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Film study: Wizards' offense can prosper with Marcin Gortat not scoring much

Film study: Wizards' offense can prosper with Marcin Gortat not scoring much

All statistics aren't created equal, which is why Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat having the same production in points (five) and rebounds (10) isn't an indication of a stalemate. 

Gortat had an impact on the game on both ends, especially in the fourth quarter vs. the Atlanta Hawks where his screening freed shooters and one-on-one defense on Paul Millsap made the difference in a 103-99 victory in Game 5.

Here are some examples...

Gortat pins Mike Muscala, after setting two screens to get Beal the ball and then into the lane. There's no challenge to the floater as Gortat clears the space.

This isn't the first time that Gortat faced Millsap in the fourth quarter when Atlanta went to a small lineup with him at the five. Gortat hurt the Hawks on the offensive end in Game 2 when they went to this and defensively in this instance he did the job. Millsap shot two of nine in the period. 

[RELATED: Smith's status for Wizards-Hawks Game 6 still up in the air]

The floodgates open for Gortat when he dives to the basket when Muscala or Ersan Ilyasova are in the middle instead of Howard. 

This looks similar to Beal's floater in the paint pointed out in the first example except the beneficiary of Gortat's screens is Wall. He can't get to the front of the rim with Howard in as the Hawks' big man doesn't contest and settles for boxing out Gortat. If he goes for the block, Gortat can slip inside for the carom if Howard doesn't get his hand on it. 

After setting a flare screen for Beal to get the ball, Gortat slips to the hoop and Kent Bazemore is forced to foul him on help. He gets a full sprint that's not available with Horward parked underneath and rarely budging.

[RELATED: Scott Brooks jokes about Joe Biden showing up at Game 5]

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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