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Markieff Morris gets best of twin brother Marcus in Wizards' win

Markieff Morris gets best of twin brother Marcus in Wizards' win

Markieff Morris returned to the Wizards' starting lineup on Friday night, giving Washington their best power forward just in time to face a Detroit Pistons team that features a lot of beef in the middle with guys like Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris down low. It also gave Morris a rare opportunity to face off with another NBA player he knows quite well.

That would be Marcus Morris, his twin brother whom he played with both in college at Kansas University and in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns. Markieff and Marcus were both in their respective starting lineups and found themselves guarding each other from time to time throughout the night.

Their matchup was highlighted by a play in the third quarter that saw Marcus taking it hard to the rim on a fastbreak. Markieff met him there and blocked his shot out of bounds, sending Marcus down to the ground in a heap under the basket. Markieff then helped Marcus up and the two shared a laugh.

It was a moment of levity in an otherwise heated battle and it brought some pretty great quotes from the postgame locker room, including Markieff describing what their mother was probably thinking watching the play.

"She just sits there and watches it. I know she said I was probably going to hurt her baby when I knocked him down," he said.

Markieff and Marcus chatted for a moment before the next play. Markieff said his brother thought it was a foul:

"He could have got the foul; [I] wish he had got the foul."

Markieff's teammates found the whole dynamic entertaining.

"That was funny. I just wanted to see what would happen after the play," John Wall said.

"Kief said that's his dog, but he still had to do what had to be done. So, no hard feelings in here," said Bradley Beal, whose brother played Division I basketball. "At this level I can only imagine what that's like [to play your brother]. That's probably an amazing feeling. I definitely know the hype and the competitiveness behind the game, too."

Markieff and Marcus have played against each other plenty of times before, but they are still more used to playing together. For so many years they were on the same team, now they are adversaries on teams jockeying for position in the Eastern Conference.

That doesn't mean he can't wish his brother well.

"I just want to see him do good. Again, as long as we win, he can do good. And we won, it’s cool," Markieff said.

Markieff got the win and had the better night with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Marcus scored just two points and shot 1-of-8 from the field.

[RELATED: WIZARDS PLAYERS, BROOKS REMEMBER CRAIG SAGER]

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Wizards' Troy Brown Jr. says it was scary hearing Rudy Gobert contracted coronavirus

Wizards' Troy Brown Jr. says it was scary hearing Rudy Gobert contracted coronavirus

By the time Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus and the NBA subsequently suspended the 2019-20 season, a number of teams who'd played Utah leading up to the suspension had to self-quarantine as a precaution. 

One of them was the Washington Wizards.

They suffered a 10-point loss to the Jazz 12 days before Gobert tested positive, so they urged their players to self-quarantine for several days. Fortunately for the Wizards, no player ended up tested positive for the virus.

Washington's second-year wing joined Chris Miller on the Wizards Talk Podcast and gave a window into what his reaction was to the fact he had played the Jazz leading up to Gobert's positive test. 

"I wasn't touching [Gobert]," Brown said with a laugh. "I didn't go in for no layups or anything like that. But all jokes aside though, it was one of those things that was scary because I didn't know really what to expect coming out of it."

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Heading into the league's suspension, Brown was enjoying a strong season where he showed a lot of improvement from his rookie year. He was averaging 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists on much better shooting splits (45.3% FG, 34.5% 3P in 19-20 vs. 41.5% FG, 31.9% 3P in 18-19). 

Brown seemed to have much more success coming off the bench with a unit in which he had more ball-handling opportunities. We'll see if he can continue to grow when basketball returns, though the 20-year-old is forced to focus on the challenges that come with isolation. 

"It definitely is a lot easier being with my family and being in my own space and being able to make decisions for myself," Brown said. "Being in D.C. was kind of hard because I didn't have anybody else there besides my dog, living by myself in quarantine. I feel like it's those people that are struggling with the quarantine stuff being isolated by themselves because you don't really know what to do."

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Arizona's Nico Mannion, likely lottery pick, declares for NBA Draft

Arizona's Nico Mannion, likely lottery pick, declares for NBA Draft

The 2020 NBA Draft, whenever and however it ends up taking place, is shaping up to be heavy at the guard position. One of the highest rated prospects entered his name into the mix on Tuesday.

Arizona point guard Nico Mannion, a 6-foot-3 pass-first point guard, declared for the draft after one year in college. He is projected by most mock drafts to be taken in the lottery.

That means he could be one of the best options on the board when the Wizards make their first round pick. They currently have the ninth-worst record in the NBA.

Mannion, who turned 19 last month, is a gifted passer and is also known for his outside shot, though the percentages weren't there in college. He shot just 39.2 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from three. He averaged 14.0 points and 5.3 assists for the Wildcats.

Mannion is one of several prospects who could present an interesting decision for the Wizards on draft night. Teams often say they choose the best player available, but his style of play and position could clash with their highest-paid players.

Mannion is a pass-first point guard and so is John Wall, whom they have signed to a supermax contract. Whether they could play together or at least coexist in the same rotation would have to be determined by Wizards brass.

The Wizards also have point guard Ish Smith under contract for next season. He has carried a heavy load this season and will likely take up rotation minutes next year as Wall's back-up.

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