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Morning tip: Porter returns to form in clumsy effort

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Morning tip: Porter returns to form in clumsy effort

This didn't look like the same team that had held three consecutive opponents to less than 100 points. The Wizards, confused by the L.A. Clippers on both ends, had two left feet in a 17-point home loss that overshadowed Otto Porter's rebirth after a left thigh bruise derailed his season.

Chris Paul was unstoppable as he had 23 points in just 27 minutes. DeAndre Jordan was 6-for-6 (all dunks) as he was set up with lobs and entry passes that found him unguarded.

"It was more communication, making it tough on Paul. He was just getting to his spots," Porter said. "We were running into each other on the pick-and-roll when Paul would come off and stuff like that. It was just communication."

Porter had 21 points and eight rebounds, and when the Wizards (14-15) had a real chance early in the third quarter to make a run he was on the floor with Kelly Oubre.

Oubre has started the last five games at small forward while Porter was out. This is the second game in a row that Porter has come off the bench but he logged 33 minutes in Monday's 108-91 loss. Oubre had played 25 minutes in making his fifth start but only had five points.

"We didn't come out with enough energy in the first quarter. That's where we kind of dug ourselves into a hole," Porter said of that 34-20 deficit. "We tried to fight our way back out, fight our way back the whole game. We just didn't have enough."

The consummate team player, Porter isn't going to say that he wants his starting job back. He only lost it because he took a knee into his thigh from Dwight Howard in a game Dec. 9. Porter played through it but his knee gradually stiffened because of the issues he had in his thigh.

Oubre has made a three-pointer in each game he has started. He's 8 of 12 overall. Porter, who was shooting less than 28% from deep when he sat, is 4 of 8 in his last two games. 

It's plausible that Porter could be back in the starting lineup Wednesday when they play at the Toronto Raptors. As long as Oubre doesn't fall completely out of the rotation, the Wizards should end up better off as a result because the rookie can contribute and learn behind Porter.

And putting the duo on the floor with Garrett Temple with his defensive prowess and wingspan at 6-6 makes them all better. But they have to convert shots, no matter who the starter is, to make this arrangement work. 

MORE WIZARDS: PIERCE'S SWAGGER STILL NEEDS TO BE REPLACED

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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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