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Free-throw discrepancy irks Wizards coach Scott Brooks going into Game 4

Free-throw discrepancy irks Wizards coach Scott Brooks going into Game 4

ATLANTA -- During a regular season full of complaints about the lack of foul calls, John Wall is getting his share of them in the first three games of the Wizards' series with the Atlanta Hawks. 

Unfortunately for them, however, hardly anyone else is getting to the line heading into Game 4 tonight at Phillips Arena. 

Coach Scott Brooks addressed it after Monday morning shootaround. In fact, he went out of his way after being asked about Bradley Beal's shooting woes to segue into the lack of opportunities compared with the Hawks' Paul Millsap who has gone from 5.9 regular-season average for attempts per game to almost double that. 

“We’d like to get to the free-throw line. We haven’t been there enough," Brooks said. "Brad is one of our guys who can get there. We have to do  a better job of getting there. Millsap has had (35) free throws. One guy has a lot more than our three guys combined."

Solely based on numbers, Brooks has a point. Millsap is 28 of 35 while John Wall is 26 of 31 on free throws which basically cancels out each other. 

Among the rest of the starters, Beal is just 5-for-9 in three games, Otto Porter 3-for-3, Markieff Morris 4-for-5 and Marcin Gortat has zero attempts.

Dennis Schroder alone has attempted more foul shots than the four at 16-for-20. Tim Hardaway is 11-for-14. Dwight Howard and Taurean Prince are a combined 6-for-9.

Morris held court with the Wizards' bigs about how to defend Millsap. When he gets the ball on the left side of the floor, he sweeps through with the ball and jumps backwards to draw whistles to sell the contact.

The emphasis is on keeping the hands up and not hidden so game officials will see there was no contact on the shot. Jason Smith fouled out in just eight minutes off the bench for Washington, getting most of the whistles defending Millsap.

"The facts are the facts. Our three, four and five have only taken eight free throws in the entire series," Brooks said of Porter, Morris and Gortat. "Their one guy has taken (35). That's what it is. I'm not staying that we're not fouling, because we are. I'm not saying that they're not fouling."

The Hawks are playing soft on coverages and giving the Wizards' shooters mostly open looks as they load the paint to prevent easy finishes at the rim from Wall and Beal. Naturally, they're going to be fewer attempts for the team that shoots more jump shots but that the starting frontcourt has attempted just eight -- after a foul-plagued Game 2 that was litered with 55 called infractions -- still is eye-catching.

MORE WIZARDS: Will John Wall work out with Dennis Schroder this summer?

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Cavaliers reportedly parting ways with coach John Beilein ahead of matchup with Wizards

Cavaliers reportedly parting ways with coach John Beilein ahead of matchup with Wizards

As the Wizards continue to enjoy the All-Star break and prepare for the stretch run toward the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, their first opponent following the break just made a significant change to their team. 

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania and Jason Lloyd, the Cavaliers and head coach John Beilein have agreed to part ways after 54 games. It was Beilein's first year on the job after a 12-year run at Michigan. 

Cleveland is expected to promote associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to replace Beilein. 

According to The Athletic's report, several factors weighed on Beilein and the Cavaliers' decision to part ways, including the team's on-and-off-court struggles, and his son's resignation at Niagra University. The Cavs were 14-40 under their new head coach this season. 

For the Wizards, they're in a position to build off a two-game winning streak they built going into the All-Star break with a matchup against a bad Cavaliers team going through major structural changes. Though it's possible the Cavs could play better under new leadership. 

Entering Friday's clash with the Cavs, Washington sits three games behind the Magic for the last playoff spot in the East. 

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Monumental Sports auctioning off Wizards, Capitals gear in tribute of Kobe Bryant

Monumental Sports auctioning off Wizards, Capitals gear in tribute of Kobe Bryant

Capitals, Mystics and Wizards gear, including those worn in tribute of the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant, are being auctioned off by the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation with all proceeds going to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation and the MambaOnThree Fund.

The auction began at noon Tuesday and will be open until the end of the second intermission of the Capitals’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

Some of the items available include an autographed No. 24 jersey Alex Ovechkin wore during pregame warmups Jan. 29 and signed Wizards “City Edition” jerseys that feature No. 8 or 24 with Bryant's name on them.

The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation assists children and families in low-income communities by carrying out charitable initiatives through sports in memory of the Bryants who died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26.

The MambaOnThree Fund was set up to provide financial assistance to the other families who lost loved ones in the crash.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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