Wizards

Quick Links

Morning tip: Beal came up with Wizards' 'all-black' idea, and delivered

Morning tip: Beal came up with Wizards' 'all-black' idea, and delivered

The Wizards did something on Tuesday night that is rather remarkable for a regular season game. By announcing publicly they would wear all black before their matchup with the Celtics, then following through on that promise with a full and organized effort, they set an expectation for themselves that could have gone horribly wrong. After the message they sent, the potential for a massive embarrassment was there.

The all-black initiative made national news and if they had lost, there would have been many jokes at their expense. Yet, instead of succumbing to all of the pressure they laid forth by themselves, the Wizards answered the call. They walked the walk and came away with one of their more impressive wins of the season, a 123-108 beatdown of Boston.

Perhaps nobody had more on the line than Bradley Beal, who came up with the idea in the first place. When the Wizards needed him most, in the fourth quarter, he stepped up and rose to the challenge he and his teammate had set.

After the Celtics chopped the Wizards' lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, Beal scored 11 of their next 13 in just over three minutes. Included in that was an emphatic slam dunk on a fastbreak and a tough and-1 layup over Marcus Smart, the same player who broke Beal's nose almost a year prior to date.

Beal sized him up, conquered him, then directed a few words his way right after. It was a side rarely seen from the mostly stoic Beal.

"Everybody's different. I play with a lot of emotion," point guard John Wall said. "That's just how I play the game. Brad is more of a quiet guy who doesn't say too much. But he was into the game. You could tell it was a big game for him. He enjoyed it and played big for us in the fourth quarter."

[RELATED: 5 (10) must-see moments from Wizards' wild win over Celtics]

"We knew what this game was," Beal said. "We all had it circled last time we played them. Both teams. It was a competitive game, but I am glad we were able to dominate.”

Beal, who finished with a game-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting, said there is a simple reason why he locked in for the fourth quarter.

"I wanted to win. I wanted this win bad especially to keep our home streak going," he said after the Wizards' 14th straight victory at the Verizon Center.

Beal has spoken often this season about the Wizards' home crowd. He insists it is a big reason why they are among the best home teams in basketball. 

“It was awesome, man. It was awesome," he said. "They have been terrific all year and they continue to support us, each and every game. I do not know if they know, but we constantly feed off their energy. Them being loud and kind of buzzing them on offense and when we get the ball, you can barely hear yourself think, so it is great to be able to get it going and emotions are high, man."

The Wizards swept their back-to-back set with their win over Boston and a victory the night before against the Hornets. It was in Charlotte that Beal broke out of what was the worst shooting slump of his career. He missed 20 straight threes for the first time as an NBA player and before the Hornets game had shot 28.6 percent from the field in his previous three games.

Now that seems like a distant memory. Beal hit the 30-mark in points on Tuesday for the seventh time this year after only getting there once last season. He went 2-for-5 from three and also added five assists and two steals. 

The NBA's All-Star team reserves are announced on Thursday and Beal's head coach thinks he should be included.

"You know what? He’s a good player. The other 14 coaches are going to have to make a tough decision on who makes the All-Star team, but he’s as good as any guard in the East and, hopefully, they see that like I get to see it every day in practice and every night we play," Scott Brooks said.

[RELATED: Wizards walk the walk: Is it a rivalry now?]

Quick Links

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

usatsi_10718260.jpg
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. 

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

 

Quick Links

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

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!