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Morning tip: Like everyone else, Temple shines with John Wall

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Morning tip: Like everyone else, Temple shines with John Wall

The last two games for the Wizards may not have been winnable without Garrett Temple's outbursts. He's on the roster because of his defense but has evolved into a better scorer and three-point shooter in a pinch.

Tonight, he will have to help carry the load on a perimeter that has been hit with injuries to Bradley Beal, Gary Neal and Otto Porter when the Memphis Grizzlies come to Verizon Center (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 6:30 p.m. ET). 

John Wall, as he was when Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza had career seasons, is the set-up man. He had a career-high 19 assists in Monday's 113-99 win vs. the Sacramento Kings. Temple posted a career-high 23 points two nights after first accomplishing the feat with 21 in a 109-101 win vs. the Charlotte Hornets. And despite a seven-man rotation, the quicker pace wasn't abandoned. It assisted Temple getting out in transition for easy baskets.

"It's John Wall so guys are going to key on him. Things as little as him getting the rebound and pushing it, guys looking at him and he's able to kick it up to me for a one- or two-dribble layup," said Temple, who scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter with Sacramento as the Wizards broke open a score that was tied at 84. "We understand they're going to key on John. I'm going to be sitting in the corner, spaced out and be ready to shoot the ball. With the second unit we don't have a guy to key on so guys have to try to create offense for themselves. When you have John it's easier to play off him."

This is true for just about anybody in the NBA, be it Temple or a rookie like Kelly Oubre. Play with better creators and shots will come easier. Temple is 7 of 13 from three-point range in the last two games. After shooting 37.5% from long range last season, he has dipped to 31%. His 6.3 points per game average is a career-high.

It doesn't matter if Temple plays 42 minutes or spot minutes like he did to begin the season. The 6-6 shooting guard is always prepared and doesn't complain about his role. He also does the dirty work that doesn't get credited in a boxscore, and he combines with Wall to make a formidable defensive tandem up top. 

"Temp didn't play that many minutes before. Temp is a hard-working, hustle player whose now getting his time and showing you that he should play more," said Jared Dudley, in his first year in Washington. "We have to be a scrappy-type team. We're not a pretty team where you know we're going to throw these lobs and stuff like that. We have to be able to get charges, throw-aheads, get us to the free throw line is crucial. Temp, I keep saying his name, is providing a huge lift for us."

Praise like that for Temple is common in the locker room. He plays for the league minimum, just over $1 million for a veteran of his experience. He's what's called a "glue guy," a sturdy ingredient required to hold the other parts together. 

"When he’s in the starting lineup he’s going to get easy shots. He’s going to get the ball in transition," Wall said. "He doesn’t have to be the main scorer and guys are not worrying about him as much. That’s great for us because he’s able to lock down guys on the other end and also make open shots. With the second unit it’s a situation where he’s not getting those open looks or having those opportunities to attack as much. When a lot of guys are keying in on me in the pick-and-roll, he’s able to shoot them with confidence."

A favorite of coach Randy Wittman, Temple heard his message loud and clear.

"Witt said before last game, come out thinking this is going to be the best game you ever played  and I’ve done that two games in a row. I had 21 last game," Temple said. "We needed it. With Gary Neal being out I needed to score, be a little more aggressive.

"I haven’t been shooting the ball great this year. Jared has been tremendous. But John is John. He’s going to create so much they’re going to stick to him especially since we’re so depleted. We just got to continue to be ready to shoot. Maybe the next few games we might be able to open up that paint a little bit more. … No way they’re going to continue to stay out with us with John creating havoc the way he is." 

RELATED: Add a bone spur to John Wall's list of injuries

 

 

 

 

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Former Wizards forward arrested on armed robbery charges after stealing $100,000

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USA Today Sports

Former Wizards forward arrested on armed robbery charges after stealing $100,000

Former NBA player J.J. Hickson faces charges of armed robbery after breaking into a home near Atlanta, stealing $100,000 from the house, and physically assaulting a teenager who was inside, authorities said Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Hickson, who played eight seasons in the NBA with four teams before his brief appearance in Washington, is currently being held in Coweta County Jail without bond. 

He is currently affiliated with the Lebanese Basketball League but played 15 games with the Wizards during the 2015-16 season. Hickson averaged 4.6 ppg and scored a season-high 15 points against the Nets in the penultimate game of the regular season. He has not played professionally in the United States since.  Hickson played just one season at North Carolina State before being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 19 pick of the 2008 NBA Draft.

Jimmy Yarbrough, the sheriff's spokesperson in Coweta, said that while at least two people were involved in the invasion, only Hickson is being held and charged.

According to authorities, Hickson entered through a side door, armed with a knife and his face and head covered. He was initially apprehended by another department and later transferred into the custody of Coweta County law enforcement. 

At this time in the investigation, very little detail is publicly available.

The teenage victim, whose name remains private, received medical treatment for several broken bones and is fortunately in good condition. 

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keita Bates-Diop

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keita Bates-Diop

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Keita Bates-Diop

School: Ohio State
Position: Small forward/power forward
Age: 22
Height: 6-9
Weight: 224
Wingspan: 7-3
Max vertical: 35

2017/18 stats: 19.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.9 spg, 1.6 bpg, 48.0 FG%, 35.9 3PT% (1.9 3PT/5.4 3PA), 79.4 FT%
Player comparison: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 26th, NBADraft.net 41st, Bleacher Report 21st, Sports Illustrated 31st

5 things to know:

*Bates-Diop is a uniquely versatile player who could fit in very well with positionless basketball. He is the size of a small forward, but has the wingspan to play bigger and the athleticism to guard multiple positions. Defense could be the way he makes his name early on in his NBA career. He has proven uniquely adept at blocking shots for his size, averaging 1.6 per game as a redshirt junior. Whether that will translate to the NBA level, however, is a question. He will be guarding bigger, smarter and more athletic players.

*He is a very good rebounder, especially for his size. Bates-Diop grabbed rebounds consistently throughout his career and as a redshirt junior pulled in 8.7 per game. He had 20 games of double-digit rebounds in college and three times had 14 in a game. He had seven offensive rebounds against Robert Morris in a game last November.

*Bates-Diop was the Big 10 player of the year for the 2017-18 season. Some recent winners of the award include Denzel Valentine, Frank Kaminsky, Draymond Green, Trey Burke and Evan Turner.

*He was able to redshirt because he missed most of his junior season with a stress fracture in his left leg.

*Bates-Diop wasn't an elite three-point shooter in college, but he did make strides throughout his career. As a redshirt junior, he shot a modest percentage of 35.9, though the volume he made them was noteworthy. Outside shooting is always important for NBA wings and Bates-Diop would benefit from developing a consistent three-point shot. He will probably need to simplify his motion because his release is a bit slow.

Fit with Wizards: Bates-Diop would give the Wizards depth at two positions where they need it. He could slide into Mike Scott's role as the backup forward, spending much of his time behind Markieff Morris as a smaller four while giving them insurance at the three position behind Kelly Oubre, Jr.

Bates-Diop would add length and athleticism to the second unit and he and Oubre could make a dynamic combination defending the perimeter. They would have over 14 feet of wingspan between them.

Bates-Diop would have to prove himself at power forward at the NBA level before he can be projected as a starter in the long-term. Right now they have small forward solidified with Otto Porter.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

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