Quick Links

Morning tip: Wizards find their Trevor Ariza again with Kelly Oubre

Morning tip: Wizards find their Trevor Ariza again with Kelly Oubre

The latest stretch by Kelly Oubre isn't just his best basketball of the season but of the small forward's two-year career. And he's doing it on both ends going into the playoffs for the Wizards.

In the last seven games,, Oubre has played from 23-29 minutes and has had 16 points and seven rebounds; 14 points and five rebounds; 10 points, six rebounds and two steals; 10 points, four rebounds and three steals; six points and two rebounds; 15 points and five rebounds; and 13 points, five rebounds and two blocks. 

But his greatest value can't always be seen in the statistics. The Wizards (48-31) aren't playing good defense, but the 6-7 small forward with the 7-2 wingspan has excelled against all shapes and sizes.

Coach Scott Brooks will use Oubre to cool a hot hand or in an end-of-game-situation, which are the first two examples, against the best offensive player:

vs. Carmelo Anthony, a 6-8 forward

vs. Jimmy Butler, a 6-7 guard/forward

vs. Isaiah Thomas, a 5-9 point guard

vs. Kemba Walker, 6-1 point guard

vs. Al Horford, 6-10 power forward/center

When the Wizards go to a five-man lineup with Oubre in for Markieff Morris with the starters, they allow just 100.2 points per 100 possessions in 200 minutes together. That's almost four points better than the regular starting five.

When Oubre is on the floor with Brandon Jennings, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jason Smith and Ian Mahinmi, they allow just 84.3 per 100 in a total of 86 minutes.

The best defensive pairings for the Wizards involve Oubre among the five. A playoff series can be flipped because of an adjustment such as Oubre to take away a team's key weapon. 

In 2013-14, when the Bulls had a chance of turning around their first-round series with the Wizards, it was forward Trevor Ariza who was assigned to the problem matchup, point guard D.J. Augustin. He extinguished that hope.

While it was Paul Pierce and then Otto Porter who took the starting role upon Ariza's departure, Oubre is proving to be a closer match.


Quick Links

Justin Bieber's new No. 1 album features production from ex-Wizard JaVale McGee

Justin Bieber's new No. 1 album features production from ex-Wizard JaVale McGee

Former Wizard Javale McGee has a well-known reputation in the NBA for his emphatic dunks, and his name is cemented in NBA history with two championships. Now McGee can add a No. 1 album to his list of accomplishments.

McGee, who currently is helping the Los Angeles Lakers maintain the best record in the Western Conference, was listed as a contributor on the song "Available" on Justin Bieber's new hit album “Changes.” 

McGee took advantage of constantly being on the road during his career and began networking with major players in the music industry, before meeting Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, one of Bieber's producers in 2013.

"I was in the studio with Poo Bear around November of last year," McGee told the New York Times in an article published Friday. "I didn’t know who I was making music for. I was playing some songs and samples and he stopped on this one sample that I had made. He looped it, put it in the computer and we just started writing to it. We ended up writing the whole song, but there were no drums or anything." 

McGee said a few months later when he was speaking with Boyd, he was notified that he was on the album. 

"It was amazing," McGee said. "Justin Bieber is one of the, if not the, top artists out there. So to be able to keep working and produce something for an artist like that is amazing."

Another slam-dunk.

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.


Quick Links

Report: Los Angeles deputies shared Kobe Bryant crash photos

Report: Los Angeles deputies shared Kobe Bryant crash photos

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Authorities are investigating whether deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash scene where Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed, according to a newspaper report.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a public safety source with knowledge of the events had seen one of the photos on the phone of another official in a setting that was not related to the investigation of the crash. He said the photos showed the scene and victims' remains.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the allegations.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Maria Lucero told The Associated Press on Friday that "the matter is being looked into."

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union that represents rank-and-file deputies, did not immediately return requests for comment.

The Times reported that it's unclear how widely the photos might have been disseminated and who was involved. It's additionally unclear whether the deputies had taken the photos themselves or received them from someone else.

Capt. Jorge Valdez, a spokesman for the sheriff's department, said the department had contacted the victims' families because of the newspaper's inquiries.

Bryant and the others were killed in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles were traveling to a youth basketball tournament at Bryant's sports facility in Thousand Oaks. The cause of the crash is undetermined.

Bryant and his daughter Gianna, whose team was coached by her father, were honored at a public memorial Monday at Staples Center, where Bryant starred for most of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated there weren't any signs of engine failure from the wreckage recovered from the crash site. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, had nearly navigated the helicopter out of blinding clouds when it turned and plunged into the mountainside.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday, alleging that Zobayan was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions and should have aborted the flight. The lawsuit names Island Express Helicopters Inc., operator of the service, and Island Express Holding Corp., owner of the craft. It also targets pilot Ara Zobayan's representative or successor, listed only as "Doe 1" until a name can be determined.

Also killed in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach the girls' basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Keri and Payton were Gianna's teammates.