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Morning tip: 5 takeaways from Wizards' win vs. Hawks

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Morning tip: 5 takeaways from Wizards' win vs. Hawks

ATLANTA -- The scoring of Bradley Beal and John Wall down the stretch will command most of the post-Game 1 chatter of why and how the Wizards took home-court advantage Sunday 104-98. But there were a lot of other reasons for their success:

  • The deal with bringing Ramon Sessions here via trade had everything to do with the Wizards realizing, after being thrashed on multiple occasions by the Hawks, that they needed better pace with the second unit. Sessions only had five points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 18 minutes but the offense is much more up-tempo. To compete with the Hawks, Sessions is a must.

  • Wall and Beal combined for three of the Wizards' eight turnovers. They'll have to do this constantly to have a shot at winning this series. Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver didn't shoot well (combined 9 of 29) but they still only had one total turnover. 

  • Even though Al Horford had 17 points and a game-high 17 rebounds to go with seven assists, the Wizards can live with him taking 19 shots, including three three-point attempts. In my pre-series analysis of how the Wizards could win, having Horford do just that was a key. Horford took more shots (19) than anyone on the floor not named Beal. The same goes for DeMarre Carroll. He lit up the Wizards for 21 points in the first half but just three in the second. It's better than having Korver and Teague unleash. 

  • If Nene isn't working, there's no need to force him on the court. The Wizards' big man had foul trouble and didn't score in 17 minutes, missing all four of his shots including a layup and a tap-in. Using Paul Pierce in his spot (19 points in 31 minutes) or Drew Gooden works just fine (12 points, five rebounds in 14 minutes). Otto Porter plays better, it seems, with both of them (10 points, 11 rebounds). Nene is a luxury when he's on but the Wizards were in a better rhythm without him in Game 1.

  • Marcin Gortat made his size a factor against the smaller Hawks with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He also stayed on the floor 38 minutes. That's eight more than he played against them all season, excluding the last regular-season meeting when Atlanta rested all of its starters. Gortat was 2-for-2 in the fourth quarter and made finishing in the paint difficult down the stretch.

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

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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. 

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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

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