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Animosity between Wall, Crowder requires police to keep peace

Animosity between Wall, Crowder requires police to keep peace

BOSTON -- The security on the court didn't appear to be in hurry to calm tensions that bubbled over after everyone left. And before Wizards coach Scott Brooks said a word, he took excpetion to three Boston police officers stationed in front of his locker room rather than that of the Celtics.

They quickly moved.

It all started because of a spat between Jae Crowder and John Wall. Isaiah Thomas had just lit up the Wizards for 38 points, with 20 coming in the fourth of a 117-108 win for Boston. 

"I was just standing there," said Wall, who was smiling until Crowder confronted him, poked him in the face with his index finger and was slapped in return. "I just said what's up to I.T. and then I was walking back towards my locker room."

Marcus Smart, Kelly Oubre, Markieff Morris, Wall's personal bodyguard, a Wizards team security official and Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe among others got in the middle while no one from the arena security intervened. Moments later, in the narrow corridor in which the home and visting teams are in close proximity, all hell almost broke loose again.

Thomas was oblivious to what was going on as he walked down the opposite end of the hallway in a jubilant mood as the Celtics drew even in the season series 1-1. 

"They can't (expletive) with a real killer," he shouted, figuratively speaking in the sporting sense. 

No other blows appeared to be thrown. 

Celtics players wouldn't talk about it after being instructed by coach Brad Stevens to stay tight-lipped. The Wizards, however, had no problem addressing what took place. They had an issue with Crowder a season ago when he clashed on the sideline with then-coach Randy Wittman.

Otto Porter was one of the first players to rush back to the locker room and didn't see the spat between Wall and Crowder, but he gladly dished about his feelings on the Celtics. 

"We've had some past history the last couple of years with those guys," said Porter, who didn't appear to be on the court during the exchange. "They're a physical team. They try to play dirty. They try to take you out your game. Their whole team. That's just how they try to play."

Bradley Beal, who had his nose broken and a concussion after a blow to the head from Smart last season, received a technical foul after becoming entangled with him in this game, too. When the Wizards blew them out by 30 in the first meeting at Verizon Center, a frustrated Wall was ejected for a Flagrant 2 on Smart. 

"It s always chippy with them. It's a phsyical team. Neither one of us likes to be punked," said Beal, who had a team-high 35 points for Washington. "It's just a physical game. That's all it was. It's not my first time behing tangled up with Marcus. He's a tough competitor. I don't think it was a dirty game. There were no crazy fouls or anything like that away from the ball. It was clean. Just a lot of smack talking, trash-talking." 

The usually low-key Morris didn't want any part of it. 

"A lot of woofing going on, for real," he said. "Guys exchanging words. I (don't) about the talk so I don't get around that kind of stuff... As the game went on I felt it was escalating. I didn't know it would be like that towards the end. It just adds fuel to the fire for the next time we play them. We got to keep it between the lines."

[RELATED: Jae Crowder puts finger in John Wall's face, argument ensues]

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Jodie Meeks

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Jodie Meeks

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Jodie Meeks' season...

Player: Jodie Meeks

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 30

2017-18 salary: $3.3 million

2017-18 stats: 77 G, 14.5 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.9 FG%, 34.3 3P%, 86.3 FT%, 49.1 eFG%, 111 ORtg, 112 DRtg

Best game: 11/29 at Sixers - 21 points, 4 rebounds, assist, steal, 5-for-11 FG, 3-for-6 3PT, 8-for-9 FT

Season review: The Wizards took a flier on Jodie Meeks last summer in what seemed at the time to be a low-risk contract with a potentially high reward, if he could stay healthy and play to his career norms. They were in obvious need of help at backup shooting guard and three-point shooting for their bench.

Meeks fell short of those expectations for a variety of reasons. Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he could not make shots at the clip the Wizards were hoping for. His field goal percentage was not far off from what he posted in recent years, but his three-point percentage was nowhere near the 38.8 percent he shot in his previous four seasons.

Meeks bottomed out midseason, shooting 28.9 percent from three in December and 28 percent in January. Those numbers ticked up beginning in February, but Meeks never fully gained the trust of his coaching staff. He rarely got hot enough to alter games and his best stat-lines often came in blowouts. 

There was a domino effect from Meeks' struggles, as starting shooting guard Bradley Beal had no one to spell him. As a result, Beal logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player this season.

For Meeks personally, it was a bittersweet year because staying healthy was no small feat. He had a run of bad luck and finally broke out of it this season. On the other hand, he never made the impact he felt he was capable of and that wasn't easy for a guy joining a new team and a new locker room.

Meeks' 2017-18 season was ultimately defined by more than his shooting woes. First, he expressed interest in a trade in February and did not get his wish. Then, he was suspended for allegedy using performance-enhancing drugs after the regular season ended. He was out for the playoffs and will miss the first 19 games of the 2018-19 season without pay as he waits out a 25-game ban.

Meeks may or may not serve that suspension as a member of the Wizards. He has a player option for next season worth $3.5 million. He has yet to inform the team of his decision, but the expectation is that he will pick it up. Given how poorly his season went and ended, it would likely be the smart move financially for him to opt in and hope for better results next season.

Potential to improve: Shooting percentage, perimeter defense, passing

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

Tim Frazier, PG

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Tim Frazier's season...

Player: Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2017-18 salary: $2 million

2017-18 stats: 59 G, 14.2 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 76.7 FT%, 44.5 eFG%, 105 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/27 at Hawks - 4 points, 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2-for-5 FG

Season review: The Wizards tabbed Tim Frazier to be their backup point guard nearly a year ago when they sent a second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans on the eve of draft night. They viewed Frazier as the solution to their years-long search for a capable backup behind John Wall. Frazier had thrived as a replacement starter in New Orleans and the Wizards saw him as worth a draft pick, even though he had just one year left on his contract.

Frazier began the season as the primary backup point guard, but ultimately lost the job to Tomas Satoransky once Wall went out with a left knee injury. Frazier became the starter and Satoransky the backup, but through two weeks Satoransky outplayed him and became No. 2 on the depth chart once Wall returned. Then, when Wall went down for months late in the season, Satoransky started and Frazier backed him up.

Frazier never found consistency as he moved back and forth between roles. His minutes, points and assists averages were all career-lows.

The Wizards added competition to their roster for Frazier and Satoransky midseason, first by signing Ramon Sessions in March and then adding Ty Lawson just before the playoffs began. That led to Frazier being inactive for four of the Wizards' six postseason games.

All in all, it was a frustrating year for Frazier. He even had to deal with a broken nose and surgery to repair it after getting inadvertently kneed in the face by Bobby Portis in a game against the Bulls in February.

Frazier has been part of small group of Wizards players continuing to work out at the team facility this summer. He has been there along with Wall, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. That said, it does seem likely Frazier returns given how the Wizards used him this season. He was completely out of the rotation for extended periods of time.

Helping his cause in that regard is that the Wizards have his Bird rights, meaning they can re-sign him while going above the salary cap. They currently have five open roster spots and not much money to spend. Frazier could represent a cheap option and help them fill out their roster.

Potential to improve: Shooting, on-ball defense, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

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