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Preseason problem follows Wizards into the regular season

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Preseason problem follows Wizards into the regular season

ORLANDO -- Two issues plagued the Wizards in the preseason that almost derailed them in their regular-season opener with the Magic: Fatigue and turnovers. Against a better team, maybe they wouldn't have won their first game for the first time in six years but John Wall and Bradley Beal have to clean that up and they know it.

On their first two possessions of the game, Beal had two turnovers. Wall had a spate of his own trying to draw contact in the paint, losing the ball and not getting the whistle. In all, they combined for 10 of Washington's 18 turnovers in an 88-87 victory that could've come a lot easier.

"You break momentum," coach Randy Wittman said after his team twice had nine-point leads in the firsts quarter but ended up leading just 31-29. "When you have a chance to go from six to 10 or 12 and we turn it over now they're up two or four points. Momentum swing. We just got to do a better job."

The backcourt wasn't the only problem. Kris Humphries and Nene each had turnovers that were the result of passing up wide-open looks and trying to get closer for a better shot or making a pass late with the shot clock running down. The Wizards led 59-51 because of a 6-0 run to begin the third quarter, but in a 41-second stretch they had three consecutive turnovers and it was trimmed to 60-58.

Out of a timeout, Humphries double dribbled. Then came Nene's shot-clock violation.

"We got a couple times when shots weren't going then all of a sudden we passed up shots. I tell these guys every day, you got an open shot, you got to shoot it.' They have to have faith in themselves. You work too hard to get an open shot then if you turn it down , the next shot you take is going to be worse or it's going to be a turnover."

Wall agreed with Wittman's assessment, calling their play "sloppy" on the offensive end for long stretches.

"We had about seven or eight stepping out of bounds," Wall said. "I think we're going to average around 14, 15 in this offense. ... If we stay between 13 and 15, we're fine. Live turnovers leading to points, that's what hurts the most."

It was stressed at Thursday's practice session, but a team can't really practice not turning the ball over. It's more of a mental thing of risk vs. reward when making certain passes and accepting what the opposing defense is giving up.

“We get out here and we play in practice trying to keep that in our minds. You can’t simulate that. It’s just a  mindset," Wittman said. "Usually it’s one of two things: we’re trying to do too much as an individual or we over-dribble. That’s usually where we get ourselves in trouble. We just got to think about it and make a simple play."

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Wizards' Bryant, McRae hope to make most of second chance in G-League

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Capital City Go-Go

Wizards' Bryant, McRae hope to make most of second chance in G-League

The NBA's G-League for many represents a second chance and that is the case for two Wizards players entering the 2018-19 season, the first for the Capital City Go-Go.

Center Thomas Bryant is on the Wizards' roster, but will likely spend much of his time with the Go-Go. Guard Jordan McRae is on a two-way contract and will also be there plenty. The two were in Congress Heights on Saturday representing the Wizards' G-League affiliate as their new arena was introduced to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bryant, 21, joined the Wizards organization back in July on the second day of free agency. He had been cut by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Wizards claimed him, adding another young prospect to their roster.

"If you get waived by a team, you don't feel too good about it. But when the Wizards picked me up right after, I felt great about it," Bryant said.

The 6-foot-10 big man was a second round pick last summer. He played in 15 games with the Lakers at the NBA level and 37 games with their G-League affiliate.

Bryant was one of the standouts for the Wizards' Summer League team in Las Vegas. In the time since, he has been working out with Rico Hines in L.A.

Bryant said he hopes his improving outside shot and physical conditioning can help him succeed with the Wizards this season.

McRae, 27, is just eight months removed from having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He also spent all of last season away from the NBA, either playing overseas or working his way back from injury.

He sees the Wizards as an opportunity to revive his career.

"After taking a year off, the Wizards are believing in me and trusting me to be the player that I was or be better. I'm just looking forward to it and I'm honored to be here," he said.

McRae has been training in Atlanta at P3 Peak Performance Project. They oversaw his rehab from surgery and have helped him get ready for this season.

Like Bryant, McRae has been in Washington getting to know his knew teammates in recent days. McRae, though, has a history with some of them having played against Bradley Beal going back to college and having played with Markieff Morris with the Suns. He has also worked out with Otto Porter, Jr. during the offseason.

McRae sees the Wizards as a decent chance to earn playing time, or at least better than his previous stop. He played the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Cavaliers and won a championship ring in 2016.

McRae earned some hardware and got to see LeBron James, Kyrie Iriving and Kevin Love make history, but he was in a reduced role.

"I'm just looking forward to a consistent opportunity. Being in Cleveland for two years was tough. Now I feel like here will be more of an opportunity and I want to make the best of it," he said.

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Former Wizards PG Tim Frazier joins Bucks training camp roster

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USA Todeay

Former Wizards PG Tim Frazier joins Bucks training camp roster

Former Wizards point guard Tim Frazier has joined the Milwaukee Bucks' 20-man roster for training camp.

Frazier, who spent last season in Washington, might actually have a shot at making the full 15-man roster behind Milwaukee's two true point guards, Eric Bledsoe and Matthew Dellavedova.

With Washington, he appeared in 59 games - 11 starts - and averaged 3.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. 

Frazier played at Penn State, and over the course of his NBA career, has averaged of 5.2 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 186 career games, per a team relase.

At 6-foot-1, Frazier is joining his fifth team in five seasons.

The Bucks will hold their first day of training camp Tuesday, and their first preseason game is scheduled for Oct. 3 against the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards host the Bucks on February 2, and then travel to Milwaukee four days later.