who will the Kings pick?

A consensus has built for Ayton to go No. 1 to the Suns. After that, it's a major crapshoot and whomever the Kings select will produce a domino effect from there on down. Will they take Bagley, the safe pick, or go a riskier route with Doncic or maybe even Porter, Jr.? The best bet at this point appears to be Bagley, but nobody truly knows.

Where will Young and Porter, Jr. go?

The two most interesting prospects in this draft are Young and Porter, Jr. Young was a sensation in college basketball, but is undersized and appears to be boom-or-bust. He could flame out quickly at the next level or be some iteration of the next Stephen Curry. Porter, Jr. played only three games in college due to a back injury and now has hip issues as well. His talent is undeniable, but his injury history represents significant risk.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our preview special episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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John Carlson once again an All-Star snub

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USA TODAY Sports

John Carlson once again an All-Star snub

The Capitals' Stanley Cup run may be even more remarkable than we thought considering there were zero all-stars on Washington's roster apparently.

As part of Wednesday's NHL Awards, the First and Second-Team All-Star rosters were released and not a single Capital made either team.

Here is a look at both teams:

In the interest of full disclosure, the All-Star Teams are voted on by members of the Pro Hockey Writers Association of which I am a member. I did not, however, have a vote for the All-Star rosters.

The first thought most Caps fans will have when looking at these teams is what about Alex Ovechkin?

I'm actually OK with Taylor Hall and Claude Giroux getting the nods at left wing.

Hall won the Hart Trophy for what he was able to accomplish in New Jersey in leading a team that looked like a trash heap before the season to a playoff berth. Compare the Devils' roster to the Caps' and there's no question Hall had a lot less to work with than Ovechkin and tallied 93 points as compared to Ovechkin's 87. Giroux finished second in the NHL with 102 points, one of only three players this season to finish in the triple digits. He very narrowly beat out Ovechkin for Second Team honors.

It was a coin flip and Ovechkin lost. That's not what Caps fans should be crying foul over. The fact that John Carlson was not among the four defensive all-stars is a far more egregious omission for which there is no excuse.

After inexplicably being excluded from the NHL All-Star Game in January, Carlson was snubbed once again as he came in fifth in the voting.

Just what does Carlson have to do to get some recognition?

No defenseman in the entire NHL had more points than Carlson's 68 this season. That's not just because of increased minutes as Carlson finished 13th among defensemen in ice time per game.

But being a good defenseman is not about the offensive stats.

That's right. Now go ahead and show me which of the four who finished ahead of Carlson was partnered with a rookie for most of the season. I'll wait.

The answer is none of them.

It's very easy now to look at the Capitals as a team that had all the pieces in place and managed to put it all together at the right time to go on a Cup run, but that's not what happened this season. Carlson was very heavily relied upon by the Capitals during the regular season when the blue line was an obvious weakness, especially after an injury forced Matt Niskanen out of the lineup for 14 games. Carlson was averaging nearly 30 minutes per game in Niskanen's absence. Carlson also spent the majority of the season with his primary partner being a rookie in Christian Djoos.

Charlie McAvoy was a rookie too. Does that mean Zdeno Chara should have been named an all-star?

A player like McAvoy is very much the exception, not the rule. Djoos has a bright future ahead of him, but his career is not yet at the same level as a player like McAvoy.

With all due respect to the voters, it seems like not enough attention was paid to what the Capitals asked of Carlson this season. His strong play on both ends of the ice made up for a weak defense that was only bolstered by a late trade for Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks just prior to the trade deadline.

If you looked at Carlson's stats and saw just an offensive specialist who was not strong enough in his own end to warrant an all-star spot, then you were not paying close enough attention to the role he played in Washington this season.

MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE: