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Kelly Oubre's turnover, Bradley Beal's last miss highlight bad ending for Wizards vs. Heat

Kelly Oubre's turnover, Bradley Beal's last miss highlight bad ending for Wizards vs. Heat

The Wizards were served a vivid reminder of Otto Porter's absence at the worst of times on Saturday night, as Kelly Oubre, Jr. committed one of the more costly turnovers of the entire season in a key spot, one of several mistakes Washington made down the stretch of their 106-103 loss to the Miami Heat.

Summoned to start as Porter missed his first game of the season due to back spasms, Oubre was trusted to make an inbound pass with 11 seconds remaining. The Wizards were down 104-103 and coming out of a timeout, but the play coach Scott Brooks drew up didn't make it much further than the clipboard.

Oubre's pass to John Wall was intercepted in the open court by Heat guard Josh Richardson. Oubre was left slumping his shoulders as Richardson put the Heat up 106-103 with two free throws.

"I turned the ball over. Simple as that. Got to get better and learn from my mistakes," Oubre said.

Others also pointed to the play as one Oubre can learn from.

"Actually it is a learning experience," Brooks said. "Otto has been in that position just about every time this year. But that wasn't the reason why we lost the game."

So, what happened? Basically, it boiled down to a miscommunication between Oubre and Wall, perhaps a result of them not working together on similar plays as often as with Porter.

"It was just trying to get open and we couldn't really screen because they played the outside," Wall said. "Then when he was about to throw it, [Goran] Dragic... got in the passing lane."

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 7 - How far can Wiz go in playoffs?]

The one positive for Oubre is that this happened in regular season Game 80 and not next weekend when the Wizards begin their first round playoff series.

"I'm growing. God puts things in your path to pretty much get over, so I'll get over and we'll be better," Oubre said. "It won't happen again."

It was right before Oubre's mistake that the Heat took the lead on a James Johnson layup right over Markieff Morris. And right after Oubre's turnover was a final possession that didn't go the way the Wizards planned.

Coming out of a timeout with nine seconds on the clock, Wall passed it in to Beal who drove to his right and worked a switch through a Marcin Gortat screen. Unfortunately that switch put Hassan Whiteside, one of the game's best defensive players, on him. Whiteside tracked him near the corner and blocked Beal's shot from 26 feet.

"Our play that we drew up, nobody really got open including myself," Beal said. "We didn't execute the right way and as a result it was a bad one."

Add it all up and the Wizards thoroughly botched the ending of this one. Good thing it wasn't the playoffs.

"I've been pleased with the way we've been executing," Brooks said. "We have won a lot of close games because we have that. Tonight wasn't one of our better executed end of games. I take ownership of that. I have to do a better job."

"If we play like this, we're going to get swept. It's plain and simple," Beal said. "We have to look ourselves in the mirror."

That may be an extreme viewpoint, but clearly the Wizards want to clean this up before it could really hurt them.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Projected NBA top pick Markelle Fultz goes 1-on-1]

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John Wall shares fear of being pulled over by police, experiences growing up with racial discrimination

John Wall shares fear of being pulled over by police, experiences growing up with racial discrimination

As people around the country continue to protest police brutality and racial injustices against black people, athletes continue to add their powerful voices and experiences to the cause.

Wizards guard John Wall joined in the conversation, discussing the fear he continues to have about being pulled over by the police. For many black Americans, the reality of racial discrimination makes the mere thought of being pulled over more daunting than it should be. Apparently that anxiety doesn’t dissipate just because you’re a star athlete.

“If I get pulled over right now, I’m terrified,” Wall said on Thursday’s episode of The Athletic’s “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast. “To be realistic. If I’m in a dark area, or a back street, I’m not stopping. I’ll go to a high-speed chase to get to a spot where it’s a grocery store, or somewhere where there’s a lot of lights at, because that’s how terrifying it is.”

To some, it may be jarring to hear a recognizable, millionaire athlete discuss his fear of the police, but the money and acclaim don't provide a shield from racism. And for many black people, the fear is instilled at a young age, either through personal experiences or those of people with the same skin color. In the age of camera phones, more and more incidents are being recorded for the world to see.

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George Floyd was suffocated and killed by a white police officer in Minnesota who put a knee to his neck for over eight minutes. Breonna Taylor was shot at least eight times and killed in her own home by police in Louisville. Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death by a white father and son while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood.

“You’re telling me if I want to be a black kid to jog in a neighborhood, and I say, ‘Ok, I want to cut through this white neighborhood, this rich neighborhood,’ and then all of a sudden, I’m targeted to get killed?” Wall continued. “Because I don’t belong there? Those are the kind of things I grew up with, like you wouldn’t go to this side of town where you wasn’t allowed. Why? We breathe the same air.”

Wall, who grew up in Raleigh, N.C., said the constant acts of racial discrimination have been frustrating and that all people want to see is justice. 

“I feel like this has been going on for decades, been going on for so much longer than the time I’ve been on this earth,” he said. “But if we didn’t have social media or camera phones right now, we wouldn’t be able to see this act going on.”

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver confident one positive COVID-19 diagnosis won't derail NBA's return plan

NBA commissioner Adam Silver confident one positive COVID-19 diagnosis won't derail NBA's return plan

The NBA now has a concrete plan to return to action, but there are still obstacles that will need solving when play resumes. One of the most important will be the health and safety of players amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the league will need to know how to handle the possibility of a positive COVID-19 virus diagnosis. With a large number of individuals destined to be in close proximity in Orlando, could one player testing positive derail the entire plan? Would that team then have to be eliminated due to the potential risk they carry?

According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, that will not be the case.

“The answer is we don’t believe we would need to," Silver told Charles Barkley on TNT's Inside the NBA, referring to the idea of having to eliminate a team due to a positive coronavirus result.

Silver's confidence stems from the vast amount of research and preparation the league has done to get to this stage in the return process. Not only have NBA officials detailed plans of action, but SIlver and others are working closely with health experts in Florida to make sure things go smoothly.

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Based on what they've heard so far, one positive test won't be the end-all for the NBA. If a player were to be diagnosed with COVID-19, the league knows the exact procedure to keep others safe.

“The view is that if we are testing every day and we are able to trace, in essence, the contacts the player has had," Silver said. "We are able to, in essence, contain that player and separate that from his team.”

The commissioner explained that the NBA is continuing to test on a daily basis, and that won't change anytime soon. The threat of coronavirus impacting the league's return is strong, but Silver and the NBA are confident that they'll be able to overcome any issues and have the season play out in a safe manner.

"The belief is we would not have to shut down if a single player tested positive," Silver said. 

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