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Wizards expect McClellan back soon, House progressing

Wizards expect McClellan back soon, House progressing

The Wizards expect to have rookie swingman Sheldon McClellan back from the NBA D-League sometime this weekend, head coach Scott Brooks said. That could mean McClellan will join them for Friday's game against the Pistons or by Sunday's matchup with the Clippers, their last home game before they embark on a three-game road trip.

McClellan, 23, has averaged 11 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 24.4 minutes in five games with the Delaware 87ers. After averaging 7.3 points in his first three games there, he's dropped 17 and 16 in his most recent outings. McClellan is shooting an impressive 61.3 percent from the field on 6.2 attempts per game.

"I like what he's been doing down there," Brooks said. "He's played well. He's defending and attacking. It's a great opportunity for him, a lot of games and lot of practices in a short amount of time."

McClellan, who played in college with the Miami Hurricanes, has appeared in seven games this season for the Wizards. He's averaging 4.6 points in 11.1 minutes per night.

Fellow rookie Danuel House remains out with a fractured right wrist. The Texas A&M product has been sidelined for over two weeks now after injuring himself in practice. He was originally given a 4-6 week recovery timeline once the broken bone was discovered by a hand specialist.

House still has a cast on his arm and is limited in what he can do in practice.

"I saw him yesterday doing a lot of conditioning which is good. Sometimes players forget they can still be a conditioned athlete with a broken hand," Brooks said.

"He's working on his left hand. You have to use this injury, particularly [because] he's a right-handed shooter, as a blessing in disguise. You don't want to get hurt, but you should come back with a better left hand. That's all he's been working on, his dribbling. Quite frankly that has been a weakness of his in the past, dribbling with his left hand. He can be an attack wing defender and offensive player. He also can be a small shooting four, so if he can do that it's going to help his game."

House, 23, has logged just one minute for the Wizards this season.


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Former Hoya great Jeff Green says slow your roll on Mac McClung

USA Today Sports Images

Former Hoya great Jeff Green says slow your roll on Mac McClung

Through three games as a freshman for the Georgetown Hoyas, Mac McClung has lived up to his hype as a social media sensation, at least when it comes to his ability to wow crowds with high-flying dunks. 

McClung has a long way to go to become a true star in college basketball, but the kid can fly. Already, he has provided several viral highlights.

Wizards forward Jeff Green is one of the best players in Georgetown's decorated basketball history, and on Wednesday after shootaround, he weighed in on McClung's flashy start.

Green, now an 11-year NBA veteran, spoke from the perspective of a guy who's been around the block. He says people should calm down a bit and wait to see what McClung becomes.

"Yeah. I've seen a lot of him. The guy has been great, but it's not just him. I think because of the internet people have just focused on him," Green said. 

Green went on to reference McClung's famous YouTube mixtapes some more.

"It's just the way the world is. People are focused on the internet and he's all over the internet and that's all you think about. They have a good collection of guys," he said. "Georgetown is a team. It's not just one person." 

Now, just because Green was downplaying the hype for McClung, who last year set the Virginia state high school scoring record, and did so by passing former Hoya great Allen Iverson, doesn't mean he isn't a fan. Green thinks McClung has a chance to be really good and probably far surpass his three-star recruiting grade.

"It's not hype. The kid is good," Green said. "You can't put these expectations. What have people been calling him? White Iverson. There's no other player that's gonna be Allen Iverson. He's gonna be who he's gonna be."

Green gave a further explanation that seemed to suggest the word 'expectations' had struck a cord. Green himself was a three-star recruit and went on to exceed that grade by becoming the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

"People put expectations on other people and then when they don't grow into those expectations, in their eyes he's a bad player. You can't do that. Let him grow into what he's going to be and then you define him," Green said.

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3 things to watch for improved Wizards vs. Cavs

3 things to watch for improved Wizards vs. Cavs

The Washington Wizards still have John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. The Cleveland Cavaliers no longer employ LeBron James. That makes Wednesday’s first meeting of the season between the Eastern Conference foes curious. The radical change for the visitors also requires a preview. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Sustaining the surge

Monday’s 117-109 victory over the Orlando Magic extended the Wizards’ winning streak to a season-high two. Don't knock the modest uptick after a 2-9 start. John Wall’s stat line took a big leap over the last three games: 24.0 points, 10.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 45.5 percent on 3-pointers. Beyond the numbers, the point guard appears to have knocked off the remaining rust physically. We’re used to his aggressive end-to-end pushes, but now Wall is firing up the court immediately after makes or misses, helping Washington quickly enter its offensive sets. Another strong outing from the five-time All-Star could propel the Wizards to their first three-game winning streak since Feb. 10-22.

Bench support

Starters Wall, Beal, Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris had solid games against the Magic, but it was the Wizards’ second unit playing above previous season norms. All five reserves finished with a plus-minus of plus-8 or better. Jeff Green continued his sizzling shooting, sinking 4 of 5 from beyond the arc en route to 18 points. The 6-foot-9 forward is 9 of 13 from beyond the arc overall during the last four games, and 21 of 28 overall. Backcourt partners Austin Rivers and Tomas Satoransky, slow to develop chemistry this season, showed increased comfort during the winning streak. Washington needs more from the pair to help keep minutes for Wall and Beal at reasonable levels. That Green and Rivers, in particular, have provided steady help has contributed to Porter sitting out the fourth quarter in three consecutive games.

Cleveland doesn’t rock

From four consecutive NBA Finals appearances to the NBA’s worst record (2-11, tied with Phoenix). Yeah, the Cavaliers miss LeBron James just a little. They also are down Kevin Love (toe surgery), leaving Jordan Clarkson (15.2) and Rodney Hood (12.9) as Cleveland’s top scorers. That’s not ideal. The Cavaliers are 27th in scoring (103.3) while giving up 113.1 points per game, which is better than Washington’s league-worst 118.5. Rookie point guard Collin Sexton, the No. 8 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, is filling in for the injured George Hill. Sexton is averaging 17.0 points over the last three games.