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Beal returns as Wizards work over Bucks 106-101: Five takeaways

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Beal returns as Wizards work over Bucks 106-101: Five takeaways

Bradley Beal made his return to the Wizards, who didn't miss a beat as they won for the third time in a row to move to a game from getting back to .500, with a 106-101 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

The Wizards had seven players score in double figures, led by John Wall (19 points, eight assists, five rebounds), Ramon Sessions (15 points, five assists), Jared Dudley (13 points, six rebounds), Nene (12 points), Garrett Temple (11 points, five assists, four rebounds, five steals), Beal (11 points) and Otto Porter (10 points).

It's their third win over Milwaukee (16-25) in as many meetings. 

Washington (18-19) darted out of the gates by shooting 62% in the first quarter to take a 28-19 lead. They stretched the lead to as large as 19 points in the second quarter and showed superb ball movement.

But they lost it by shooting just 6 of 23 in the third quarter and entered the fourth down 74-71. A 20-5 run, however, to put an end to Milwaukee. 

Khris Middleton (25 points), Jabari Parker (22 points) and Greg Monroe (21 points, 12 rebounds) led the Bucks. 

  • Milwaukee's spacing is terrible, and it allowed Temple to terrorize the passing lane. He had a career-high five steals in the first quarter alone, and in the second he had a chasedown block of O.J. Mayo that led to a transition layup for Dudley. When Dudley missed a three, Temple attacked the ball on the carom and challenged Giannis Antetokounmpo for it. The loose ball was picked up by Sessions for a layup. 

  • Inserting rookie Kelly Oubre changed the tone of the game. The Bucks have length and with a 7-2 wingspan he has lots of reach. Oubre had a three-point shot at the buzzer to end the third waved off from about 40 feet. He started the fourth and made a steal on the first possession that produced free throws that he made. Then calmly, Oubre buried a corner three-pointer as the Wizards went up 78-74. Oubre had another steal that resulted in two free throws for Wall. That's five points and two steals in nine minutes. This kid is for real and shouldn't be forgotten in Wittman's rotation because Beal is back. Aside from a three-point stroke that has been deadly accurate (12 of 22 since Dec. 19), he has those intangibles -- confidence, grit and ice in his veins -- that can't be gauged. But this is why the Wizards were so confident in trading up to get him in June. This is a game, however, where he should've played more. The Wizards had 15 deflections in the fourth quarter alone and turned over the Bucks 12 times. It's not by coincidence. 

  • Porter went to the locker room with 6:46 left in the third quarter limping because of a sore right hip, after he made a difficult clutch shot in transition in the lane. He did not return. Add him to the list of the wounded that already includes Marcin Gortat (left knee), Kris Humphries (right knee) and Alan Anderson (left ankle). Neal was a game-time decision because he'd come down with the flu and only played six minutes. He did make his only shot on a three.

  • Beal only played 22 minutes but having him back changes how teams defend the Wizards. With him on the floor late in the fourth, the defense didn't think twice about allowing Dudley to shoot. Multiple defenders were too concerned about running Beal off the three-point line. The result was wide-open threes for Dudley, who even had time to reset his feet with no one running at him. The lead bumped up to 100-92. 

  • Nene, making his second start in the middle for Gortat, took over the game defensively in the fourth to lead the Wizards from a 74-71 deficit. His ball pressure produced a steal from John Henson that led to Sessions' dunk as the Wizards regained the lead 75-74. He switched on to Michael Carter-Williams and forced him to lose it out of bounds and then tied up Johnny O'Bryant to prevent an offensive rebound. Then he won the tap which led to Oubre's three. Nene had another steal that put Wall in transition that got him to the foul line, forced Henson into a miss at the rim by playing good position defense and gave up his body to take a charge from Antetokounmpo. Then a few plays later, Wall took a hard charge in a similar spot from Jabari Parker. That sort of effort is contagious. 

[RELATED: Beal reacts to hometown Rams moving to L.A.]

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jerome Robinson

School: Boston College
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 21
Height: 6-5
Weight: 188
Wingspan: 6-7
Max vertical: N/A

2017/18 stats: 20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.9 3PT% (2.3 3PT/5.7 3PA), 83.0 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 29th, NBADraft.net 16th, Bleacher Report 19th, Sports Illustrated 17th

5 things to know:

*A three-year player at BC, Robinson developed into a big-time scorer before making the leap to the NBA. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and then 20.7 points as a junior while improving his shooting percentages across the board. He went from 42.3 percent from the field as a sophomore to 48.5 in 2017-18.

*Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter. After shooting just 33.3 percent as a sophomore, he got that up to 40.9 percent as a junior and on 5.7 attempts per game. That trajectory bodes well for Robinson's chances at the next level.

*He has a quick release on his jumper, giving him the ability to be effective on catch-and-shoot plays off screens. Robinson could develop into a reliable scorer who doesn't need the ball in his hands as a primary focus of the offense. He also showed the ability to throw down some powerful dunks and finish with creativity at the rim. He didn't record a vertical leap at the NBA Combine, but playing above and around the rim didn't appear to be a problem in college.

*Though it didn't show in his last season at Boston College, Robinson was adept at forcing turnovers in his first two years. He averaged 1.6 steals per game across his freshman and sophomore seasons and 16 times in his career had three steals or more in a game.

*Questions for Robinson would include his versatility and speed. Some draft evaluators wonder if he will be able to get separation off the dribble at the NBA level. Also, he put up decent rebounding and assists numbers in college but didn't exactly stand out in either category.

Fit with Wizards: Robinson would give the Wizards depth at the shooting guard position and they need that. He could help Bradley Beal pare down his minutes and offer a scoring punch off the Wizards' bench. The Wizards could use a reliable shooter to help space the floor for Kelly Oubre, Jr. and others in the second unit.

The problems with Robinson's fit would be his lack of positional versatility and what appears to be a relatively low ceiling. He's not the freak athlete that some of his counterparts are at shooting guard. If the Wizards are choosing between Robinson and guys like Zhaire Smith and Lonnie Walker IV, they could view the latter two as more enticing because of their potential. Robinson would represent a safer pick while others could pay off big-time and have a greater impact on the franchise in the long-term.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

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

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by Nick Ashooh and Stefon Marquis to talk NBA Draft. 

They broke down five prospects and their potential fit with the Wizards: Moe Wagner of Michigan, Michael Porter, Jr. of Missouri, Grayson Allen of Duke, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Omari Spellman of Villanova.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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