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Wizards fall 110-105 to Heat: Five takeaways

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Wizards fall 110-105 to Heat: Five takeaways

A victory meant more to the Miami Heat than it did the Wizards, who stuck with reserves in a close game down the stretch Wednesday. Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stayed on the floor for a 110-105 comeback at American Airlines Arena.

The Wizards drop to 4-2 in the preseason with one game left Friday vs. the Toronto Raptors in Montreal. Gerald Green led all players with 28 for Miami off the bench and Tyler Johnson contributing 14.

Marcin Gortat led six Wizards in double figures with 18 points, followed by Kris Humphries (16), Otto Porter and John Wall (14), Gary Neal (13) and Ramon Sessions (10). Gortat and Humphries also combined for 25 rebounds.

Wall, Gortat and Porter didn't play after the third quarter when the Wizards led 81-68.

Bradley Beal was given the night off and Neal started in his place. Jared Dudley, in his first action since joining the Wizards in July and having lower back surgery, played 12 minutes, missed his only shot and had five fouls. 

The Wizards, who had conditioning issues getting used to the fast-paced team, were sharp in their defensive rotations and ball movement as this was their best game on both ends. The end result doesn't matter as much as will they be ready for the Oct. 28 opener at the Orlando Magic.

  • The Wizards are clearly in much better form than the Heat, who didn't have a first unit that could keep up with the fast pace. Hassan Whiteside was playing in just his second preseason game and Dragic, who had a child this summer and didn't play for the Slovenian national team, isn't there yet either. Bosh is working his way back after blood clots in his lungs. The jury still is out on how good they can be and it wouldn't be surprising if they began the season slow. This is probably why coach Erik Spoelstra left them on the floor to finish the game. 

  • Kelly Oubre started out well with a dunk as soon as he got on the floor and had a nice putback dunk in the second half. But he was left on the floor for the entire fourth quarter despite his numerous miscues. He was 3-for-10 overall, missing all shots that weren't point-blank, for nine points. The lefty couldn't finish in traffic or driving to his right, was stripped in transition, had his shot blocked at the rim by Chris Anderson and blew a defensive rotation that allowed Anderson an uncontested layup to give Miami a 100-98 lead. He stayed on the floor despite this because it's the preseason and pulling the 19-year-old would be pointless by coach Randy Wittman. Of course, he'd have been benched if the game had counted -- or Oubre would've been on the floor with first-unit players for the Wizards instead of free agents like Jaron Johnson and Josh Harrellson. 

  • Porter only shot 4-for-7 (5 of 6 free throws) but he created a lot by making wise decisions. When run off the three-point shot, he put the ball on the floor to force the action and knock down the mid-range shot. When Garrett Temple missed a three in the third quarter, Porter slipped between four defenders to get the rebound and drew a foul for a pair of free throws. This is closer to the type of player Porter is and was expected to be when he was drafted in 2013, a utilityman who does so many things well (six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal). He's not routinely going to be the 8-for-10 scorer for 22 points that he was in the preseason opener.

  • Gortat, who dominated in his matchup with Whiteside late last season, continued to have success. His position defense was exceptional one-on-one and in help situations as Gortat had four blocked shots. He made almost every look for Whiteside difficult and stepped out to defend Bosh, stayed with him off the dribble and forced him to finish over top his long reach. And Gortat ran the floor at warp speed which resulted in clean looks.

  • Temple played 16 minutes as he returned from his left hamstring strain and proved he's still the Wizards' best one-on-one defender. When he took on Green, who had trouble putting the ball on the floor without being disrupted, the scorer went silent. The moment Temple went off the floor, Green heated up again to score 13 fourth-quarter points. 

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With LeBron gone and Kawhi in, who's the best player in the East?

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With LeBron gone and Kawhi in, who's the best player in the East?

With Kawhi Leonard off to the Raptors, we have a shakeup near the top when it comes to the best players in the East.

Whether it's a one-year rental or ends up being a long-term partnership, the Raptors got themselves an MVP candidate when he's healthy.

That's the issue though. What will Leonard be when he returns to the court after that quad injury took most of last season away from him?

RANKING THE TEN BEST PLAYERS IN THE EAST

With LeBron James now in Los Angeles, the East has a new pecking order when it comes to the top talent, which includes a couple of Wizards as well.

How do they stack up?

Well, here's your answer:

RANKING THE TEN BEST PLAYERS IN THE EAST

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Spurs trading Kawhi Leonard to Raptors in deal involving DeMar DeRozan, per report

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Spurs trading Kawhi Leonard to Raptors in deal involving DeMar DeRozan, per report

The NBA offseason has been nothing short of entertaining.

Overnight ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Toronto Raptors have agreed to a deal to acquire forward Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs in a trade package that includes guard DeMar DeRozan. 

Leaving San Antonio with Leonard is Danny Green, while the Raptors are dealing DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, according to the report

As of early this morning, only DeRozan had been informed of the trade. This trade has reportedly been in talks for several weeks, almost falling through multiple times. 

According to sources of ESPN's Chris Haynes, Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto while DeRozan was told he would not be traded by members of Toronto's front office during summer league in Las Vegas. 

Leonard was open early into the offseaosn about wanting to be traded away from the Spurs and there were even talks of the Wizards being interested in him. 

DeRozan, a four-time All-Star, has three years $83 million left on his contract that includes an early-termination option for the 2020-21 season. .

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