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NBA analyst Antonio Daniels doesn't think Wizards guard Kelly Oubre should have been suspended

NBA analyst Antonio Daniels doesn't think Wizards guard Kelly Oubre should have been suspended

It has been a topic of discussion throughout the playoffs, NBA players are calling each other out saying that guys are intentionally trying to hurt each other. It has even been an issue with the Wizards forward Kelly Oubre. During Game 3, Oubre shoved Celtics player Kelly Olynyk to the ground after an illegal screen which caused Oubre to be ejected and suspended for Game 4.

Has this always been an issue though during NBA playoffs? Former Wizards player and current NBA analyst Antonio Daniels gave a passionate response to the Sports Junkies Wednesday morning ahead of Game 5.

"I think because of this series, is the most physical series of any of the other series, said Daniels. So you have everything that has gone on prior to this series starting. You know, you understood that this is two teams that don't like each other, it's a throwback series. And now you come into the series and then everything happens with Kelly Oubre and Kelly Olynyk and then Morris and so all these little things that continue to happen. So now you get Isaiah Thomas complaining. Now what you're going to get possibly, possibly is an overreaction from the referees to kind of [say] OK let's get this game under control from the beginning. So I'm sure in the referee meeting, before the game start, that's one thing they're going to talk about."

Now when it comes to Oubre being handed a suspension for his reaction to Olynyk, Daniels had a response that Wizards fans would like;

"You get a suspension from Oubre, for doing what I felt, he was justified to do. I didn't think he should have been suspended for doing that but he did it, OK you take the repercussions and you move on. So what you see is an overreaction with the whistle tonight and in Game 5 because the last thing these referees want to see is this game get out of control."

On Monday Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green added fuel to the fire by saying that Kelly Olynyk is, in fact, a "dirty player." This was a surprise to many as Green doesn't have the cleanest track record himself. He was suspended during the 2016 finals for committing too many flagrant fouls. Daniels had some thoughts on this as well;

"Well first, OK, Draymond Green is the wrong guy to talk about that. Out of all people to speak on being a dirty player or not being a dirty player, look you gotta find somebody else. I understand Draymond Green is very good, he's very versatile, he's an all-star, but you gotta get that comment from somebody else. 'Cause that's the pot calling the kettle black. Big time. Big time. Kelly Olynky has done a few things that are borderline, suspect of being dirty. You know what he did to Kevin Love a couple years ago, yeah I definitely thought that was over the edge. NBA players will play hard, will play hard at all the times. You may not like guys, but ill tell you what, guys never intentionally hurt one another. Will never intentionally hurt one another. If you're intentionally trying to hurt somebody that's something that happens off the floor, that's personal. But on the floor, it's a fraternity. Guys want to win. Guys may not like guys, but you never intentionally trying to hurt somebody. And what Kelly Olynyk did a couple years ago, it kind of seemed like he intentionally tried to hurt Kevin Love. I don't know, I just think there's certain ways to go about doing things but there's been dirty players throughout history. 

So how do players deal with this? Especially with it being known that the NBA finals are much more physical than the regular season.

"I mean if he is dirty, so be it. If that's who you are, that's who you are. You embrace in and you move on."

MORE WIZARDS: OUBRE SHARES FUNNY STORY OF WATCHING WIZARDS-CELTICS GAME 4 WHILE SUSPENDED

 

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Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

WASHINGTON -- Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has translated so smoothly to the NBA level that it is easy to forget he is still just a rookie with only 31 games under his belt. For a reminder of his inexperience, just look at the fourth quarter.

Hachimura tends to start games hot on the offensive end, like he did on Friday in the Wizards' loss to the Cavaliers when he had eight points by the end of the first quarter. But he scored only nine points after that and went scoreless through seven minutes in the fourth.

That has been a consistent theme for him this season. He averages 4.8 points in the first quarter shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 4.0 points in the second shooting 57 percent and then 4.3 points on 47.9 percent in the third. In the fourth quarter those numbers plummet to 1.9 points on average and 33.3 percent shooting.

Basically, Hachimura often comes out on fire but then slows down considerably once opponents make midgame changes. Against the Cavs, Hachimura said it was because they disrupted passing lanes.

"They are an NBA team. They just adjusted. They didn't want me to catch the ball. They didn't let me just catch the ball. I think that's why," he said.

The Wizards have seen teams switch defensive match-ups midgame to counter Hachimura. Sometimes taking away his midrange jumper will be prioritized. The Cavs seemed to find success playing Hachimura more physically in the second half, bumping him away from his comfort zones.

Over time, Hachimura can improve his ability to sustain scoring throughout games simply by becoming more versatile. The more consistent he becomes at making three-point shots and creating off the dribble, the more difficult it will be for teams to stop him. As long as he keeps improving, he will reach a point where he can stay ahead of the defense with a multitude of counters.

Developing a more reliable outside game and more dribble combinations will take some time. For now, Hachimura believes the key to him keeping up his scoring pace involves working with his teammates, particularly star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

"I just gotta connect more with Brad. Brad is the one everybody is trying to guard. Screens and pick-and-rolls with him, that kind of stuff will help me," Hachimura said.

Hachimura's game against the Cavaliers reflected how the team played overall. After scoring 41 points in the first quarter, they managed only 42 in the second half. They blew a 16-point lead and lost, 113-108.

So, he wasn't alone. And those rooting for Hachimura to round out his game should feel good about his odds. He has a relentless work ethic and is often staying after practice to go over film with player development coach Dave Adkins.

Hachimura is perceptive and driven to improve. In order to take the next step as a scorer, he will have to get better at closing games.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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