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Takeaways from Wizards' Game 3 blowout loss to Atlanta Hawks

Takeaways from Wizards' Game 3 blowout loss to Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA – For the first two games of the series, the Wizards’ two best stars – John Wall and Bradley Beal – were better than those of the Atlanta Hawks. Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder were able to flip that Saturday in a 116-98 win at Phillips Arena to rim the series to 2-1.

Schroder (27 points, nine assists) and Millsap (29 points, 14 rebounds) had high percentage looks early and cashed in. Taurean Prince (16 points) and Dwight Howard (five points, 11 rebounds) had smaller but significant roles that helped put them over the top.

Game 4 is Monday at Phillips Arena.

Nothing went right in a 38-20 first quarter for Washington, which found itself down 19-4 just five minutes in.

The Wizards were 1 of 6 on three-point shots while they allowed 5-for-9 from deep. The Hawks had an 18-6 edge in paint points in the first 12 minutes alone.

John Wall (29 points, seven assists) was brilliant offensively as he made 10 of 12 shots and went 8 of 10 from the foul line despite Atlanta doing its best to keep him from the rim.

Offensively, however, Wall didn’t get any support. Bradley Beal (12 points), Otto Porter (seven points) and Markieff Morris (nine points) combined to shoot 7-for-17. Marcin Gortat (two points) was held to one field goal.

[RELATED: Porter leaves Wizards-Hawks Game 3 with injury]

--The ball pressure that was present in Games 1 and 2 disappeared. The Hawks were able to catch the ball in their sweet spots and get up shots off lane penetration. Though they started hot, the Hawks’ three-point shooting cooled. They were 3-for-14 from the second quarter to midway point of the fourth. That was still better than the Wizards’ 7-for-29 shooting from three.

--Beal and Porter had clean looks that looked off the moment the shots left their hands. Beal airballed a 12-foot pull up in that went uncontested. Combined with Morris, they shot 8-for-29 in the first half, or 27.5%.

--As Game 2 showed, Jason Smith (two points, four rebounds) isn’t a good matchup with Millsap. Ten seconds after he entered, he had to foul because off the dribble he was beaten. He then picked up a charge. When Smith came back in late in the third, he bit a pump fake from Millsap and committed a Flagrant 1 foul. Smith had three fouls in his first two minutes played. Smith fouled out with 7:11 left in the game on Millsap. He played a total of eight minutes.

--Going in, Schroder wasn’t successful shooting when he had to launch from beyond 5 feet. He was 30.4%. But he lived at the rim in getting 21 of his points in the first half and that rhythm led to him making 3 of 5 threes.

--The open-door defense of Brandon Jennings (13 points) continued vs. Jose Calderon. While Atlanta’s backup only had two points from making his only shot of the first half, he got deep and forced helped. When Calderon moved the ball, it found open shooters which is how his team was 26 of 47 in the first half from the field, or 55.3%. They also were 6 of 13 on threes, or 46.2%. Jennings’ offensive numbers look better because he tallied most of them with the game out of reach late.

--The Wizards only had five first-half assists not because they were playing in isolation but because they weren’t making much. They shot 3 of 14 on threes, or 21.4%. Beal missed all four of his deep balls. Before the starters were pulled late in the third, the starters had just eight assists.

--Kelly Oubre never could get on track. He picked up two fouls in his first seven minutes, including a charging foul when he refused to change direction and plowed into Millsap. Before one minute elapsed to start the second quarter, he was pulled for Porter.

--Porter left with six minutes left in the third quarter after he was picked off by a screen on a layup by Prince. He didn’t return because of a “strained neck.” He collided with Tim Hardaway on a split action, went to the locker room and didn’t return to the bench.

--The Wizards pulled their starters and got the deficit down to 93-79 with 9:16 left in the fourth with Jennings, Tomas Satoransky, Bojan Bogdanovic, Oubre and Smith. A layup by Jennings forced a timeout by Atlanta which re-inserted starters Schroder, Millsap and Prince. The Wizards went back to theirs but the deficit quickly grew.

