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Paul Millsap on Wizards taking 2-0 lead on Hawks: 'It's 0-0 to us'

Paul Millsap on Wizards taking 2-0 lead on Hawks: 'It's 0-0 to us'

The Wizards took a 2-0 lead on the Hawks on Wednesday night, putting the Hawks in a tough spot as they head back to Atlanta for Game 3. All-Star forward Paul Millsap, however, prefers to look at the bright side.

Millsap was quick to point out that all the Wizards did, technically, was hold homecourt. For the Hawks to win the series they, technically, only have to win their three games at home and then steal one of the remaining two in Washington.

That is technically correct, so Millsap is holding on to it.

"I think they got home court advantage, they played off of that but to us I mean it’s 0-0 to us. We're going back to Atlanta. We feel like we're still confident so to us, it's 0-0," he said.

Millsap has done this sort of thing in the past. Two years ago, after the Wizards beat the Hawks in Game 1 of their playoff series, Millsap said that "internally" he felt like the Hawks won.

Athletes use all sorts of things to motivate them. Millsap is just more honest about it.

[RELATED: Wizards like to have Morris, 'an enforcer' on their side]

 

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Chris Miller wraps up NBA All-Star weekend with Bradley Beal, Michael Lee and Dennis Scott

Chris Miller wraps up NBA All-Star weekend with Bradley Beal, Michael Lee and Dennis Scott

Washington Wizards basketball is almost back. After a wild month for the team capped off by the NBA All-Star game, Bradley Beal and the Wizards get back to action Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets. 

Before the second half of the season starts, get up-to-date on what's been happening around the league in the latest episode of the Wizards Talk podcast. 

Chris Miller sat down with Beal moments after his All-Star Game performance to chat about the weekend, how he probably did travel in their game against the Pistons and his efforts to recruit big name players to D.C..

Then Yahoo Sports' Michael Lee sits down to talk the possible repercussions of Anthony Davis not being traded, the impact of John Wall's Achilles injury and how the Wizards can move forward. 

Finally, NBA TV's Dennis Scott got candid about the Wizards' playoff chances with 24 games left to go and a ton of turnover on their roster. 

"Oh, it's going to be a tough fight," Scott said on their playoff chances. "I would like for them to because when you're trying to retool your team and now Otto [Porter's] gone, you've brought in two young guys. Bobby Portis, oh my goodness. I know you like what you've seen from him so far and hopefully Jabari [Parker's] knees can hold up. That thing still has some [gas] left in the tank.

So, can those young guys give you enough firepower to? Maybe. Maybe."

To hear all of these interviews, click the podcast player above. 

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Dwight Howard reportedly takes another positive step in post-surgery recovery

Dwight Howard reportedly takes another positive step in post-surgery recovery

Dwight Howard is back. Back in town, at least.

According to a report from The Athletic, the Wizards’ center, sidelined since undergoing back surgery on Nov. 30, is expected to start on-court work in Washington.

The original timeline indicated a 2-3 month recovery timeline for Howard, who played in nine games for the Wizards but none since Nov. 18 against Portland. Howard, 33, has primarily rehabbed post-surgery in his native Atlanta.

Washington returns to practice Wednesday following the NBA All-Star break. The Wizards, 24-34, face the Hornets Friday in Charlotte before hosting the Indiana Pacers Saturday.

Needing to jump three teams for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards could certainly use more help. Whether that help comes from Howard remains to be seen. The report did not indicate if Howard would rejoin the team's full practices or when he would return to the lineup.

Howard missed training camp, preseason and the opening seven games while dealing with back and gluteal pain. The future Hall of Famer only played seven minutes against the Trail Blazers before exiting.

Less than two weeks later Dr. Robert Watkins performed a L4-L5 lumbar microdiscectomy after consultation with the Wizards’ medical staff determined disc herniation was causing severe nerve irritation and gluteal pain.

Washington signed the free agent center to a two-year, $11 million contract in July after trading longtime starter Marcin Gortat in June. The Wizards hoped Howard’s interior presence on both ends of the court would provide the team with needed low-post scoring, rebounding and rim protection.

Though he averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds, Howard labored athletically. Washington struggled throughout the season on the boards.

His absence created an opportunity for second-year center Thomas Bryant, who has developed into an efficient scorer and energy provider.

The second season on Howard’s contract is a player option, an option he seemed likely to execute without returning to the court this season. For now, the question is how much can he help the Wizards with 24 games remaining.

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