Wizards

Spurs beat winless Wizards 118-92

201211261910690398245-p2.jpeg

Spurs beat winless Wizards 118-92

WASHINGTON (AP) Boris Diaw scored 16 points, Tiago Splitter had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Tony Parker added 15 to help the San Antonio Spurs won their fourth straight over the still-winless Washington Wizards 118-92 on Monday night.

The Wizards are the 12th team in NBA history to start the season 0-12 according to STATS and are six away from equaling the New Jersey Nets' record 0-18 start in 2009-10. In their first 11 games, Washington lost by a total of just 72 points and never by more than 16.

The Spurs had seven players in double figures as they continued their successful road trip. Tim Duncan had 14, Gary Neal 13, Manu Ginobili 12 and Matt Bonner had 11. After winning the first four games of the six-game trip, they're now 8-1 on the road and 12-3 overall.

San Antonio took the lead with eight minutes to go in the first half and ended it on a 20-10 run for a 60-48 lead.

Playing their usual precise offensive game with pinpoint passes and lots of open shots, the Spurs steadily increased their advantage in the third quarter and led 92-70 after three.

San Antonio's largest lead was 29 in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards were led by Jordan Crawford's 19 and Kevin Seraphin with 18.

Washington played without Nene, who in just his second game after missing nine with a left foot injury, played 29 minutes in a double-overtime loss to Charlotte on Saturday. Coach Randy Wittman defended playing Nene nine more minutes than he planned, saying he wanted to play. ``Nene and I have to be on the same (page). I can't feel what he's feeling. When he states that he wants to continue, I trust him,'' Wittman said.

Immediately after Wittman said that Nene was ``a game-time decision,'' the coach walked over to Nene's locker to talk with him. Nene, who was clearly not dressing for the game, walked away without commenting.

NOTES: Duncan was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. In four games, he averaged 22 points and 12.8 rebounds. Coach Gregg Popovich promised to give the 36-year-old Duncan more rest. ``There'll be times this year when we'll sit him back-to-backs. Win or lose, he's not going to play the minutes he played (Sunday).'' Duncan played 41 minutes in the Spurs' double-overtime win over Toronto. According to STATS, this was the first time teams met following double-overtime games since the Clippers and Lakers did on March 25, 2011. ... Washington F Trevor Booker missed his third straight game with a strained right knee. ... Wizards G Shaun Livingston didn't play, but was in uniform. Before the game Wittman said he was ``banged up.'' ... Mark Lerner, part-owner of the Washington Nationals, joined Wizards owner Ted Leonsis at courtside. ... This was the 13th straight win over Washington for the Spurs.

Quick Links

Ted Leonsis maintains optimism amid harsh reality of John Wall injury

Ted Leonsis maintains optimism amid harsh reality of John Wall injury

CAPITAL ONE ARENA -- It might be quite a while before we see John Wall on the court playing for the Wizards again.

It was already well-known Wall will miss extended time as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon, a rehab that usually takes at least 11 months. But it is starting to sound more and more like he won't play in the 2019-20 season at all.

Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis shared that harsh reality on Monday during a press conference at Capital One Arena.

"Our highest-paid player, our five-time All-Star, may not play at all next year. He probably won't play at all next year," Leonsis said.

If Wall follows the general timeline for the surgery, he could come back sometime early in 2020. A 12-month recovery would have him return in early February.

If Wall missed all of next season, he would return to start the 2020-21 campaign after a 20-month recovery. That would be nearly double the rehab time many players have taken for the same injury over the years. He would be 30 years old by then.

But Wall and the Wizards have reason to be extra patient. He is entering the first season of a four-year, $170 million supermax contract. Punting the first year, even if he is making $38 million, could be worth it in the long run if it means he returns to his All-Star form.

The Wizards are also likely to have a gap year of sorts anyways. They retooled their roster with young, inexperienced players. The odds they make the playoffs this season are lower than they have been in years. The Wizards are taking the long view and they know getting Wall's rehab right is paramount.

Leonsis and team officials currently get daily reports on Wall's progress. After making the supermax investment, they are taking extra measures to ensure he is holding up his end of the bargain. The Wizards closely monitor his weight and have a rotation of physical therapists working with him every day.

If it were up to Wall, he would be more likely to return next season. The team is the side taking extra caution.

"Trust me, nobody wants to get back to the court more than John Wall," GM Tommy Sheppard told NBC Sports Washington. 

"But I've tried to manage this with him and say there is no calendar or clock that is going to tell you to come back. You're going to come back when you're 100 percent healthy. Anybody who has watched him in the playoffs play with broken hands and all of the aches and pains he's had over the years and he still showed up and played at a high, high level. You know you need to monitor him a little more than most. That's the kind of player that is going to try to sneak back on the court any time he can."

What Leonsis said publicly has been the belief behind the scenes in the Wizards organization for quite some time. They are preparing for next season as if he won't play, 

"We have to see if John Wall comes back and how he looks and how he plays," Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington. "If John Wall can come back at 80 percent the year after [in 2020-21], I would be really happy because then we would have a great, great backcourt."

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season. In episode 1 titled "The Future Starts Now" the Redskins begin their journey toward improvement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.

The episode begins immediately following the disappointing end to Washington's season as players participated in locker cleanout day. A somewhat somber atmosphere, the likes of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams reflect on the season and look ahead to 2019.

Following that, it's on to the additions and changes on the coaching staff. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on new defensive staff hirings Ray Horton and Rob Ryan as well as Kevin O'Connell's jump to offensive coordinator. Ryan and O'Connell also explain their excitement for next season in their respective roles.

With the coaching staff puzzle becoming clear, the episode transitions to the NFL Combine. Gruden along with Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, President Bruce Allen and Director of College Scouting Kyle Smith take you through the Combine process. Discussions about the interview process and what the Redskins are looking for in players give insight into how evaluations are done. 

The Combine portion has a heavy focus on players Kyler Murray, D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat among others. Released on March 20, one can see and hear from Sweat before the idea of him becoming a Redskin came to fruition and listen to Metcalf's thoughts on Jay Gruden.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Englehart also makes an appearance, discussing his viral moment with Ed Oliver at the combine and the fraternity-type bond conditioning coaches in the NFL share.

Washington's journey toward success in 2019 began the moment the clock ran out on the 2018 season. Episode 1 of "Redskins365" picks up right in that preliminary stage.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: