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Morning tip: Too early to tell with Beal as other injuries pile up


Morning tip: Too early to tell with Beal as other injuries pile up

Although Bradley Beal had been listed as active for Tuesday's game, it was evident all along that he was not going to play vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. That he could even sit there to watch the dismantling of his Wizards over 48 minutes was a feat all to itself.

The Wizards (3-4) knew the left shoulder contusion, incurred in a game on Saturday in a collision, made it difficult for him to play. Based on the 125-101 loss, Beal's presence probably wouldn't have mattered much. 

"The doctors thought he still had some tenderness there and he had gotten bumped it wouldn't have been smart," coach Randy Wittman said. "They advised him to sit tonight."


The Wizards have three days before their next game, at home vs. the Orlando Magic. Gary Neal is no Beal, but he scored 14 points starting in place of him.

Of bigger concern is Nene (back spasms), who also sat out, and Drew Gooden who was 0-for-5 in 12 minutes Tuesday after missing the previous two games because of back spasms as well.

This weakens a frontline for the Wizards that is incredibly thin already. Gooden's lack of production limits their stretch-four options and Nene, though he's not as quick as he used to be, is the one big who rotates properly on defense and makes all the right reads.

Without Nene behind Marcin Gortat at backup center, that responsibility falls to DeJuan Blair. The Wizards have yet to have Martell Webster (right hip) or Alan Anderson (left ankle surgery) this season.

Anderson is out of his walking boot. He had a loose bone fragment removed last month.

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 



John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?