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No harm in Wizards curbing constant fouling


No harm in Wizards curbing constant fouling

There is little reason for concern over the actual result in the Wizards 100-88 loss at Charlotte on Sunday, a game in which Washington played without several key contributors and represented the first of eight preseason contests. However, there were two specific points coach Randy Wittman took from the opener and emphasized during Tuesday's morning practice session.

"Fouling. Fouling, No. 1. Ball movement, offensively, No. 2," Wittman said. "We held the ball a little bit too long. Each of us. Instead of making quick decisions. Those probably, two things are the things that we really concentrated on today."

Take a look at the final box score and it's not surprising the coach singled out those areas; offensively the Wizards shot 33 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers. Whistled for 41 fouls -- five each from forwards Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton -- the Wizards put the Bobcats on the free throw line a whopping 46 times.

"Young guys that are aggressive have to learn how to play aggressive," Wittman said of his second-year forwards. "There is a way to do it. Thats a teaching process that were going through. Both of them. Chris had five fouls in the game too and realistically, three of them for both of them couldve been prevented. Dumb fouls. Four seconds left on the clock in the quarter and Chris fouls 94 feet from the basket, trying to steal the ball at the end of the quarter. Those kind of things, weve got to eliminate, all of us. Just not those two guys, those kind of fouls."

This type of adjustment, Wittman said, is all about experience and communicating.

"Its looking up at the clock and that usually, I lay that on our point guard. Our point guard has to know time situation every minute of the game. Theyve got to know, weve got two fouls to give, or were in the bonus. And tell the bigs, we cant afford any stupid fouls here. Were in the bonus. Thats communication. That was something that was lacking in Charlotte."

Vesely's international background works against him at times, like when he picked 10 fouls in a single game during the Las Vegas Summer League.

"In Europe, you can be more physical. As you can see in games, he's in foul trouble a lot," guard Shelvin Mack said. "He's still trying to adjust to it, but he has the right attitude, staying positive trying to get better every day."

Singleton's aggression also led to nine rebounds in 15 minutes of action. Not having Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Booker on the court led to the Wizards primary starting small forward last season receiving time at power forward against Charlotte.

"We were shorthanded," Wittman said. "We played him some last year that. Kind of gives us the ability to stretch the floor out. We did that a lot last year at the end to spread the floor out with him at the four. John handled the ball on the floor with four other bigs just spread around, so obviously with Booker, Okafor and Nene all out, it gave us a good opportunity to look at that."

Wittman also continues to look at the point guard position with John Wall out of the lineup. Jannero Pargo returned to practice Tuesday after sitting out the last few days including Sunday's game with an abdominal strain, a game in which Mack tallied seven assists without a turnover and A.J. Price was part of the first unit's offensive struggles. Still, more time is required before coming to any rotation conclusions.

"Not really. Well see that more in games. This game is played five-on-five and well see that, as we see these last seven games of the preseason and really get a better feel for that," Wittman said. "Im still evaluating that spot and well continue to do that.

The Wizards wrap up the George Mason University part of training camp Tuesday night with an open practice and a performance by recording artist Wale. Wittman drolly stated enthusiasm for the concert portion of the open practice ("Just cant wait"). Whether he's the kind of guy that has Wale on his IPod or not, the coach obviously is focused elsewhere.

"Camp goes through October. Its the closing of George Mason. We had a good week of practice. Weve got things weve got to do better, obviously through our Charlotte game. We worked pretty good on that today. And then tonight, well put more together in game-like situations, scrimmaging and see if we made any progress from Sunday night Charlotte."

Notes...Trevor Booker remained sidelined with left hamstring soreness...As for Nene, who has yet to practice because of plantar fasciitis, Wittman did not have update on that front. "All do is each morning, I come in, I ask the trainer who I got, who dont have. And thats all I can worry about right now. I write down who I got and we formulate a practice plan and we come out here. And Ill come back tonight and see who I got and who I dont got. Thats my update."

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo, UMBC's upset hero


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history, defeating the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Mike Scott's season...

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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