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Takeaways from Wizards' win over Giannis-less Bucks

Takeaways from Wizards' win over Giannis-less Bucks

The way the Wizards won for just the fourth time on the road wasn’t pretty, but they erased a 12-point deficit despite 19 turnovers to win 107-101 and take the season series with the Milwaukee Bucks.

John Wall (16 points, seven assists) recovered from a miserable start with four first-quarter giveaways to knock down a pair of pull-up jump shots late in the fourth as the Wizards get back to .500 at 18-18. They won 3 of 4 over Milwaukee all in less than a month.

Bradley Beal (26 points) led them, followed by Markieff Morris (20 points, 10 rebounds), Kelly Oubre (17 points, five rebounds), Otto Porter (13 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, two blocks) and Marcin Gortat (seven points, 12 rebounds).

Jabari Parker (28 points) led the Bucks who were sparked early by Michael Beasley (18 points) who left the game and didn’t return after just 15 minutes. Malcolm Brogdon (career-high 22 points) and Greg Monroe (12 points, 12 rebounds, four steals) also contributed.

--The Bucks’ best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, came to the arena sick and was replaced in the starting lineup by Mirza Teletovic (five points). The Wizards responded by attacking his matchup with Morris. That forced the Bucks to help and created passing lanes to get others easier shots. They also had a 49-32 edge in rebounding, including 13-5 offensively.

--Beal re-injured his right ankle, stepping on Brogdon’s foot after making a layup but was able to stay on the floor after limping off during a second-quarter timeout. Beal missed one game after spraining the same ankle Dec. 28.

--Beal only shot 2-for-10 from three-point range, but he had repeated open looks with Antetokounmpo not there and Bucks coach Jason Kidd relying on Monroe more than starter John Henson (two points, 14 minutes) in the middle. While Monroe (32 minutes) is a better offensive option, he’s weak on help defense and had to close out Beal on occasion and was late. Beal did most of his damage when attacking the paint but could’ve had a bigger output if the long balls were accurate. But he was 8 of 9 shooting inside the arc.

--Brogdon made the start with Matthew Dellavedova, and he’d had great success vs. Washington matched up mostly with Trey Burke. But he had to face Wall and had difficulty running the halfcourt offense. When the second half started, Brogdon couldn’t get them started because of Wall’s pressure and he was quickly pulled for Dellavedova. But Dellavedova (two points) was a diaster offensively and couldn't knock down his open looks. Brogdon returned to lead them in the fourth with 14 points.

--For the second game in a row, Sheldon McClellan (eight points, three rebounds, two steals) is the first shooting guard off the bench and not Marcus Thornton who had another DNP. McClellan doesn’t have to do anything special or try to force shots on offense. He’s there for his defense – Thornton’s weakness – and athleticism as he be effective in the open court. McClellan had a three-point play conversion for a 89-83 lead and took a charge on Parker midway through the fourth. Morris responded with a mid-range jumper for a 91-83 lead. 

--Oubre found his stroke after a bad stretch of games since his Dec. 16 concussion. He was 3-for-7 shooting in the first half and had a strong offensive rebound and putback during a third-quarter run to give the Wizards a 74-68 lead. They had 16 second-chance points at that juncture of the game, a key component in the comeback. The Wizards ended with a 20-4 edge in second-chance points.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Bradley Beal has injury scare on fall vs. Bucks]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hugheswas joined by Nick Ashooh to break down the fallout from the trade involving Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan.

They looked at what it means for the Wizards and the East, as well as the Lakers and LeBron. Plus, they took fan questions, many of which centered on Kevin Love and the possibility of a trade to Washington.

You can listen to the episode right here:

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Jeff Green hopes NBA Finals experience with Cavs can rub off on Wizards

Jeff Green hopes NBA Finals experience with Cavs can rub off on Wizards

Jeff Green's basketball résumé got a significant boost this spring and summer as his Cleveland Cavaliers marched all the way to the NBA Finals before they were swept by the Golden State Warriors. It was Green's first time going past the second round of the playoffs and the experience, he says, was invaluable.

Green has come about as close to winning a championship without actually winning one and he certainly hopes to get back in that position. Green believes his new team, the Washington Wizards, have the tools to make a deep playoff run and it's one of the reasons why he signed a free agent deal to join them.

"Being there last year myself with Cleveland, I know it takes a lot. It takes a lot of pieces. I feel like this team has them," he said. "We can get back to that point. When I got the call, I felt like it was the best opportunity for myself to get there."

The Wizards' franchise has not been past the second round of the playoffs since 1979, when they were known as the Bullets. That was before anyone on their roster was born.

But Green pointed to the open Eastern Conference and the talent on the roster as reasons to believe they can accomplish some things that they haven't in decades. They may be capable, but putting it all together is easier said than done.

Green hopes to be one of the glue guys necessary for the Wizards to reach their potential, in part by sharing the lessons he learned.

"Never take it for granted. There are a lot of greats that have never been there," he said. "Getting to the Finals and being part of that was beyond amazing. With the experience and seeing what it took, I can bring that here and get everybody on the same page of knowing what it takes and the sacrifices that you have to do to get to that point."

Green over and over mentioned how it takes a collective effort to go to the conference finals and beyond, but he did show some self-awareness and a sense of humor about his own experience in Cleveland. All teams are different and the one he just left was a unique situation.

"You can’t get there individually. I mean, you can, we did last year. I mean, LeBron [James] carried us all the way there," he joked. "But there’s only one LeBron, but to get there you have to have team unity. You all have to be on the same page and sacrifice to make sure you’re doing what it takes to get the team there. I think that’s the biggest key. It’s not an individual thing… unless you’re LeBron."

If the Wizards are to reach their goals and go to the conference finals or the NBA Finals, they will have to do it differently than the Cavaliers did. They do not have a player on the level of James who can do much of it by himself. But Green said the process of imparting his wisdom has already started.

"I talked to John [Wall]," Green said. "Knowing that he wants to get to the Finals, I was just picking his brain and what he thinks is needed to get there. And me sharing my experience of getting to the Finals and what it takes."

The Wizards have reached a point as an organization where they have the urgency to reach new heights. Green believes he can help them get there.

Listen to our full interview with Jeff Green on the Wizards Tipoff Podcast: