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Grading Nene's play for 2014-15 season

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Grading Nene's play for 2014-15 season

Unfortunately for Nene, the lasting memory of him in a Wizards uniform will be of Game 5 vs. the Atlanta Hawks when his man, Al Horford, stormed in for the winning putback at the buzzer. Nevermind that Nene sacrificed to help Paul Pierce by boxing out Paul Millsap to prevent him getting the rebound and no one else on the floor made an effort to thwart Horford's rush to the basket. The narrative will remain "Nene's fault." He had a difficult postseason and is on an expiring contract that'll pay $13 million in the final year. 

The stats: 11.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 51.1% shooting.

The improvements: Various injuries and ailments limited Nene's ability to produce at an optimum level, though he appeared in the most games (67) in five years. Towards the end of the season, when Nene was relegated to more a supporting role to Marcin Gortat he was a better rebounder and did more of the dirty work required. His free-throw shooting improved to get above 60% and his passing from the low post remained solid. He's also good at sealing multiple defenders to clear the path for his teammates to get rebounds. 

The ranking: Each year, Nene's standing declines. Part of it has to do with health and being over 30 but also it's the ever-changing role of power forwards in the NBA. Nene can't stretch to the three-point line and his mid-range jumper hasn't been as fluid. He used to shoot above 60% from the field. He still has the moves and the ball-handling ability to pull his man away from the basket and beat him, but the finishing isn't always there.  

The next step: Just focus on defense and rebounding. If Nene is going to play closer to the basket, he won't be required to step out as far and have to worried about getting beaten off the dribble by undersized stretch power forwards. And being deeper in the post has to translate into better rebounding rather than Nene just sealing defenders to help teammates get in position to get the loose ball. Plus, Nene will have to get his points on putbacks as less of the offense will run through him. His productivity on post-ups isn't as good as it used to be. 

2014-15 grade: C.

2015-16 outlook: Based on coach Randy Wittman's comments during exit interviews, Nene is in line for a reduced role -- likely as a reserve -- and playing more of a backup role to Gortat.

RELATED: By the numbers: Bradley Beal, LeBron James, James Harden

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Hey Wizards - don't fall for this CJ McCollum crossover

Hey Wizards - don't fall for this CJ McCollum crossover

Here's an important thing for the Wizards to avoid when facing off against Portland on Monday night: This CJ McCollum crossover.

As seen in this video by our friends at NBC Sports Northwest, the Trail Blazers' player sent a Spurs defender flying - much to the delight of the Portland bench - with the move.

 

"It wasn't even one of my better crossovers," he said after his team's win. "Honestly, he just reacted."

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By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

Bradley Beal topped Gilbert Arenas for first place in career three-pointers in Wizards/Bullets franchise history on Saturday night in the Wizards' loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Beal, only 25, has put himself in some good company over the years with his outside shooting. Here are some numbers to put it all in perspective.

By The Numbers: Bradley Beal's historic shooting numbers

2,208: Beal made his record-breaking, 869th three on his 2,208th attempt. It took Arenas 2,430 attempts to get there in a Wizards uniform. Arenas, however, reached the mark in 357 games compared to Beal's 408. Beal, now at 2,209, is second on the franchise list for career three-pointers attempted. Based on his career attempts averages, he should get there this season.

100: Beal has made at least 100 three-pointers in five straight seasons entering 2018-19. That is a franchise record. The longest such active streak is held by Jamal Crawford at 14. The longest streak in NBA history is held by Ray Allen at 17.

39.4: Beal's career three-point percentage. He is one of only five players ever to shoot at least 39 percent from beyond the arc while making two or more threes per game in their careers. The others are Kyle Korver, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Buddy Hield, who has only played in 164 games compared to Beal's 408.

223: Beal set the franchise record for three-pointers made in a single season back in 2016-17. He passed Arenas, who twice got to 205, in 2004-05 and 2006-07.

41: Beal also passed Arenas for the most games in franchise history with five or more three-pointers made. Arenas is in second with 40, while Trevor Ariza is in a distant third with 15. Otto Porter Jr., for comparison, has done it nine times. Beal's 41 games with five threes or more rank 18th among active players. Curry is way ahead of everyone else with 183.

37: Beal is one of just eight players ever to begin his career with six straight seasons of 37 percent or better from three. The other seven is mostly a who's who of three-point specialists like Curry, Thompson, Korver and J.J. Redick.

20: Shooting 37 percent or better from three while also scoring 20 points or more is rarer than you may think. Beal has done it twice in his career, same as LeBron James, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard. Only 11 players have accomplished the feat more often. Dirk Nowitzki has done that in nine seasons, most all-time, while Kevin Durant is second with eight.

872: Speaking of Durant, this isn't a historic number, it's just an interesting coincidence. Since Beal entered the league before the 2012-13 season, he and Durant have been nearly identical as three-point shooters. Beal has made 870 threes, while Durant has knocked down 872. Beal has shot 39.4 percent, while Durant has hit 39.6 of them. Another guy who has been extremely similar to Beal is Danny Green, who now plays for the Raptors. He has hit 858 threes during that span at a 39.2 percent rate.

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