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Takeaways from Wizards' big road win over Knicks

Takeaways from Wizards' big road win over Knicks

The closing out of the New York Knicks left a lot to be desired for the Wizards, who didn’t get the best performance from Bradley Beal and lost a double-digit lead, but John Wall scored the last four points and made a strip on the final play as they won back-to-back games for the first time 113-110 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

John Wall (25 points, 13 assists, five rebounds) posted his 25th double-double and Otto Porter (23 points, six rebounds) tied his career-high with six three-pointers to lead them to their season-high fourth win in a row and and just their fifth road victory. Markieff Morris (14 points, six rebounds, four assists) and Marcin Gortat (12 points, 12 rebounds) also had strong games.

Carmelo Anthony led all scorers (34 points, 10 rebounds) and the Knicks had Derrick Rose (20 points), Kristaps Porzingis (15 points) and Justin Holiday (11 points) also in double figures.  

The Wizards (23-19) led 100-86 entering the fourth quarter. Brandon Jennings (three points) made his only shot from deep to cut the deficit to 107-104, but Wall responded with a strong drive for a layup to end a five-minute field-goal drought by Washington.

Rose missed on a difficult drive at the rim put collected the loose ball for a putback to give New York (19-25) a 110-109 lead.

But Wall took over. He was fouled on a drive by Anthony and made both free throws. Then when Anthony tried to give his team the lead back, Wall took the missed jumper immediately downcourt for a breakaway dunk for the final margin.

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The Wizards held on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 104-101 on Wednesday in similar fashion, almost squandering a double-digit led and surviving a game-tying shot. The Knicks never got off one as Jennings lost the handle and Wall passed the ball ahead for Bradley Beal to run out the clock.

In games decided by six points or less, the Wizards are 12-4.

--After setting a career-high with six made three-pointers Wednesday, Porter had six more as he had plenty of uncontested looks again.

--New York played better when Rose wasn’t on the floor with Anthony as the stretch option at the four spot and Porzingis at the five. Anthony went on his 25-point explosion in the second quarter with mostly the second unit. When coach Jeff Hornacek went back to it late in the third with the deficit growing, Rose was at the point guard and took the shots without success. Most were quick, low-percentage and were welcomed by Washington, which in the past has schemed to let Rose take plenty of shots.

-- For the second game in a row, Beal was cold. Unlike what he faced vs. Memphis, which is an elite defensive team, the Knicks aren't very good. Still, Beal missed 9 of 13 shots and didn’t look as crisp with his legs or decision-making. He shot 4-for-14 previously Wednesday. Beal also failed to make a three as he misfired on all seven.

--Jason Smith (11 points) and Kelly Oubre (10 points) gave the Wizards the punch off the bench that they’ve lacked on the road to compensate for Beal. They also combined for seven rebounds.

--Tomas Satornasky played 14 minutes and his only make in two attempts was a three-pointer. He had two steals in solid two-way play to further solidify his spot in the rotation. Trey Burke (three points) only played six minutes but made a three as well. Sheldon McClellan, Marcus Thornton and Andrew Nicholson didn’t play. 

--To combat New York's smaller lineups, Wizards coach Scott Brooks went smaller too whhich is why Gortat only logged 29 minutes. Gortat only played three minutes in the fourth quarter but produced nonetheless. 

[RELATED: Wall and Beal not named All-Star starters]

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keita Bates-Diop

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keita Bates-Diop

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Keita Bates-Diop

School: Ohio State
Position: Small forward/power forward
Age: 22
Height: 6-9
Weight: 224
Wingspan: 7-3
Max vertical: 35

2017/18 stats: 19.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.9 spg, 1.6 bpg, 48.0 FG%, 35.9 3PT% (1.9 3PT/5.4 3PA), 79.4 FT%
Player comparison: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 26th, NBADraft.net 41st, Bleacher Report 21st, Sports Illustrated 31st

5 things to know:

*Bates-Diop is a uniquely versatile player who could fit in very well with positionless basketball. He is the size of a small forward, but has the wingspan to play bigger and the athleticism to guard multiple positions. Defense could be the way he makes his name early on in his NBA career. He has proven uniquely adept at blocking shots for his size, averaging 1.6 per game as a redshirt junior. Whether that will translate to the NBA level, however, is a question. He will be guarding bigger, smarter and more athletic players.

