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Morning tip: Unenviable task for Marcin Gortat vs. T'Wolves

Morning tip: Unenviable task for Marcin Gortat vs. T'Wolves

The pressure doesn't lessen for Marcin Gortat. The Wizards' center, a traditional big man accustomed to playing in the paint, has had to defend on the perimeter more than ever this season by stepping out to the three-point arc vs. DeMarcus Cousins, Myles Turner, Brook Lopez, Dirk Nowitzki and likely will chase Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnestoa Timberwolves on Friday.

"He’s been able to get some practice with that, even last game guarding Dirk," said Wizards coach Scott Brooks of the 113-105 loss at the Dallas Mavericks earlier in week. "They have two guys that can stretch you out. Gorgui (Dieng) doesn’t shoot threes as much as Towns but you have to be ready for it. It’s hard. It’s an adjustment he’s going to have to continue to work on. The league is going that way. Every team has (big) guys that can shoot.”

Cousins scored 36 points but it took 34 shots in a loss for the Sacramento Kings. Surprisingly, the Wizards didn't trap the ball or offer a lot of help. Gortat did the job. Turner dropped 20 points but only made one three in a win and was held to 15 points and no threes in a loss. Lopez lit it up in their first meeting with 25 points but Gortat responded in the rematch by holding him to 11 points. 

Towns is averaging a double-double in just his second season at 21.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists for Minnesota (11-24). 

"In terms of his skill he’s like Boogie," said Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, referring to Cousins, who also went to Kentucky before Towns. "He likes to step out put the ball on the floor, he plays hard, plays aggressive, has a great post game. Has a good motor. He’s going to be tough. ... With a guy like that we’d rather him shoot those jumpers than be inside. He’s a huge piece to being around the basket, finishing, grabbing rebounds, so hopefully we can contest his jumpers and he’ll (feel) comfortable out there.”

In the only meeting in D.C. last season, the Timberwolves went to double overtime to win 132-129 amid some mild controversy. The last two-minute report released by the NBA revealed a lot of missed calls, including in the extra periods, and most went against Washington. 

Towns had 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Dieng, who had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, drained the final shot of regulation to force the first overtime. 

Towns has had 30 points or more four times. His set his career-high with 47 and also had 41. He has had 15 or more rebounds nine times. He's just a 31% shooter from three but he can't be left alone as he evolves from distance.

"I feel like he's more dangerous on the perimeter," said Wizards point guard John Wall. "He's able to shoot the ball. He's able to put the ball on the floor. He's able to find his teammates."

[RELATED: Film study: What leads to Wizards' leaky 3-point defense]

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NBA draft lottery 2020 to be held virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

NBA draft lottery 2020 to be held virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

The NBA offseason arrives later this week and will speed up soon not long after with the Aug. 20 draft lottery, which will be held virtually this year.

The news it is being held virtually, which was first reported by the Athletic, was a fairly obvious expectation. All 14 teams participating will do so remotely via a video feed. That's the way many events are being held amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wizards have the ninth-best odds in this year's lottery. That gives them a 4.5 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick and a 20.2 chance to select in the top four.

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The top eight teams in the lottery are the Warriors, Cavs, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls and Hornets. The Warriors, Cavs and Timberwolves are tied for the best odds to get the No. 1 pick.

There is no consensus top player in this draft. Mock drafts have rotated through a few players at the top. The big names include James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball.

The Wizards will need some luck to move up and have a chance to get one of them.

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Michael Jordan competes in White Marlin Open in Ocean City for second consecutive year

Michael Jordan competes in White Marlin Open in Ocean City for second consecutive year

Michael Jordan has proven time and time again that no opponent is too challenging for him.

Even in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Isaias, Jordan’s love for competition prevailed as he was spotted in Ocean City, Md. this past weekend competing in the White Marlin Open, a deep-sea fishing competition, for the second consecutive year. 

If basketball, football, baseball and golf weren’t enough, the six-time NBA champion has now become a regular competitor in the world’s largest billfish tournament. After he entered the competition in 2019, he was the weekend’s star even without the winning catch.

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 competition, rumors began to circulate about whether the sports icon would appear on the eastern shore again. When his plane was spotted at Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport last week and his boat Catch 23 was registered, excitement began to grow from fans and fellow anglers.

In the competition’s 47th year, Jordan’s boat was spotted as one of 433 to enter the competition. His is an 80-foot Viking, which displays the print matching his Air Jordan 3 sneakers that he wore during the 1998 NBA All-Star game.

The tournament features competitions in fishing for tuna, dolphins, blue marlins, wahoos, sharks and white marlins. Due to the effects of the hurricane, the competition spanned from Aug. 3-9, an extension from its normal five days. This year, the White Marlin Open set a record for the most money ever awarded with a collective $6.8 million distributed to the winners.

The top $1.85 million prize went to Brandon Golueke from Ocean City for a 97-pound white marlin. The fish was the third largest white marlin in competition history.

While Jordan and his Catch 23 crew were unable to bring home the top prize again this year, he has proven he has a promising future in angling. Back in June, his boat brought in a 442.3-pound marlin on the second day of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C., which earned fifth place that day and ninth place in the tournament overall. 

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