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Serge Ibaka's 3-point shooting shreds Wizards' game plan


Serge Ibaka's 3-point shooting shreds Wizards' game plan

The one word that is used about the Wizards under coach Randy Wittman, from veterans past such as Paul Pierce and Andre Miller, to present is "preparation." It's second to none, but it was inadequate in regards to Serge Ibaka in a blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Wittman said before tip off that his bigs should be more effective because against the Thunder they didn't have to chase a stretch power forward. While Ibaka, who always has been a good mid-range shooter at 6-10, was at 16.7% from three-point range going into Tuesday's game, he made them pay dearly for focusing too much on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

"We knew Serge could step out and shoot threes. He hit a little bit more than we expected," said Wizards rookie Kelly Oubre. "We thought he wasn't shooting that much this year. He stepped out, ventured into his range. He was hitting tonight. We weren't focused on that moreso. Focused on Russ and KD. He had a great game."

To be exact, Ibaka had 23 points, making all of this three-point attempts as the Thunder led 68-50 at halftime. His first triple broke a 6-6 tie. A couple of point-blank shots from him later and the Thunder were up by 14 after the first quarter. The next trey made the score 58-44. Then in the third quarter, Ibaka's final three pushed the score to 80-54.

And Westbrook still got his triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds in only 28 minutes. Durant had a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds, in just 17 minutes before a left hamstring strain kept him out after halftime. 

The Wizards were 0-for-3.

"You focus on the other two guys but come on, Ibaka is a great defensive player for them. He's one of the best four men in mid-range jump shots. That's where he makes his living at," Wizards point guard John Wall said. "He made corner threes. That's where he's been shooting. They just outrebounded and outhustled us on every play. Loose balls or offensive rebounds. That's where you lose the game with a team like that."

MORE WIZARDS: Gortat thinks Wizards got 'punked again'

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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

Player: Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2017-18 salary: $2 million

2017-18 stats: 59 G, 14.2 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 76.7 FT%, 44.5 eFG%, 105 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/27 at Hawks - 4 points, 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2-for-5 FG

Season review: The Wizards tabbed Tim Frazier to be their backup point guard nearly a year ago when they sent a second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans on the eve of draft night. They viewed Frazier as the solution to their years-long search for a capable backup behind John Wall. Frazier had thrived as a replacement starter in New Orleans and the Wizards saw him as worth a draft pick, even though he had just one year left on his contract.

Frazier began the season as the primary backup point guard, but ultimately lost the job to Tomas Satoransky once Wall went out with a left knee injury. Frazier became the starter and Satoransky the backup, but through two weeks Satoransky outplayed him and became No. 2 on the depth chart once Wall returned. Then, when Wall went down for months late in the season, Satoransky started and Frazier backed him up.

Frazier never found consistency as he moved back and forth between roles. His minutes, points and assists averages were all career-lows.

The Wizards added competition to their roster for Frazier and Satoransky midseason, first by signing Ramon Sessions in March and then adding Ty Lawson just before the playoffs began. That led to Frazier being inactive for four of the Wizards' six postseason games.

All in all, it was a frustrating year for Frazier. He even had to deal with a broken nose and surgery to repair it after getting inadvertently kneed in the face by Bobby Portis in a game against the Bulls in February.

Frazier has been part of small group of Wizards players continuing to work out at the team facility this summer. He has been there along with Wall, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. That said, it does seem likely Frazier returns given how the Wizards used him this season. He was completely out of the rotation for extended periods of time.

Helping his cause in that regard is that the Wizards have his Bird rights, meaning they can re-sign him while going above the salary cap. They currently have five open roster spots and not much money to spend. Frazier could represent a cheap option and help them fill out their roster.

Potential to improve: Shooting, on-ball defense, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Wizards power forward Markieff Morris. Morris looked back on the 2017-18 season and gave his side on what needs to be fixed.

Chris and Chase Hughes also had a heated debate about Bradley Beal not receiving any All-NBA votes. Chase is an awards voter and defended his ballot. Chris wasn't having any of it.

They also went into the conference finals and what it would mean if the Rockets beat the Warriors.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!