Wizards

Quick Links

John Wall faces music alone, questions effort after Wizards' loss

John Wall faces music alone, questions effort after Wizards' loss

No matter how bad a loss has been, or how listless the Wizards were in a game like the one they lost Tuesday to the Orlando Magic, John Wall waits.

In previous years, Garrett Temple, Paul Pierce and Ramon Sessions, to name a few, would join him if their time was requested by the media following a performance like this one -- giving up 124 points in regulation to one of the NBA's worst offensive teams. 

Now the last guy standing is Wall, who at $80 million on a five-year contract is one of the best contracts just three years after it was widely questioned if he deserved it or not. 

Wall had a career-high 52 points on 18-for-31 shooting, including 5 of 8 three-pointers and 11-for-14 from the foul line. On top of that, he had eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Until Bradley Beal's 10 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 19, Wall had no company as the Wizards tried to erase what had been a 20-point deficit.

"Our job is to wake up and just play hard. Before you made it to the NBA or got a college scholarship, you played hard every day to get to where you wanted to," said Wall, who had surgeries to both knees May 5. "To still be talking about playing hard, that's something that you should be able to do after just waking up. Everybody has a job and they have to go work hard. Our job is to come here and play hard and compete. That's the easiest thing that you should do without any contracts or any money, just come in and play basketball … if I had the answer we wouldn't be in this situation."

It doesn't matter if Wall has 11 turnovers like he did against the Sacramento Kings or a night like Tuesday. Wall's demeanor is the same. The way he answers the questions? The same. The way he handles praise and criticism? The same. In his seventh season, the three-time All-Star behaves like a professional and takes on the responsibility that comes with the job.

[RELATED: TAKEAWAYS FROM WIZARDS' LOSS TO MAGIC, WALL'S CAREER NIGHT]

This was almost a repeat of Monday's game at the Brooklyn Nets. The Wizards allowed them to score 66 points in the first half, falling down by 15 but were able to lock down defensively to come back. The Magic had 65 in the first two quarters, and the only reason the Wizards had a chance was because of Wall. The Magic scored 31 points above their regular-season average.

"We just didn't come out with our defensive intensity. It was kind of like our last game in Brooklyn, the way we played in the first half," Wall said. "We didn't play with any edge or chippiness. They were the more aggressive team and that's why they got out to a great start."

[RELATED: PUTTING WALL'S CAREER NIGHT IN CONTEXT]

In Pierce's brief time in Washington during the 2014-15 season, he'd limp out to the middle of the locker room no matter the result or how he performed. Even though he was playing on a $5.5 million contract and no longer the lead dog in terms of his talent, he felt part of the burden was on him to explain what happened. And if necessary, he'd fall on the sword.

When he was with the Boston Celtics, where he won a championship in 2008, Pierce would do something similar after a bad loss: "Somebody has to answer for this (expletive)."

That's what leaders do. The Wizards may have been underachieving during that time, but they weren't rudderless. Now, absent of Wall, they could be. He played 42 minutes Tuesday, the third time he has eclipsed 40 in a little more than a week.

By the time Wall exited, less than an hour after his teammates had cleared out and he was finished with his standard treatment in the trainer's room, he was told that he was the only Wizards player to talk postgame upon request. 

"Just me?" Wall asked while still managing to smile. "Just doing my job."

[RELATED: 5 MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WIZARDS' LOSS TO MAGIC]

Quick Links

Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

usatsi_10718260.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

 

Quick Links

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Mike Scott's season...

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!