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Film study: Bad 3-point defense jeopardizes Wizards' chances

Film study: Bad 3-point defense jeopardizes Wizards' chances

When the Magic made their run on Sunday in the first half to get the lead to double-digits, and late in the fourth when the Wizards made their run, three-point shooting was the difference. The communication wasn't there as the Wizards made bad choices whether it was going under on a screen for D.J. Augustin or the frontline being late in covering a shooter on a switch.

The Wizards were falling far behind within minutes of the second quarter because of botched rotations. This is what grew the deficit to as large as 17:

The effort is there by Brandon Jennings. He hustles back to stop Mario Hezonja's drive to the rim and runs out to challenge Augustin at the three-point line.

Kelly Oubre gets caught underneath the screen by Stephen Zimmerman and Augustin, who'd drained a three in the previous clip, gets another clean look. With a 7-2 wingspan and an ability to defend point guards in space, Augustin can't get these kinds of looks. Oubre clearly was playing him more for the drive because Augustin can cause havoc there, too, but Ian Mahinmi was behind him to help with that containment if needed. (Note: Yes, that screen should be illegal but the way it's officiated for all 30 teams is as a legal screen therefore that's not a missed call. Just a questionable interpretation of the rules in regards to screening which is a completely different issue).

[RELATED: Beware of the Wizards' 'death lineup']

Markieff Morris' reaction time is off. He gets trapped under the pindown from Mario Hezonja, which is OK because the Wizards were switching these. Hezonja was now his man. Morris was slow to react and ran into Zimmerman's cross screen. The deficit was 37-27 and growing. 

In the fourth, repeated big threes from Bojan Bogdanovic were needed to keep the Magic at bay. That's because the three-point defense wasn't good enough.

This is a case of knowing your personnel. Beal made a move to get the loose ball after the deflection, but when he realized Bismack Biyombo was going to beat him to the ball he should've peeled back to Terrence Ross. Instead, he pressures Biyombo who makes an easy pass to Ross, who scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, for an open three. There were four seconds left on the shot clock. You take your chances with Biyombo shooting from that distance rather than red-hot Ross stepping into an open look.

This shot by Evan Fournier broke a 100-100 tie because Morris didn't anticipate Biyombo's screen and hesitated on closing out an elite shooter. And he didn't contest it either.

Bad three-point defense is what got the Wizards in a 2-8 hole to begin the season. The Magic made 14 (40%), the Raptors made 11 (44%) and the Jazz knocked down 11 (45.8%). The latter two were losses and the former easily could've been one, too.

[RELATED: Wizards respond after Brooks chews them out at halftime]

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NBA, NBAPA agree to move up start of free agency by six hours

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NBA, NBAPA agree to move up start of free agency by six hours

The Woj bombs are gonna start dropping a little earlier this year. 

The NBA and the NBA Players Association announced Friday that the two parties have agreed to move up the start of free agency by six hours. Teams can now begin negotiating with free agents at 6 p.m. ET on June 30 instead of having to wait until 12:01 ET on July 1. 

The move ensures fans -- and eternally grateful media members -- don't have to stay up until midnight waiting for the madness that is NBA free agency to begin. As Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports put it, this is "quite possibly the best thing to happen with NBA free agency in years!" 


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What to know about the Washington Mystics season opener

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What to know about the Washington Mystics season opener

The Mystics reached their first WNBA Finals in franchise history in 2018 but were swept by the Seattle Storm in the championship series.

Elle Delle Donne -- who was recently named in WNBA.com's GM survey as the favorite to win league MVP -- is back for her third season in Washington.

Though she is out for the opener, Delle Donne believes the team is ready to make another run at the title thanks to the return of All-Star forward Emma Meesseman. 

Earlier Friday, the Mystics announced their final 12-woman roster for the 2019 season. Delle Donne and guard Kristi Toliver headline a team that includes nine returners from the 2018 team, as well as Meesseman, who played for the Mystics from 2013-17 but sat out in 2018 to focus on playing for the Belgian national team. The final roster spots went to WNBA rookies Kiara Leslie and Kim Mestdagh.

According to ESPN, the Mystics, Los Angeles Sparks and Las Vegas Aces are the favorites to win the championship this season.

The WNBA's 23rd season kicks of Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET when the Atlanta Dream host the Dallas Wings.


What: Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun, Regular Season Game 1

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Live Stream: You can live stream on WNBA's League Pass website by signing up for a free trial

NBC Sports Washington will be broadcasting 10 Mystics home games during the 2019 WNBA season. For the full regular season schedule, click here.