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Perimeter shooting woes: Addressed, but fixed?

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Perimeter shooting woes: Addressed, but fixed?

When a team finishes with the second-worst record in the NBA, pointing to a single area as the primary weakness is perhaps oversimplifying matters.Then again, the Wizards perimeter shooting was certainly more clang than swish much of last season; Only the Kings and Bobcats shot worse from beyond the arc. After trading away Nick Young, Washington lacked a knock down threat among its true top options - and even one proved not enough.With a series of moves made this offseason, Washington attempted to turn open looks from distance into more than an iffy proposition. The Wizards selected Bradley Beal, he of the textbook shooting form, with the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. They retained leading 3-point shooter Cartier Martin, a late season addition who is now on board from day one. Free agentsignee Martell Webster is a career 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc.Whether all three see enough minutes to help the cause, that's another story and one that will play out starting Tuesday with training camp tipping off at George Mason.Of the three, Beal's status within the primary rotation appears most secure. Granted there are the expected inconsistencies that come with 19-year-old rookies and a potential starting lineup battle with Jordan Crawford looms. However, considering Crawford and all of the other primary guards on the current roster shot under 30 percent from 3-point range last season, the 6-foot-4 guard won't sit because of a few misses.Deemed the premier shooter at his position coming out of high school, Beal's 3-point accuracy (33.9) wavered during his one season at Florida, but he sank 12 of 26 attempts (46.1 percent) from beyond the arc over his final five games. That touch proved lacking during much of the Las Vegas Summer League, though Beal proved capable of scoring in other ways during those five July games. Playing with John Wall should help Beal's professional transition - once the point guard returns from an expected two-month injury absence. The path playing time path for swingmen Martin, he of the journeyman resume, and Webster, a 25-year-old a year removed from back surgery, is less obvious. Martinmade 38.7 percent of his 3's in 17 games last season.Webster drained 42 percent of his looks from distance during the 2010-11 season. The issue isn't their marksman credentials, but when and where to use them. Both can play in the backcourt, but likely not at the expense of sitting Crawford or Beal. Line them up at small forward? Sure, but Trevor Ariza has dibs on the starting slot and Chris Singleton started 51 games in that spot last season. Trevor Booker and perhaps Jan Vesely could also see serve in that slot seeing as Nene, Emeka Okafor and Kevin Seraphin figure to gobble up major minutes inside.Coach Randy Wittman enjoys plenty of lineup flexibility, certainly more than he did after taking over during last season. Yet if the goal is to put multiple shooters on the court - and based on the current outlook - that means some combination of Beal, Martin and Webster must be part of the Wizards primary rotation. That means Singleton, Vesely and others on the potentially deep roster might not see the court as often. If that's what it takes to stop witnessing one long miss after another, Wittman might not have a choice.Ben Standig blogs about the Wizards, Redskinsand the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Benstandig.

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

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John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?