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Wittman updates Wall's status, calls G5 effort 'Incredible'


Wittman updates Wall's status, calls G5 effort 'Incredible'

The Wizards are back home, but did not practice Thursday following a gut punch of a loss in Atlanta for Game 5. Head coach Randy Wittman did speak with reporters via conference call. 

Primary takeaways following the 82-81 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, which put Washington in a 3-2 hole in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series:

"It was a hard fought game. Turnovers was a thing that plagued us," Wittman stated. "Couple of bad shot selections when we were up nine. (Al) Horford makes a three from the corner in that stretch. We lose (Kyle) Korver, one of the few times we lost him in transition and he hits a three. The nine (point lead) goes to three pretty quick and now (they're) back into the ballgame. Nothing really we looked at and said, "Boy I wish we could have changed that' other than maybe shot selection during that stretch."

Leading 73-64 with under six minutes remaining, the Wizards missed seven straight shots including six jumpers. The Hawks scored 14 straight points for a 76-73 with 2:55 left. As for the turnovers, Washington had 19, six less than Atlanta.

John Wall 's status: Wittman said the All-Star guard is scheduled to have his fractured left hand and wrist evaluated by team doctors later on Thursday. "So far so good. ...After the game everything looked good in terms of no swelling. That was a good sign. ...Right now I'm anticipating he'll be able to play."

Swing of emotions from nearly winning Games 4 and possibly be single victory away from advancing to the Eastern Conference finals to being one loss away from elimination. "You can't dwell on looking back. We're down 3-2. Coming home. We have to worry about one game. That's all we have to worry about right now. That's the game (Friday) night. I think some other teams. We know what we have to do to beat the team. It's now just a matter of going out and being the most consistent team.

Defensive sequence on Al Horford's game-winning putback: "I thought John made a great play on the ball. It was blocked. You had a melee of basically eight guys going to the board and Al is the one the that came down with it. That's basically what happened. ...There's not going to be calls made own the stretch like that. It's every man for himself. ...I thought we stayed home pretty much when they decided to have Schroder go one-on-one against John. John made a good play at that basket to block it. It was a free ball that came down into their hands.

Wall's performance after missing the last three games and minimal practice tie because of the five fractures in his left hand/wrist: "It was incredible. Seriously, if you think back 10 days when he hurt it. You couldn't tell if he had five fingers because it was so swollen to finding five fractures to 10 days later playing a game that he played. That's a credit to (him). I've tried telling you guys...he's the toughest kid I've been around. I think that was evidenced last night. ...Not only just to try to play, but play the way John plays (with) reckless abandon.

"That was our main focus when he and I talked. It wasn't so much him wanting to come back and play. I told John it had to be, not only for his sake but the team's sake, he had to be mentally able to go out there and play recklessly without worrying about anything. I though that's what he did."

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


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


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.