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Charles Barkley drops tough love on 'mediocre' Wizards


Charles Barkley drops tough love on 'mediocre' Wizards

Charles Barkley's commentary style is direct. Funny and insightful at times, absolutely, but most of all the NBA on TNT analyst doesn't pull any punches.

That showed during a media conference call with Barkley and other members of the "Inside the NBA" broadcast Thursday afternoon as the network promoted its upcoming coverage of All-Star game festivities.

Barkley received a question about whether he finds himself holding back on some comments knowing so many NBA players watch the popular show. The basic reply from Barkley was a blunt no, but that's when things got interesting. Because the question came from a Washington Times reporter, Barkley latched on to the local angle with the Wizards for an example. For those not keeping score at home, Washington's record fell to 21-26 following Wednesday's 134-121 nationally televised loss to the Golden State Warriors.

"That little team y'all got in Washington, they're mediocre at best," Barkley stated. "You want me to tell you they're really good? They're not very good. They're mediocre at best. That's just a fact."

When it comes the Wizards, Barkley often backed the team over the last two seasons, both of which ended with trips to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Clearly he's changed his mind.

"That's another team that's disappointing," Barkley continued. "If you want me to tell you they're world beaters, they have a shot at this thing -- they don't have a shot at this thing. They're just playing out the 82 games of the regular season, maybe get to the playoffs and their season is going to be over. That's a fact."

The facts are the Wizards are tied for 10th in the East, 3.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. Simply looking at that data and the mediocre tag is fair. Yet the postseason remains within reach especially if the defense improves significantly, Bradley Beal's minutes increase and the team takes advantage of a soft remaining schedule.

Yet Washington has lost seven of nine games. Pointing that out isn't tough love, just the facts.

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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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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Wizards power forward Markieff Morris. Morris looked back on the 2017-18 season and gave his side on what needs to be fixed.

Chris and Chase Hughes also had a heated debate about Bradley Beal not receiving any All-NBA votes. Chase is an awards voter and defended his ballot. Chris wasn't having any of it.

They also went into the conference finals and what it would mean if the Rockets beat the Warriors.

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!