--Bojan Bogdanvoic (11 points) still isn't in form. He missed all of his looks from three-point range, going 0-for-4. 

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 9 - Wiz-Hawks a fun 1st round series]

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Jeff Green 'would love to come back' to Wizards, add stability to journeyman career

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USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Green 'would love to come back' to Wizards, add stability to journeyman career

With six different teams in the past five years, Jeff Green has become one of the NBA's most itinerant journeymen.

Including his early-career move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, when the franchise transitioned from the Sonics to the Thunder, Green has played in eight different cities. Among active players, only Ish Smith (10), Marco Bellinelli (nine), Shaun Livingston (nine) and Anthony Tolliver (nine) have played for more teams.

Being in Washington this past season, though, was different. That's because Green is from the area, having grown up nearby in Maryland. He starred at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, then at Georgetown University in Northwest D.C.

At 32 years old (he turns 33 in August), Green does not prefer being a basketball nomad. He would like to stay with the Wizards this summer as he aims for a new contract in free agency.

"I would love to come back," Green said. "Great set of guys on this team. I loved playing with Brad [Beal], John [Wall]."

Green also mentioned playing for head coach Scott Brooks, for whom he played in Seattle and Oklahoma City. Brooks was an assistant on the Sonics staff when Green was a rookie, then took over as head coach in the middle of Green's sophomore season. Green left the Thunder after his third season and, 10 years later, was reunited with Brooks in Washington.

The biggest draw for Green to the Wizards, though, is the fact it is his hometown team. Though playing at home is a drawback for some players, Green found major benefits in being around family and in the town where he played college ball.

"Being in front of family every night was great for me. It allowed me to see my daughters more than a couple of times a year, which was great," he said. 

"Being in a familiar setting from my Georgetown days was great. Being able to go up to Georgetown and watch the guys get better, it was great. [Those are] things I haven’t been able to do since being in the league."

On the court, Green found individual success with the Wizards amid a disappointing season overall. He averaged 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds while setting a career-high in effective field goal percentage (55.5). 

He did all of that while making the league minimum of $2.4 million. On a Wizards team that was in some ways defined by bloated salaries, Green proved a bargain. 

Hoping to come back to the Wizards was a familiar refrain from impending free agents during the Wizards' media exit interviews. Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, Thomas Bryant and others all suggested they would like to return. 

But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn't offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards' new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. 

While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green's defensive rating was 112.6.

The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career. 

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Former Wizards Mike Scott, Jared Dudley deliver the drama in Sixers-Nets Game 4

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Former Wizards Mike Scott, Jared Dudley deliver the drama in Sixers-Nets Game 4

The 76ers-Nets playoff series has been wild from the start, but the trash talk and physical play reached the next level in the Sixers' Game 4 victory Sunday. 

The contest featured two ejections as well as a game-deciding shot with 19.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. In the middle of it all? None other than Jared Dudley and Mike Scott, who played for the Wizards in 2015-16 and 2017-18, respectively. 

Tensions between Dudley and the Sixers had been simmering since he slammed Ben Simmons in the media after Game 1.

With 7:42 left in the third quarter Saturday, Joel Embiid committed a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen under the basket. An incensed Dudley shoved Embiid, prompting Jimmy Butler to push Dudley away.

When Simmons to try to separate the two, he and Dudley got tangled up and tumbled into the front-row seats. Both Dudley and Butler were ejected on the spot. 

The Nets held a 67-61 advantage when Dudley and Butler were tossed, but that lead dwindled to one point with under a minute left to go. 

Brooklyn made the mistake of leaving Scott open in the corner, where Embiid set him up for a go-ahead three-pointer with 19.7 seconds remaining.

A pair of Tobias Harris free throws sealed the Sixers' 112-108 win, putting them up 3-1 in the series. Scott and company can finish off Dudley's squad in Game 5 on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, listen as Scott goes 1-on-1 with Chris Miller in the latest Wizards Talk Podcast. 

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