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How the Wizards beat the Spurs in last meeting


How the Wizards beat the Spurs in last meeting

The last time the Washington Wizards faced the San Antonio Spurs, the Washington Wizards beat the San Antonio Spurs. The rematch takes place Wednesday night at Verizon Center. Here's what happened in the previous game and what the past may tell us about the next meeting...

  • Actually, here's what happened before the Jan. 13 meeting at Verizon Center. The Spurs arrived in Chinatown with a 17-game winning streak in the series dating back to 2005. That's why this win counted for a bit more than just a "win" even if the people who run the NBA standings disagree. 

  • As for the game -- which came right after a 31-point loss against the Hawks -- John Wall paced five double-digit scorers with 25 points. Wall didn't score in the final period, though he finished with a game-high eight assists and matched Bradley Beal with two blocks. Beal and Paul Pierce each scored 13 points while Kris Humphries had 10 points and eight rebounds. Defensively, Washington rocked in the fourth and overall held San Antonio to 39.6 percent shooting from the field while nearing sink half of its own shots (49.3%). But in the pivotal fourth quarter, the real hero was...

  • Kevin Seraphin. Yes, Kevin Seraphin. Facing French national teammates Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, the big man scored 11 of his 17 points, grabbed five of his eight rebounds and had a key block during the fourth quarter. Anyway, Seraphin now plays for the Knicks, meaning the hero role is available.

RELATED Watch LIVE tonight: Wizards host San Antonio Spurs

  • Parker led the Spurs with 14 points followed by Patty Mills with 12 and Tim Duncan 11. Worth noting Kawhi Leonard did not play in this game. Obviously, neither did LaMarcus Aldridge, signed by San Antonio this summer. Both forwards will be forces in Wednesday's rematch. They are combining for 37.3 points and 14.3 rebounds this season.

  • This was definitely not a small-ball kind of win as the Wizards took only 12 3-pointers. Yet they made six compared to the Spurs shooting 9 of 29 from distance. This season, Washington has attempted at least 21 in all three games. However, the Wizards are only middle of the pack (16th) in 3's attempted per game (23.7). The Spurs are taking only 17.3, ranking 27th overall.

  • In addition to contributions from Seraphin and Humphries, Marcin Gortat and Nene each grabbed at least 10 rebounds on that January night. Washington is eking out a rebounding edge over opponents through three games while the Spurs are plus 4.2 on the boards.  

  • Considering the Spurs' size up front with Duncan and Aldridge, the Wizards may end up using more two-big man combinations in this game or at least it won't hurt them. Aldridge hasn't made a 3-pointer this season and at 6-foot-11, he's probably a bit too tall for Jared Dudley.

  • San Antonio may have struggled shooting from the field in January, but so far this season, ranking fourth in field goal percentage (46.9). The Wizards (43.8) are currently tied for 14th.

  • Otto Porter was given the night off in the previous game. The small forward's perimeter shot has been off through three games, missing 10 of 12 attempts from beyond the arc. If the Spurs game plan around stopping Wall and Beal, the ball will end up with Porter likely in good shooting spots. 

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Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

The University of Kentucky was well-represented at the Wizards' first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena, as All-Star point guard John Wall sat courtside to watch a young player who could join him next season in Washington.

The Wizards hosted Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo just days after interviewing him at the NBA Combine in Chicago, Ill., another sign the 19-year-old is a legitimate option for their second round pick, set for 44th overall in next month's draft.

Diallo, who is originally from Queens, NY., said he is friends with Wall, as the two have crossed paths due to the Kentucky connection. 

"I feel like he knows what I'm capable of," Diallo said.

He now hopes the Wizards front office understands what he can do. Diallo is a defensive-minded wing who measured 6-foot-6 (with shoes) at the combine and with a 7-foot wingspan. He had the fifth-best max vertical leap at the combine, coming in at 40.5 inches. He was also the 12th-ranked player in the class of 2017 out of high school.

The measurables and pedigree are impressive, but Diallo's potential has yet to be realized. He didn't play a game despite attending Kentucky in the 2016-17 academic year. He tested the NBA Draft waters last summer before returning to Kentucky to average a modest 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Diallo has already worked out for the Chicago Bulls and will meet with plenty more teams, but is currently projected by most mock drafts to be a second round pick. This time he hired an agent and will definitely be making the leap.

"It feels good this year going through it with both feet in. It's been a great process," he said.

The Wizards like Diallo's defensive ability, his speed and awareness in the open floor and his potential to improve as a shooter. Diallo shot 33.8 percent from three on 2.1 attempts per game in the 2017-18 season.

"I hope to show my athleticism and how that plays a big part on the defensive end," Diallo said of his goals in pre-draft workouts.

"[The Wizards] are a team that wants to play fast and they have a fast point guard that needs players to keep up with him. That's what I tried to show in this workout, to show how fast I can play and show how composed I can play."

If the Wizards deem Diallo worth taking a chance on, he would provide a nice fit positionally. Though their second round pick could spend much of next season in the G-League, Diallo plays shooting guard and they have a need behind starter Bradley Beal. 

The Wizards see Tomas Satoransky as a possibility at backup shooting guard and Jodie Meeks is expected to return next season on a player option. But those guys were on the roster in 2017-18 and couldn't fill the void behind Beal, who logged more minutes than all but three players in the league. Meeks is also set to begin the 2018-19 season serving a suspension.

Diallo played at a big-time program and has the athleticism to compete at the NBA level early on. He could help a team improve long-term at guarding the perimeter, an area the Wizards have made strides in but still have a ways to go. That was seen in their playoff series against the Raptors when Toronto averaged 11.0 threes made per game and shot 41 percent.

Though it's early in the draft workout process, the Wizards have made it clear they are interested in Diallo.

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

The Wizards will have some recognizable names at their second pre-draft workout on Wednesday including potential first round pick Aaron Holiday of UCLA, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Here is the list with some notes on each player...

Aaron Holiday, guard, UCLA (6-1, 185)

The brother of two NBA players (Jrue and Justin), Holiday played three years at UCLA and averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior. He also shot 42.9 percent from three on 6.2 attempts per game. He registered a 6-8 wingspan at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: possible first round pick, likely won't be there in second round; would solidify backup point guard position

Devonte' Graham, guard, Kansas (6-2, 175)

The Big 12 player of the year, Graham averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists as a senior. He posted a 6-6 wingspan at the combine. His uncle played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990s.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; would provide backup point guard depth

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, forward, Kansas (6-8, 195)

A big-time three-point shooter, Mykhailiuk shot 44.4 percent from three on 6.6 attempts per game as a senior. He averaged 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could be a three-point threat off the bench

Moritz Wagner, center, Michigan (6-11, 241)

Originally from Germany, Wagner was a standout in the NCAA Tournament as the Wolverines went all the way to the final. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a junior. He also shot 39.4 percent from three and measured at nearly 7-feet in shoes at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could develop into a capable stretch-five

Johnathan Williams, forward, Gonzaga (6-9, 225)

Williams began his career at Missouri before transferring. He averaged 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior. 

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

Zach Thomas, SF, Bucknell (6-7, 228)

Thomas was the Patriot League player of the year with averages of 20.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior. He shot 40 percent from three for his college career.

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

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