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Morning tip: 5 takeaways from Wizards' Game 5 loss to Hawks

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Morning tip: 5 takeaways from Wizards' Game 5 loss to Hawks

ATLANTA -- There's an 82% chance that the Wizards' season will end in one of the next two games, based on the history of teams that lose Game 5 in a series that's tied at 2. Game 6 is Friday at Verizon Center and regardless of what happens this 82-81 loss to the Atlanta Hawks will sting for a long time:

  • Al Horford trucked everyone on that offensive rebound and putback for the game-winning shot when he ripped the ball from Nene and sent him to the floor. Paul Pierce also hit the deck. So did Paul Millsap. What does this tell everyone? A head has to roll onto the floor for the whistle to blow. The smaller and supposedly less physical Hawks realize that and these type of hustle plays are the difference.

  • John Wall did a lot of good things, but it was evident in the second half that he couldn't finish when driving left. The Hawks sat Jeff Teague and put the bigger DeMarre Carroll on him and it worked. Wall could finish over a Teague. Carroll is five inches taller and more physical and a pretty solid defender at that.
  • Drew Gooden had little impact off the bench in the last two games with scoring. Ramon Sessions, who started Game 4 for Wall, is 5-for-18 in his last two. The rotation has gotten tighter as Garrett Temple didn't get any time. Outside of Otto Porter's nine points on 3-for-13 shooting and 10 rebounds, not much is working.

  • Marcin Gortat isn't on the floor on the final play because Nene is better if he gets caught on a small player on a switch. Both are about 6-11 and Gortat isn't comfortable in that role. Gortat's lateral movement isn't as good away from the rim which is the reason. Wall's initial defense on Dennis Schroder was excellent. But Horford is an All-Star and the Hawks are a 60-win team and the No. 1 seed in the East for a good reason. Horford made a winning play, just like Pierce did in Game 3 when he made the buzzer beater. Live with it.  

  • The team that wins the battle in rebounding usually wins the game. The Hawks had a 50-46 edge Wednesday. Only once, when the Hawks won 106-101 in Game 4, did the team on the short end prevail.  

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A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2. 

Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:

April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis. 

June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.

July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets. 

July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.

July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.

July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. 

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Wizards to remove interim tag from Tommy Sheppard, making him permanent GM

Wizards to remove interim tag from Tommy Sheppard, making him permanent GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes has confirmed. 

Sheppard had been serving as Washington's interim GM since the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. He oversaw the Wizards' 2019 NBA Draft selections of Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, as well as their offseason transactions this summer. 

According to Hughes, the Wizards will announce the decision next week, with more changes to follow. 

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