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Morning tip: Bradley Beal assumes John Wall's role


Morning tip: Bradley Beal assumes John Wall's role

If the 34 points aren't enough to demonstrate how much Bradley Beal wants it, or his team-leading seven assists and three steals, maybe it's the defense he continues to play on Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks. 

Though the Wizards won't make it official, John Wall (fractured left wrist) isn't going to play in this second-round series so a greater burden falls on Beal. 

"I had to get these guys going. In the locker room I told them, 'I'm not giving up. I need everybody with me and we need to be in this thing together. We're one as a team,'" said Beal of his speech after the Wizards went down 65-55 at halftime of Game 4 at Verizon Center. "I just wanted to come out and set a tone defensively, got a turnovers to start (the third quarter) and came out and went aggressively to the basket to try to get us easy points on the offensive end. Get guys amped up."

Beal harassed the NBA's best three-point shooter yet again. Korver only attempted four shots, making both three-pointers in the first half. Then Beal locked him down, forcing a pair of turnovers to open the third quarter to give the Wizards new life. They'd have a chance to tie it late but would lose 106-101 as the series returns to Atlanta tied at 2. 

"It's a challenge and I'm willing to accept it," Beal, 21, said of picking up the slack left by Wall's absence. "I can't feed into being young because they put their paints on the same way I do.

"I have to voice myself a lot and I know I have to lead by example. ... The game of basketball is not hard. You just got to have fun, just play with heart. Nobody can give you heart. You have to find within yourself and once you do that everything takes care of itself."

Beal kept his dribble alive and got into the paint. He finished at the rim, in traffic, in transition, made half of his eight three-point attempts and played 44 minutes. His defense on Korver didn't suffer.

"I'm starting to know his tendencies. I'm upset I gave him a three at the beginning of the game. I hate when he touches the ball, period. Even if he just passes it I just hate whenever the ball is in his hands," Beal said. "Whenever he's on the floor we're just aware of where he is at all times."

Wall is a more demonstrative player. Beal has a similar edge but doesn't reveal it much. In his second postseason, he realized for the Wizards to advance deeper that he'll have to take more shots and be more assertive. He shot 11-for-25.  

"I can't make the passes that John makes yet so I got a lot to work on this summer. It's been good and bad," Beal said. "It's just a learning experience at the same time, having to deal with double-teams a lot, kind of dealing with what he goes through a lot when he's in pick-and-rolls. It's kind of the life I chose. I have to grow up. I can't make excuses. I got to lead the team as best as I can." 

This series is the best 2 of 3 going into Game 5 Wednesday at Phillips Arena. 

"It was a great opportunity for us to go up 3-1, at home, we barely lost by five. We were still right there and we didn't even play great. We were still right there," Beal said. "We won one game without John, we can do it again. It doesn't matter what floor we play on. We have to have guys who are willing to lock in and be focused for 48 minutes whether John is playing or not."

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo, UMBC's upset hero


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

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, defeating the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 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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