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Summer League, Game 4: Wizards hold on for victory


Summer League, Game 4: Wizards hold on for victory

We knew Kelly Oubre Jr. and the Washington Wizards would play at least one more game after Wednesday. We just didn't know if that future matchup would be in the winners or losers bracket. Despite nearly blowing a 19-point lead, the Wizards advanced to the good side with an 86-78 rout over the Utah Jazz Wednesday night.

The game details in summer league are never as important as player development, especially in the case of Oubre, Washington' first round pick. We can note the Wizards (2-2) never trailed, led by at least 15 points after each of the first three quarters and 74-58 entering the final period.

However, the offense went dormant starting the fourth as Utah scored the first 13 points. Orlando Johnson's layup ended the drought with 5:06 remaining and the Wizards held off the Jazz from there.

Five players scored in double figures for the Wizards, led by Scott Machado's 17 points. Johnson added 16 points and 11 rebounds while Oubre had 12 on 3 of 11 shooting.


Bryce Cotton led the Jazz with 20 points.

Most important, Oubre walks the walk. The 19-year-old oozes confidence off the court and isn't shy about performing on it. He also needs a GPS at times when he's driving to the rim. Both the ball handling and shot from deep remains a work in progress. That's cool. The Wizards set up their regular roster in such a way that Oubre can learn at his own pace.

  • Having strong point guard play is crucial for any hope of summer league success with players quickly thrown together. Machado has largely provided that for the Wizards with both steady and spectacular moments. The former Iona star looks the part of an NBA player. The 6-foot-5 Johnson and big man Jarrid Famous also appear worthy of training camp invitations. However, there is no room right now on the Wizards roster. That's among the reasons why second-round pick Aaron White appears headed overseas for his first professional season. The 6-foot-8 forward had four points on 1 of 5 shooting with four rebounds.

  • The Wizards are back in action Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. against the Pelicans. Seth Curry (25.0) is the summer league's leading scorer. Power forward Khem Birch, who impressed in Vegas with the Wizards last season, leads New Orleans with 7.7 rebounds.

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Gilbert Arenas doesn't like bench mobs, gives very on-brand reason

Gilbert Arenas doesn't like bench mobs, gives very on-brand reason

Gilbert Arenas was an attention-grabbing, electric player on the court. That's equally true off it, where Agent Zero has made a name for himself saying outrageous things and playing the jester. 

Arenas was back at it with another controversial take on his No Chill podcast this week. This time, he took aim at bench mobs.

"[The] only thing that irritates the s--- out of me, is when someone scores and they're like shooting the arrows and they havin' this big ole hype party on the bench ... f--- that ... I want your position. I don't want you to do good."

Bench celebrations have to be some of the most fun, light-hearted and beloved parts of an NBA game. Just look at this. 

Sure, players are drawing attention to themselves by cheering on their teammates, but who begrudges guys for rooting for their own team's success?

Arenas, apparently.

It might sound odd that a guy like Gil couldn't relate to goofy antics. Take a closer look at his history, though, and it makes perfect sense. 

Arenas was one of the most ball-dominant guards in the NBA at a time when Kobe Bryant dominated. That's saying something.

Just compare him versus Bradley Beal, for example. 

Arenas averaged 19 or more shots per game in four of his eight seasons with the Wizards. Beal, by contrast, has only done that once.

Arenas also logged 39 minutes per game while playing for Washington. Even last season when Beal's playing time was a concern, he played 37 minutes a night. 

Of course Arenas can't relate to sitting back and watching his teammates take his minutes or his shots. He had no experience doing either of those things.

There's also the indisputable fact that Agent Zero loves to stir up controversy. If the general consensus is one thing, Arenas gets attention by saying the other. 

Look no further than a few weeks ago. When most NBA players and fans were excited about Vince Carter deciding to try to play another year, Arenas came out opposed to the idea on his podcast.

He said Carter should retire to make room for younger players to prove themselves in the league. 

At this rate, if Arenas uses next week's podcast space to argue that Zion Williamson should go back to Duke, no one should be surprised. 


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Wizards' Bradley Beal snubbed from All-NBA, doesn't qualify for supermax contract

Wizards' Bradley Beal snubbed from All-NBA, doesn't qualify for supermax contract

Despite setting statistical career-highs across the board and earning many votes from the media, Wizards guard Bradley Beal fell short of making All-NBA, the league announced on Thursday.

Beal, 25, put together a brilliant season despite his team's disappointing 32-50 record. He averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from three. 

But voting members of the media saw others as more worthy of the honor.

The six guards chosen for All-NBA over Bradley Beal were:
- Stephen Curry, Warriors
- James Harden, Rockets
- Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
- Kyrie Irving, Celtics
- Russell Westbrook, Thunder
- Kemba Walker, Hornets

Walker essentially got the final spot over Beal.

Beal was one of just six players this season to average at least 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. He was the only one of the six who did not make an All-NBA team.

This is bittersweet news for the Wizards. Though Beal earning All-NBA would be an accomplishment worth celebrating, him not making it saves them a good deal of money and probably some headaches as well.

Beal would have qualified for a designated veteran player extension, also known as a supermax contract. He would have been in line to earn roughly $194 million over four years in a contract starting with the 2021-22 season at 35 percent of the salary cap.

With John Wall already signed to a supermax contract, that would have put the Wizards in a precarious financial position. But now the Wizards will not have to worry about that problem, at least for now.

Beal could always make All-NBA next season and these questions would be revisited. Also, with two years left on his contract, next summer could get interesting as he will be one year away from free agency.

But Thursday's news is good for anyone hoping to see Beal continue playing in a Washington uniform. This certainly increases his chances of sticking around for at least one more year, though the team's new president - whenever they are hired - may have other ideas.