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Morning tip: Sacrificing rebounds to stop 3s works for Wizards

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Morning tip: Sacrificing rebounds to stop 3s works for Wizards

The worst team in the NBA at defending the three-point shot, the Wizards were intent on not letting the Charlotte Hornets have their way with their small-ball lineups. They sacrificed two-point shots via putbacks on offensive rebounds to take away the long ball.

"We usually hedge teams," Jared Dudley said of the pick-and-roll coverage. "We didn't hedge. We switched a lot more."

The Wizards were outrebounded 51-38 in Saturday's 109-101 victory, with 18 of those for the Hornets on the offensive end. That translated to 19 second-chance points. 

Marcin Gortat had to run out to the arc and challenge shooters and that adjustment by coach Randy Wittman worked. Kemba Walker and Nic Batum each shot 1-for-7 from three. Marvin Williams was 1 of 5. Jeremy Lamb shot 1-for-4. 

MORE WIZARDS: COMPARING WIZARDS' THROWBACK JERSEYS 

"Because we were switching so much, Gortat had to switch out sometimes. I had to switch out so then now John (Wall) and (Ramon) Sessions, those guys have to bang down low," Dudley said. "It's something they're not used to. It's the first time we've done something like that. On the rebounds you're going to give that up. Even with that they still make a lot of threes early on. We limited them second half. For now we'll take twos for threes and live with it."

The Wizards allowed an NBA worst 40%-plus from long range entering the weekend. The only other team in their vicinity is the New Orleans Pelicans. 

"Our activity was better," Wittman said. "We're in good spots but we're surprised they throw the ball to the guy I'm standing next to and they make a three. Our alertness and activity was much better."

Batum missed a three-pointer as Gortat rushed to close him out, but the Hornets had two offensive rebounds on the possession that resulted in a putback for Cody Zeller to rim the deficit to 95-88. Even when Jeremy Lin lost the ball on a drive for what appeared to be a sure turnover, Batum stepped right into its path and deposited into the basket.

Gortat challenged Walker's drive to the basket to force a miss but Zeller cleaned up the mess with putback dunk for a 99-96 margin. Then Zeller finished at the rim over Dudley to cut the deficit to one before the Wizards would end the game on a 10-3 run.

"We don't want  to give up as many rebounds as we did. They beat us on the boards last game but we did want to take away threes," said Wizards guard Garrett Temple, referring to a 101-87 loss in Charlotte last month when they were outrebounded 51-41. "We did a pretty good job defensively but we have to sure up our defensive rebounding. Even though we're small we got to find ways to get rebounds. We were able to knock down enough shots for it to not matter."

The Wizards came close to holding an opponent to less than 100 points for the first time in 10 games but the Hornets had 26 in the fourth. Still, they didn't convert any of their five three-point shots in the last 12 minutes.

"That's what teams are beating us on, three-pointers," rookie Kelly Oubre, who made his first start, said. "We honed in on that. We ran guys off the line. Tried to make sure we swtiched when we needed to switch and do things the right way."

To stop one area of bleeding, the Wizards had to concede another. The Hornets had seven offensive boards in the fourth alone.

"They did a great job of getting into the paint, finishing and getting offensive rebounds. That's our Achilles heel ... getting killed on the boards," Wall said. "They kicked our tail in the second half on the boards."

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2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday night as the newest wave of potential superstars like DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Mo Bamba and Luka Doncic enter the league.

Here is everything you need to know for the big night...

2018 NBA DRAFT HOW TO WATCH

When: 7 p.m.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: ESPN
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: ESPN

Wizards draft picks: 15th overall in the first round, 44th overall in the second round

2018 NBA Draft Order

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
9. New York Knicks
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Los Angeles Clippers
13. Los Angeles Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets
15. Washington Wizards
16. Phoenix Suns
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Atlanta Hawks
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Utah Jazz
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Indiana Pacers
24.Portland Trail Blazers
25. Los Angeles Lakers
26. Philadelphia 76ers
27. Boston Celtics
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Brooklyn Nets
30. Atlanta Hawks

CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

2018 NBA Draft Top Prospects

1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
2. Marvin Bagley III, Duke
3. Luka Doncic, Slovenia
4. Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State
5. Mo Bamba, Texas
6. Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri
7. Wendell Carter, Duke
8. Trae Young, Oklahoma
9. Collin Sexton, Alabama
10. Kevin Knox, Kentucky

CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

Three Things to Watch For

1. Will Kawhi Leonard get traded?

Last year's draft featured some big trades including Jimmy Butler going to the Timberwolves. This year, there seems to be at least a decent chance it happens with Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs. He wants a trade and they have been meeting with him in recent days, perhaps for a last-ditch pitch to remain with the team. If he gets dealt on draft night, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.

2. Who will the Kings pick?

A consensus has built for Ayton to go No. 1 to the Suns. After that, it's a major crapshoot and whomever the Kings select will produce a domino effect from there on down. Will they take Bagley, the safe pick, or go a riskier route with Doncic or maybe even Porter, Jr.? The best bet at this point appears to be Bagley, but nobody truly knows.

3. Where will Trae Young and Michael Porter, Jr. go?

The two most interesting prospects in this draft are Young and Porter, Jr. Young was a sensation in college basketball, but is undersized and appears to be boom-or-bust. He could flame out quickly at the next level or be some iteration of the next Stephen Curry. Porter, Jr. played only three games in college due to a back injury and now has hip issues as well. His talent is undeniable, but his injury history represents a significant risk.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

Wizards Draft Prospect Profiles

-- Keita Bates Diop, SG/SF, Ohio State 
-- Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State (VIDEO)
-- Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon
-- Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova 
-- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Kentucky (VIDEO)
-- Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA (VIDEO)
-- Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Maryland (VIDEO)
-- Chandler Hutchinson, SG/SF, Boise State 
-- Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky (VIDEO)
-- Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College (VIDEO)
-- Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky (VIDEO)
-- Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State (VIDEO)
-- Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IGM Academy (Fl.) (VIDEO)
-- Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech (VIDEO)
-- Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton (VIDEO)
-- Gary Trent Jr., SG/SF, Duke (VIDEO)
-- Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan (VIDEO)
-- Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami (VIDEO)
-- Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M (VIDEO)

NBA Draft Prospect Player Comparisons

-- Miles Bridges, Draymond Green?
-- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dejounte Murray?
-- Zhaire Smith, J.R. Smith or Gerald Green?
-- Robert Williams, Kenyon Martin?

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our preview special episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

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USA Today Sports

2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

The NBA officially announced a list of 20 players invited to the Green Room at the 2018 NBA Draft. Provided that all attend, here's a list of who'll be there.

  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  • Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  • Mohamed Bamba, Texas
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
  • Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
  • Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
  • Aaron Holiday, UCLA
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  • Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  • Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  • Robert Williams, Texas A&M
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma
  • Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
  • Jerome Robinson, Boston College

There are two players each invited from Villanova, Michigan State, Duke and Kentucky.

The 2018 NBA Draft will be Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be broadcast on ESPN and streamed live on WatchESPN. The Wizards have Nos. 15 and 44 picks.

MORE WIZARDS COVERAGE