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Morning tip: Wizards figure out 'death lineup' with Bojan Bogdanovic

Morning tip: Wizards figure out 'death lineup' with Bojan Bogdanovic

The area where the Wizards have struggled in the last few years to find an identity is with their lineups to close out games.

With the Golden State Warriors, for instance, when they won their NBA championship in 2015 and an NBA record 73 games in 2016, it was Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green.

With the Wizards, it appears to be John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Bojan Bogdanovic and Markieff Morris following Sunday's 115-114 comeback win over the Orlando Magic

They flipped Bogdanovic as the "stretch" option at power forward rather than  Porter, a role he'd been filling earlier this season with Kelly Oubre as the small forward. But Porter and Bogdanovic are interchangeable. They can swap positions based on the matchups between the three and four spots.

Oubre's recent struggles, however, have kept him on limited minutes but in Bogdanovic they have a 6-8, physically stronger player than Porter. And they have a more consistent three-point shooter than Oubre.

If coach Scott Brooks wants to go to a more traditional big to stabilize them defensively vs. the opponent's small-ball lineup, he can still go with Ian Mahinmi.


While the backup center to Marcin Gortat isn't a threat to score from distance he provides them with the best pick-and-roll coverage and can switch out onto guards more effectively.  And they surround him with four shooters where he can post up smaller defenders (as he did successfully vs. Aaron Gordon) or have the rebounding edge to clean up the misses. 

The Wizards' plethora of shooters proved to be Orlando's undoing. Porter is the NBA's most accurate three-point shooter so when he got the ball Evan Fournier and Gordon ran to him. Coming off his shallow cut, Porter made the extra pass to the corner for Bogdanovic where he nailed what proved to be the winning shot with 46.8 seconds left. The scenario played itself out repeatedly down the stretch as the Wizards overcame a 17-point deficit.

"They put four three-point shooters out around one of the best point guards in the world," Magic coach Frank Vogel said. "We got switches, which they're supposed to do and he still got points racing down the lane. We over-helped a little bit, not a lot and weren't able to get to the shooters.”

 That's what a "death" lineup does. It forces switches and rotations, putting the opponents in scramble mode and making them more prone to have a lapse or miscommunication.

Under previous coach Randy Wittman, the Wizards tried to make this system work. Instead of Bogdanovic, he used Kris Humphries in that role. He shot 31.5% from there last season. Drew Gooden dropped from 39% in 2014-15 to just 17% in an injury-plagued 2015-16. Jared Dudley became the best option but he was undersized, couldn't rebound or contest shots on the other end to create misses. Plus unlike Bogdanovic, Dudley couldn't beat closeouts off the dribble to finish at the rim.

Now Brooks has several viable options at the stretch four in Bogdanovic (38.2%), Porter (45.3%) or Morris (36%). Or he can play them all thre simultaneously with two guards with Morris as the spread five option. 

Either the perimeter opens for threes or the driving lanes open for Wall to get to the rim.

Or in Sunday's case, both.


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Tyler Perry surprises Wizards in their Chicago hotel to compare heights

Tyler Perry surprises Wizards in their Chicago hotel to compare heights

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you put Tyler Perry in a room with a bunch of NBA players? If so, we have the answer. 

During the Wizards' road trip to Chicago in January, the famous actor/producer/writer surprised several players in their hotel room and compared heights with them the whole time. 

Perry, who's used to being the tallest in the room at 6'5", was dwarfed by the likes of Thomas Bryant and Johnathan Williams. 

"I ain't ever been in a room where I'm the short guy," Perry said as he greeted all the players. 

There were a couple of players who Perry had the height advantage on. Bradley Beal admitted he was shorter than Perry during the video, while Perry didn't have a doubt he was taller than Gary Payton II. 

"Oh, you're short," Perry joked after Payton revealed his height. 

You can find more of this kind of inside access into the Wizards' trip to Chicago, where the "Wire-to-Wire" special will air on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Ish Smith, Moe Wagner and Scott Brooks will be mic'd up and featured throughout a condensed version of the Wizards' loss to the Bulls in mid-January. 

"The thing is, you look at celebrities as celebrities, but they look at our players as celebrities," Brooks said. "But you could tell that [Perry], he had their attention. Not a lot of times our guys are willing to wait after our breakfast meeting. But they waited around for him so it was really cool to see that."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.


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How to watch Wizards vs. Bulls Wire to Wire broadcast

How to watch Wizards vs. Bulls Wire to Wire broadcast

The Wizards head to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors. Before that, fans can enjoy inside NBA access in the debut of 'NBC Sports Wire to Wire'.

'NBC Sports Wire to Wire' will debut Sunday, Mar. 1, at 6:30 p.m. and feature a one-hour condensed game of the Wizards matchup with the Bulls from mid-January. The twist is players and coaches on both sides were mic'd up during the game. 

Ish Smith, Moe Wagner, and Scott Brooks are featured from the Wizards side, while you'll be able to hear Coby White, coach Jim Boylen and former Wizard Tomas Satoransky as well. The broadcast will deliver a mix of on-court audio and sit-down interviews. 

The Wizards fell to the Bulls 115-106 in the game in question. In a head-to-head matchup between two eventual All-Star snubs, Zach LaVine got the best of Bradley Beal, scoring 30 points on 12-21 shooting to get his team the win. 

If you recall, Beal questioned the Wizards' culture after his team dropped what he called a 'winnable game.' Since then, the Wizards are 7-6 and before the All-Star break, were playing some of their best basketball.

Beal has also been exceptional since Washington's last loss in Chicago, so perhaps there's a bit more insight into what went on that game that one, caused Beal to call out his team after the game, and two, sparked one of the best runs of play for the Wizards all year. 

So remember 6:30 p.m. on Sunday before the Wizards-Warriors game. And if you aren't able to catch it the first time, the special will be re-air later Sunday evening at 11:30 p.m.

Here's everything you need to know to tune into the game Sunday and how to watch the Wire to Wire broadcast afterward. 


What: Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors 

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

When: Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020, at 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Warriors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Warriors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the MyTeams App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM


6:30 PM: Wire to Wire: Wizards vs Bulls

7:30 PM: Wizards Outsiders

8:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live

8:30 PM: Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors

11:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live

11:30 PM: Wire to Wire: Wizards @ Bulls


Wizards: John Wall (OUT/Achilles), Thomas Bryant (OUT/foot)

Warriors: Marquese Chriss (Day-to-day/calf), Draymond Green (Day-to-day/hip), Steph Curry (Day-to-day/hand), Klay Thompson (OUT/knee)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.