*He is a very good rebounder, especially for his size. Bates-Diop grabbed rebounds consistently throughout his career and as a redshirt junior pulled in 8.7 per game. He had 20 games of double-digit rebounds in college and three times had 14 in a game. He had seven offensive rebounds against Robert Morris in a game last November.

*Bates-Diop was the Big 10 player of the year for the 2017-18 season. Some recent winners of the award include Denzel Valentine, Frank Kaminsky, Draymond Green, Trey Burke and Evan Turner.

*He was able to redshirt because he missed most of his junior season with a stress fracture in his left leg.

*Bates-Diop wasn't an elite three-point shooter in college, but he did make strides throughout his career. As a redshirt junior, he shot a modest percentage of 35.9, though the volume he made them was noteworthy. Outside shooting is always important for NBA wings and Bates-Diop would benefit from developing a consistent three-point shot. He will probably need to simplify his motion because his release is a bit slow.

Fit with Wizards: Bates-Diop would give the Wizards depth at two positions where they need it. He could slide into Mike Scott's role as the backup forward, spending much of his time behind Markieff Morris as a smaller four while giving them insurance at the three position behind Kelly Oubre, Jr.

Bates-Diop would add length and athleticism to the second unit and he and Oubre could make a dynamic combination defending the perimeter. They would have over 14 feet of wingspan between them.

Bates-Diop would have to prove himself at power forward at the NBA level before he can be projected as a starter in the long-term. Right now they have small forward solidified with Otto Porter.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Aaron Holiday

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Aaron Holiday

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Aaron Holiday

School: UCLA
Position: Point guard
Age: 21 (turns 22 in Sept.)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 187
Wingspan: 6-8
Max vertical: 33

2017/18 stats: 20.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 46.1 FG%, 42.9 3PT% (2.7 3PT/6.2 3PA), 82.8 FT%
Player comparison: Darren Collison
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 24th, Bleacher Report 23rd, Sports Illustrated 23rd

5 things to know:

*Holiday played big minutes in all three seasons for the Bruins. As a junior, he broke out as an elite scorer, averaging 20.3 points while also dishing 5.8 assists per game. Holiday scored in a variety of ways, including at the free throw line where he averaged 5.8 attempts per game and knocked them down at 82.8 percent.

*He is a terrific three-point shooter, one of the best in this draft class based on his college numbers. He hit 42.9 percent of his shots and on 6.2 attempts per game. Holiday shot 42.2 percent from long range in his three-year college career and never shot below 41 percent in a season. He had some games where teams just couldn't stop him from long range. He made four threes or more in 13 college games. Twice he went 5-for-5 and he once made six threes against USC.

*Though he has the skillset to play off the ball as a shooting guard, his size will limit him at the NBA level. Holiday is just under 6-foot-1 in shoes and doesn't have the vertical leap to make up for it. He does, however, have a plus wingspan. At this point, Holiday seems to be solely a point guard, though as long as he's good at the position there is nothing wrong with that.

*Holiday worked out for the Wizards at Capital One Arena. He was part of their first week of predraft workouts and by all accounts had an impressive visit. He hit a lot of shots and fared well in the interview process.

*Holiday has two brothers currently in the NBA. Jrue is a former All-Star who starts at point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. Justin is a shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls. His sister-in-law, Lauren, is a former member of the U.S. women's national soccer team.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards already have a point guard in John Wall, so Holiday would have no long-term path to starting. That said, he would shore up a need the Wizards have been trying to address for years.

Backup point guard has been a real void for the Wizards for most of Wall's tenure. This past season they tried out all sorts of options between Tomas Satoransky, Tim Frazier, Ramon Sessions and Ty Lawson. Though Satoransky remains on the roster, the Wizards don't appear content with their depth at the position.

Holiday's ability to hit threes is very attractive to the Wizards who could conceivably play him off-the-ball alongside Wall, or even Satoransky. Given Wall (6-4) and Satoransky (6-7) are taller than most point guards, they could theoretically guard shooting guards on the other end.

Holiday would add smarts and shooting to the Wizards' bench in the short-term. In the long-term, he could help lengthen Wall's career by taking some of his workload away and also give the Wizards more options once Wall enters his 30s.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

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