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Kelly Oubre loses sight of lobs from Wall: 'I couldn't see'


Kelly Oubre loses sight of lobs from Wall: 'I couldn't see'

Twice, Kelly Oubre couldn't deposit lobs from John Wall into the basket, or it could've been the perfect game and the Wizards could've had seven players score in double figures in Friday's 103-91 win vs. the Orlando Magic.

But the rookie, who stands 6-7 and had a 7-2 wingspan, had a good excuse. He couldn't see, he told CSNmidatlantic.com.

"I didn't have my contacts. That lob (in the fourth quarter) came from my left and I couldn't pick it up," said Oubre, who was 3 of 5 for seven points and five rebounds. "I couldn't see. Make sure everybody knows that."

Oubre had contacts in both eyes through the third quarter but in the fourth he needed another and a spare couldn't be located. 

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Nonetheless, the Wizards were able to break open a score that was tied at 72 after three quarters with the rookie playing all 12 minutes of the fourth. Oubre's plus-minus was 13, tied with Ramon Sessions for the highest on the roster, as he played 21 total minutes.

"He had enough faith to keep me in the game so I didn't want to let my team down," Oubre said. "That's was a little motivation I had, making sure I was making the right decisions on defense."

Oubre stole an entry pass to Tobias Harris and got on the break for a lob that would've made it a two-possession lead. Instead, the miss ignited the break in the other direction as Harris' lay tied the score at 78. The next missed lob came with the Wizards leading 91-81.

For coach Randy Wittman, it's what Oubre did on the other end of the floor that mattered. It was an about-face from how the 20-year-old played in Wednesday's 94-91 loss at the Toronto Raptors. 

"It's the best defensive game he's had as a pro," Wittman said. "He defended with energy. Deflections. Deflections are so huge. His communication. He was into the game. (Against) Toronto he was kind of just out there. He was involved in this game. He was rebounding. He was running. He missed two alley-oops.

"He's a kid that's got to go out and just play one way. ... All the other things will come."

Oubre caught a pass from Wall late in the second quarter and he was wide open for a three-pointer that he knocked down for a 48-43 lead.

"It was a different tone that we set early than in Toronto," Oubre said. "They punched us first. We punched (the Magic) first. That's the team we need to (be) every night in order to be successful."

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards pull away from Magic 103-91: Five takeaways

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Chris Paul is reportedly recruiting LeBron James to the Rockets, which would change East dramatically

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Chris Paul is reportedly recruiting LeBron James to the Rockets, which would change East dramatically

Next to actually signing LeBron James himself, there is another scenario involving the NBA's best player that should sound great to Eastern Conference teams. That is if James decides to leave the conference altogether for a team in the West, and it sounds like Chris Paul is trying to make that dream come true.

Paul, according to ESPN, is actively recruiting James to join the Houston Rockets. The Rockets won an NBA-best 65 games in the 2017-18 season and fell one win short of reaching the NBA Finals.

Here is what Adrian Wojnarowski said as transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk:

Chris is going to return there. And listen, right now, Chris Paul’s focus isn’t so much on his own free agency. He’s trying to recruit LeBron James to Houston, and somebody close to him said to me he is as focused on recruiting LeBron as anything he’s done in this league. He wants to find a way.

There's no doubt Houston would give James an opportunity to contend and maybe even win championships. They were up 3-2 on the Warriors in the conference finals before losing the final two games. Paul missed the last two games of the series due to injury.

If the Rockets were that close without James, adding him would likely push them over the hump. Even with the Warriors being as good as they are, the Rockets would be a super team on a level rarely seen in NBA history. James and Rockets guard James Harden are the two frontrunners for MVP. Then there's Paul, a perennial All-NBA guard who is a surefire Hall of Famer once his playing days are over.

If James went West, that would break the streak of his teams winning the Eastern Conference playoff bracket eight years in a row. The conference would be more wide open than it has been in nearly a decade, giving teams like the Sixers, Celtics, Raptors, Wizards and others a better shot at reaching the Finals.

One alternative is James leaving Cleveland to form another titan within the East. That could happen if he goes to Philly or Boston or somewhere else with some pieces already in place. It's conceivable that James stays in the East and does so with a team that is much better than the Cavs squad he led to the Finals this past season.

On the face of it, James would probably be smart to not go to Houston. As good as the Rockets are and as stacked as they would be if he joined them, he would then subject himself to battling the Warriors in the conference finals or earlier. If winning is his No. 1 goal, he is better off continuing to dominate the East and focus on improving his chances of beating the Warriors once he sees them in the Finals.

Still, Paul can dream. And if James does go West, no one in the East will complain.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Full 2018 NBA Draft preview for Wizards fans, including an interview with Robert Williams

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Full 2018 NBA Draft preview for Wizards fans, including an interview with Robert Williams

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller talked all things NBA Draft.

They gave their picks for the best options for the Wizards, the safest and riskiest prospects, plus what they expect the team to do. Texas A&M big man Robert Williams also joined the show in a 1-on-1 interview.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!