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Frustration mounts for struggling Raiders

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Frustration mounts for struggling Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Coach Dennis Allen agrees with Oakland owner Mark Davis' assessment that the Raiders have regressed in recent weeks and he is going to do what it takes to turn the team around.

The Raiders (3-7) have lost three straight games following Sunday's 38-17 home loss to New Orleans that led to booing and early departures by the frustrated fans. Davis met in the locker room after the game with Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie and said he was embarrassed by the team's play and apologized to the fans.

``I'm right there with him,'' Allen said Monday. ``I'm frustrated. I'm disappointed. You know, you wake up this morning and your gut hurts. But, at the same time, when a man gets knocked down a man gets up and fights. And that's exactly what we intend to do. I understand his frustration; I can appreciate that. And let me tell you, there's nobody that's going to work any harder to get it corrected than I will.''

After a promising October post-bye stretch that included a last-second loss at previously unbeaten Atlanta and back-to-back wins over Jacksonville and Kansas City, the Raiders have fallen apart in November.

Oakland has allowed 135 points the past three games in losses to Tampa Bay, Baltimore and New Orleans and been outscored by 66 points in that span.

``When you lose, it hurts,'' Allen said. ``Rips your gut out. But a win turns everything around. A win makes everybody feel a lot better. And that's what we need to do. We need to come together as a football team and we need to all make a decision that we're going to do whatever it takes to win football games. And that's what we've got to do.''

That hasn't happened in this recent stretch.

Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions in that span and the offense has struggled to finish off drives in the red zone. The injury-depleted defense has struggled against both the run and pass, allowing the most points in a three-game span for the franchise since 1961.

Allen and the players believe there is enough talent to win in Oakland despite injuries and a lack of depth on the roster and that the problems have been mostly about poor execution.

``You look across the board, it isn't the most talented teams that win in this league, it's the teams that consistently do everything right over and over and over again,'' defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. ``I think we've been inconsistent at times, offense, defense and special teams. So any time that happens, the record speaks for itself. It's been inconsistent play, from everybody, it isn't just one guy, it's everybody.''

This week's game has added significance since it's Palmer's first game against the Bengals since forcing a trade out of Cincinnati last year. Palmer threatened to retire rather than keep playing for the Bengals and was eventually traded midway through the 2011 season to Oakland.

``It's a big game,'' Palmer said. ``But it's obviously a much bigger game for our team. We have to get a win. We're going to fight, we're going to grind this week. We have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of areas we need to improve on.''

Palmer has had an up-and-down tenure in Oakland. He came off his couch midway through last season after starter Jason Campbell broke his collarbone and led the Raiders within one win of the playoffs.

Palmer has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of the three recent losses and is on pace for a Raiders-record 4,856 yards passing this season.

He is third in the NFL in yards passing but has also thrown 11 interceptions, including two that have been returned for touchdowns.

``I think consistency has been our biggest Achilles' heel,'' he said. ``We've put together great plays or a great quarter or a great half on every side of the ball. But consistently doing it. The teams that win consistently in this league play consistently well four quarters of the game. That's something we haven't done. That's something we need to continue to work on.''

NOTES: The 135 points allowed by Oakland the last three games are the fourth most since the merger and most for any team since 2008. ... Allen said he's hopeful that RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson (sprained right ankles), Seymour (hamstring) and safety Tyvon Branch (neck) are healthy enough to return to practice this week.

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Wizards' John Wall reveals he's about to start jogging in rehab from Achilles injury

Wizards' John Wall reveals he's about to start jogging in rehab from Achilles injury

A couple of weeks ago, John Wall was spotted at a Washington Mystics game with no brace to support his Achilles injury, a sign that his rehab from the injury was moving in the right direction. 

On Monday night at the 2019 NBA Awards, the Wizards point guard gave affirmation that he is indeed continuing to get healthier and stronger.

"I feel great, man," Wall told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller on the red carpet. "I'm doing a great job with my body, taking care of that."

Specifically, Wall has been able to slowly increase what he can do on his legs. The recovery and rehab for an injury as severe as his is a long road, and the point guard is making sure not to speed up the process and risk hindering the progress. However, he's about to reach a pretty big milestone in the journey during the coming weeks.

"I'm about to start jogging in like two weeks. Just riding the bike, I get to do exercises standing up now, so I don't have to sit down. I'm able to move, do ladder steps, doing those types of things," Wall said. "Just taking my time and progressing and letting everything heal the right way so I don't force myself back and get another injury."

As Wall continues to work to get back on the court, he's had plenty of motivational factors pushing him through some grueling months. His recent string of injuries have left some wondering if he'll still be an elite player when he finally.

He's heard those comments and he's using them to his advantage.

"I'm one of those guys that's very driven by all the hate and all the negative talk I'm getting. Keep it going," Wall said.

"Everybody said I can't be myself, I won't be nowhere near as good again. That's all the other stuff that's going to fuel me. I don't get upset about it, you're entitled to your own opinion. Please keep it going."

The haters have given Wall some extra juice, but so has his son Ace. Spending the offseason getting right has allowed Wall to work in another area of life: fatherhood.

The newest addition to his family has taken his desire for greatness to new heights.

"I've always had that drive that I want to be the greatest. To have a son like that, that's watching everything I can do. Even though he doesn't understand what's going on, he's putting memories in his head," Wall said. 

"So that gives me extra, extra motivation to another level I never thought I could. Like I said before, that's the best blessing a man could ever ask for is to have a son."

While Wall's offseason has been a busy one as he juggles rehab and being a dad, he's still been very involved in everything going on inside the franchise.

He's already chatted with first-round draft pick Rui Hachimura, and is excited for what is to come for the Wizards. Wall is also hoping that Hachimura will help improve his Japanese so that he can grow a larger following internationally. 

As the calendar slowly turns to July, both Wall and the Wizards' offseasons will ramp up. It's been an up and down time for both lately, but he's excited about the future.

"I think it's good," Wall said about the Wizards situation. "We added some pieces. See what we do in free agency to add some guys to bring back or we're going to go after somebody new. I think we'll be fine."

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Bradley Beal wins the 2019 NBA Cares Community Assist Award three years after John Wall

Bradley Beal wins the 2019 NBA Cares Community Assist Award three years after John Wall

While he was putting together the best season of his career, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal was also making a profound impact off the court and those efforts have earned him a significant honor, the NBA's 2018-19 Community Assist Award.

The news was revealed at Monday's NBA Awards in Santa Monica, CA as Beal got the nod over nine other finalists. He is the second Wizards player to win the honor in just the last four years following John Wall in 2015-16.

Beal was involved in a variety of charitable efforts this past season. He has partnered with the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast Washington to help underprivileged youth. He visited the school in December and gave out shoes.

During the All-Star break in February, as he made his second appearance in the annual showcase, Beal handed out meals at a food bank alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This past year he also gave out Christmas presents in the Washington area and took a group of kids on a tour of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Beal was named a finalist for the Community Assist Award in April along with Jarrett Allen (Nets), Mike Conley (Jazz), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Dwight Powell (Mavs) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors). Part of the criteria was based on fan voting through social media that was held from April 24 through May 25.

Beal, 25, continues to ascend on the court as well. This year he posted career-highs in points (25.6/g), assists (5.5/g) and rebounds (5.0/g). He nearly made All-NBA in late May with the most votes of any guard that was left out.

In Beal and Wall, the Wizards have quite the combination. Both have been All-Stars on the court and now both can say they won the NBA's top honor for charity work as well.

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