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Morning tip: Rough first outing for Kelly Oubre


Morning tip: Rough first outing for Kelly Oubre

The last shot attempt Kelly Oubre took, his seventh, ended like all of the rest Friday. It clanged off the rim and the rookie failed to register a point in his first appearance in a preseason game. Still, the confidence isn't going anywhere anytime soon. 

"It actually felt good to get out there and play with the official jersey on my back," said Oubre, 19, who sat out the preseason opener because of a sore right ankle but played 25 minutes vs. the New York Knicks. "That was a slow start but we have, what, 100 more? I'm cool. We had a little fall today but it's cool.

"I went 0-for-7. Nothing went. I'm cool. I got my jitters out the way." 

The toughest part for any rookie, especially one with only one year of college, is getting used to the style of play. 

"The pace, running up and down trying to make sure all my mechanics were tight, that was one of the toughest things for me," Oubre said. "I'm confident. I'm not down. It was a good learning experience."

That's exactly what John Wall's take was on what made it so difficult for Oubre, who the Wizards traded up to get in June in a deal with the Atlanta Hawks. He was chosen 15th overall.

"He'll be alright. First game trying to get in the flow with the second unit. ... It's all about getting committed to play at this type of game speed. Practice is totally different than when you're competing against somebody else," Wall said. "I think he learned that tonight. It's going to be an up and down year for him but that's what we're here for to talk to him as veterans and trying to get him through the tough process."

Derrick Williams exploded for a game-high 23 points for New York, which won 115-104. Oubre took responsibility for his part in helping him break out.

"We made some mental errors, myself included. I let D-Will get backdoor on that lob," Oubre said. "He set me up for that one. That doesn't happen. That can't happen in a game for us to be an elite defending team so we have to hone in on defense and make sure that's a main priority."

While Wittman was tough on his team for its overall lack of defensive commitment and he could be seen chewing out Oubre after a blown rotation, he's not reading too much into a game that doesn't count. 

"Typical, first game rookie jitters. I think his body was way ahead of his mind tonight, which happens," Wittman said. "I'm glad for him that he got that first game out of the way and let's see where he comes back."

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards' offense stalls, defense non-existent in defeat

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Troy Brown Jr. on Bradley Beal's extension, making a name for the Wizards

Troy Brown Jr. on Bradley Beal's extension, making a name for the Wizards

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hoped Bradley Beal's decision to sign a contract extension last week would send a message to the younger players on the team. According to second-year veteran Troy Brown Jr., it already has. 

Brown, 20, said he was part of a group of players that cheered Beal when he arrived at the team's practice facility over the weekend, the day after news broke. 

"I was happy," Brown said. "We just appreciate him."

Brown's biggest takeaways from Beal's new contract, which will keep him in Washington through at least the 2021-22 season, involved the commitment he has made. Even as a two-time All-Star in his prime, he is willing to see through what the Wizards are trying to build.

That helped bolster Brown's opinion of the Wizards as an organization.

"It's good to see guys like Brad stay home," Brown said. "Like he talked about, he got drafted here. It makes younger guys like me, Thomas [Bryant] and Rui [Hachimura] feel good about the city, just to see the leader of our team taking that extension when he does have other options."

Like Beal, Brown is a first round pick. The Wizards selected him 15th overall in the 2018 draft, six years after they took Beal with the third pick in 2012. Beal has been around long enough to know exactly what it takes to be a star player in the NBA.

Brown has paid close attention and believes Beal can help him and the other young players on the team find success in the league.

"He leads by example every day. He comes in, works hard and is very vocal. Even if he's not talking a lot in practice, he's going hard," Brown said. 

"It's just one of those things where every time you know what you're going to get out of him. You don't really have to worry about Brad's effort or being a leader because he's going to do that every day."

What Beal has done is essentially say he's ready to be patient and help guide the Wizards through a transition period. While other NBA stars probably would have forced their way out of the situation he's in, Beal is laying down roots with confidence the team's new front office structure and philosophy will pay dividends down the road.

Beal has spoken about how he wants to build something new in Washington where the NBA franchise hasn't won 50 games or been to the conference finals since the 1970s. Brown has fallen in line, hoping to be part of a basketball renaissance in The District.

"We're all young guys in the league, but at the same time we understand the stuff that's going on with D.C. [with the Nationals, Capitals and Mystics]. It's not irrelevant to us. We want to make a name for the Wizards. I feel like with us, we take it more personal than other people do. We just want to turn this thing around," he said.


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Wizards announce 2019-20 opening night starting lineup featuring Rui Hachimura

Wizards announce 2019-20 opening night starting lineup featuring Rui Hachimura

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards have their starting five penciled in for opening night in Dallas as they get set for their first game of the 2019-20 season on Wednesday against the Mavericks.

The two big headliners are Rui Hachimura at the four and Isaac Bonga at the three. The Wizards picked Hachimura ninth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft and he has secured a starting NBA job out of his first training camp.

Bonga is in there mostly due to injuries, as both Troy Brown Jr. and C.J. Miles continue to work their way back. The Wizards plan to have Brown start most games this season at small forward, but he is still days away from returning from a left calf strain.

Here is the Wizards' starting lineup, as announced by head coach Scott Brooks:

PG - Ish Smith

SG - Bradley Beal

SF - Isaac Bonga

PF - Rui Hachimura

C - Thomas Bryant

Also expected to be part of the rotation against the Mavericks are guards Chris Chiozza, Jordan McRae and Justin Robinson, plus big men Davis Bertans and Moe Wagner. Rookies Admiral Schofield and Garrison Mathews may also see some time. 

The Wizards will open their season at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on NBC Sports Washington. Live coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Wizards Outsiders.