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Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot, but result the same

Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot, but result the same

For a team that is just 27 games into their regular season schedule, the 2016-17 Washington Wizards sure seem to get a lot of chances at last-second buzzer beaters. Markieff Morris had an opportunity to be the hero in Orlando. Otto Porter and John Wall have both had their shots. And on Monday night in Indiana, the man many have clamored for all year to take the final shot actually got one at long last.

Just like the others, that one rimmed out, too. This time it was Bradley Beal who had the open look, yet once again the Wizards saw the same result. It was another heart-stopping finish, one that brought Marcin Gortat to the floor in disbelief.

Yes, it was another missed opportunity, another play that will stick in the memory of the player who came up short in the final moment. But, just like most of the other last-second shots before, Beal got an uncontested look. The play drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks worked to perfection and the Wizards had their chance, it just didn't go in.

"I felt like it was good," Beal said. "It was kind of tough with the angle and it being 0.9 seconds, but I’ll take the blame for it. It was definitely a shot I can make. Just move on."

"We’ll take that shot any day of the week," Brooks said. "We did a great job of executing, setting screens and coming off hard. It was a good look. There was 0.9 seconds, so the shot had to get up in a hurry. He had plenty of time to catch and gather. It was a good look. Marcin set a great screen. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way."

The time left on the clock certainly produced a challenge, but the same was the case for a play just seconds earlier. On that one, Beal knocked it down right before the shot clock ran out and with just 15.7 seconds left in the game. That tied the game at 105-105, though initially it appeared to be a go-ahead shot before a referee review determined his foot was on the three-point line.

Afterwards, Beal - who finished with 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting - still wondered if it should have counted for three.

"It was a three to me, but the refs thought otherwise just like they did for a lot of other calls throughout the game. It is what it is," he said.

"I think he was on the line by half an inch," Brooks added.

The 15.7 seconds remaining were more than enough for Thaddeus Young to sink a running floater on the other end to put the Pacers up 107-105. That snapped a Wizards' three-game winning streak and kept them outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. A win would have put them in the playoff mix for the first time this season. Though it's still early, that would have been a nice short-term goal for a team that is still recovering from a disappointing 2-8 start.

The Wizards are now 12-15 on the season. They are 10-6 at home with five straight wins at the Verizon Center. On the road, it's been a much different story where they are just 2-9, the second-worst record in the East. 

Like Monday night, they just haven't been able to consistently close the deal.

"We’re so close in these road games. We’re going to have a breakthrough," Brooks said.

[RELATED: 5 MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WIZARDS' LOSS TO PACERS]

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Bradley Beal's dominance left Cavaliers fans wondering what could have been

Bradley Beal's dominance left Cavaliers fans wondering what could have been

The Wizards may be 15-29, on pace for fewer wins than last year and sport the worst defense in the league by a wide margin, but Wizards fans can find solace in one simple fact. 

They aren't the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Heat one night before, the Wizards waltzed to their easiest win of the season. Bradley Beal was unguardable, Davis Bertans caught fire from three and Cleveland's top-five pick, Darius Garland had another rough shooting night. 

Suffice to say, Cavs fans weren't feeling great after the game last night. Here are some reactions we felt Wizards fans would want to see. 

Sad fans wanting to jump ship

"Absolutely disgraceful performance. In all my years as a fan of this team, I’ve never seen a group of players so lazy and pathetic. I’m taking my fan-hood to San Antonio where it looks like they know how to run a basketball team," said @FreakySportz

"Why do I continue to watch this team smh," wrote @cmcgoingal98

"PLAYERS DON'T CARE!! THIS GARBAGE IS UNREAL!!" @El_Matador92 screamed through his keyboard

"This is a wasted season... They need to trade [Kevin] Love now. He isn't a difference-maker," said @chanowski_j

What could have been with Bradley Beal

Beal had 36 points and eight assists on 15-22 shooting against the Cavs Thursday night. Nobody on Cleveland's roster could contain him, and after the game, it had Cavs fans wondering what could have been if Beal fell past the Wizards in the 2012 NBA Draft.

"We missed him by one spot in the draft," wrote @Hockey_Wolf

 

"I love Bradley Beal's game," said @The Real_DiO

"Beal 15-22 from the floor. You have to go into the game knowing he's the primary scorer. How many wide-open looks did he get?" wrote @CLESportPrspctv

"Not much you can do when a team is that committed to getting their star open shots. And Beal is great when free to shoot or drive... Wizards just were committed and determined to get him free," said @KirkLOB

Love brings Beal back to life

The best moment of the night came after Beal took a charge in the second half and laid flat on his back once he got hit. Then Love came over and did his best to revive the star shooting guard. 

Naturally, the jokes were flying at the Cavs' expense. 

"Love is so ready to be traded lol," wrote @ife_any

"Someone needs to revive Kevin Love's career," said @JRaviloi

"Should've left him for dead. Did you see what he did to us last night?" wrote @Belasic_Mark

"Highlight of the night," said @MomOnWarpath

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NBA Rumors: Davis Bertans trade inquiries have reportedly gone nowhere as deadline nears

NBA Rumors: Davis Bertans trade inquiries have reportedly gone nowhere as deadline nears

There's been no shortage of teams who've expressed interest in Wizards forward Davis Bertans, but it appears many attempts to trade for the Latvian sharpshooter have been rebuffed by Washington's front office. 

According to Chris Mannix, several Davis Bertans trade inquiries have gone nowhere. In those conversations, executives told Mannix that the Wizards wouldn't even discuss a deal. 

Bertans is making $7 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Wizards have unlocked the sniper's full offensive potential after three seasons in San Antonio. He's averaging career-highs in minutes (29.2), points (15.3), rebounds (4.6), field goal attempts (11.4) and three-point attempts (8.7). 

Bertans' break out season has resulted in a number of contenders expressing interest in his services. Based on a report by Chase Hughes earlier this month, the Celtics, Sixers, Lakers and Nuggets have all emerged as potential suitors. 

 

The Wizards remain consistent on their intention to keep Bertans past the trade deadline even if that may mean losing him in free agency. While the Wizards may be in the midst of a rebuild this year, Bertans is a better fit for John Wall and Bradley Beal's contention window. 

The key with Bertans this summer is his bird rights. Bird rights allow a team to re-sign a player to any amount without using cap space. After the spending-spree that was the 2019 free agency period, there are about seven teams who could realistically create enough cap space to give Bertans the $12-15 million salary Berants is believed to fetch. The Hawks, Hornets, Cavs, Grizzlies, Knicks, Suns and Trail Blazers. 

Whoever has Bertans on their team at the end of the year will naturally be able to outbid any team on a contract offer since they won't have to use cap space to retain him. That's probably why Mannix believes the Wizards can get at least a first round pick for Bertans and why Tom Haberstroh thinks the Wizards' asking price might be too high to get a deal done. 

Contenders can get desperate at the deadline though, especially for the kind of shooting and bench scoring a player like Bertans can provide. If the Wizards are comfortable keeping Bertans and dealing with the uncertainty of free agency, they can sit back and wait for a team to offer everything they want and more. 

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