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Expect slight increase in role for Ian Mahinmi in Game 4 vs. Celtics

Expect slight increase in role for Ian Mahinmi in Game 4 vs. Celtics

The return of Ian Mahinmi is a modest upgrade to the Wizards' rotation, but the backup center who appeared in his first postseason game is due for a minutes bump vs. the Boston Celtics in Game 4 on Sunday.

Mahinmi, who had a strained left calf at the end of the regular season and had been inactive since, played 10 minutes off the bench in Thursday's 116-98 rout. He only took one shot and made it, and had two blocks and a steal.

RELATED: WIZARDS VS. CELTICS GAME 4: HOW AND WHAT TO WATCH

"I tried to keep him to eight-to-10 minutes," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said after practice Saturday. "He felt pretty good today. I can see him play a few more minutes. Not a lot."

Just as important as any stat, Mahinmi gives them a true center behind starter Marcin Gortat against a team that lacks interior size and rebounding. 

The second unit has been shaky at best on both ends of the floor. But at least with the 6-11 Mahinmi, he can clean up some of the leaky perimeter defense with rim protection and the ability to step out to defend pick-and-roll.

With Kelly Oubre suspended for Game 4, the rotation could be shorter for Brooks who'll rely on Mahinmi and Jason Smith, a forward who can play some at the five spot, on the frontline. He could stay with big lineups but has the versatility to go smaller.

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Bradley Beal still feels 'disrespected' by referees

Bradley Beal still feels 'disrespected' by referees

Back in December following a tough loss to the Clippers, Bradley Beal's frustration with the referees boiled over. 

"Honestly, [my frustration] is out the roof," Beal said that night. "It really is. It's really unfair and unacceptable that they allow a lot of stuff to go on with me out there and I do not calls. Period. It's just unacceptable."

Everything for the Wizards' offense this season starts and ends with Beal, and while he's averaging career-best scoring numbers, he remains frustrated at how he doesn't get to the foul line enough. 

In a 134-129 loss to the Heat Wednesday night, Beal went off for 38 points on 16-24 shooting to go with nine rebounds and four assists. He only had four free throw attempts, resulting in another postgame riff about how he and his team aren't officiated the same as others. 

“It’s kind of sad the way we get disrespected," he said. "Especially myself getting disrespected like I do because I attack the basket.”

Among 32 players who average at least 20 points, Beal ranks ninth in free throw attempts per game. The Wizards themselves are 14th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. 

What had Beal particularly upset was not getting the whistle when he aggressively attacked the basket in the game's final moments.

"You can look at my last three drives and I got fouled on all three of them," he said. 

The NBA doesn't typically tolerate players and coaches openly criticizing referees after games. Beal knows he could be fined for his comments, so it shows just how frustrated the two-time All-Star is with how he's being called this season. 

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Former Washington Mystics All-Star Alana Beard retires after 14 seasons

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Former Washington Mystics All-Star Alana Beard retires after 14 seasons

One of the Washington Mystics' first stars is hanging up her shoes.

Alana Beard, who spent the first seven seasons of her professional career with the Mystics after Washington drafted her No. 2 overall in 2004, announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday.

During her time in Washington, Beard made the All-Star team four times. Her best season with the Mystics was in 2006, where she averaged a career-high 19.1 points per game and won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

After missing nearly two years with multiple injuries, Beard signed with the Los Angeles Sparks during free agency in 2012, and spent the rest of her career out west. She won her first WNBA championship in 2016 with the Sparks, highlighted by her game-winning three-pointer in Game 1 of the Finals.

Congratulations on a great career, Alana!

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