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Wizards' Mahinmi takes step in rehab, Morris misses practice

Wizards' Mahinmi takes step in rehab, Morris misses practice

Sunday's practice at the Verizon Center brought injury updates for two Wizards big men as they look ahead to Monday's matchup against the Phoenix Suns.

Power forward Markieff Morris, who left Saturday night's game against the Heat after twisting his right ankle, did not participate in practice. After sounding confident that he would both practice and play in Monday's game, Morris' availability is now somewhat in question.

"I don't know what his status will be tomorrow. He did say he's feeling a little better, but he's sore," head coach Scott Brooks said.

Morris, however, believes he will be fine.

[embed]https://twitter.com/JMichaelCSN/status/800412383365701632 [/embed]

Morris is a key cog for the Wizards, who fell to 3-9 on the season after Saturday night's loss. He is fourth on the team in points (13.7 ppg), third in rebounds (6.5 rpg) and fifth in minutes (31 mpg). Morris has proven particularly valuable on the defensive end against power forwards who can stretch the floor with outside shots.

The other update was a positive step for center Ian Mahinmi, who continues to rehab from his Oct. 15 surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. The Wizards' biggest offseason acquisition, Mahinmi practiced for the second straight day and this time ramped up his workload. 

"We did about 30 to 45 minutes and he responded well," Brooks said. "This is his first time doing some 4-on-4 and halfcourt. He did a little bit of 3-on-3 fullcourt for some conditioning. He looked great. I like what he brings to our team. He brings his defensive toughness. But we'll see how he responds tomorrow. It's always the next day when you come back from an injury. He looked good today."

Wizards guard Marcus Thornton observed Mahimni and shared his assessment.

"Ian, he's getting there. He's getting there. He's not there yet. He still has a little touching up to do. You take that long off in basketball, it takes a while to shape. He's looked good in the running part, but it's going to take a lot longer to get back into basketball shape," Thornton said.

Mahinmi signed a four-year, $64 million contract to join the Wizards as a free agent in July.

[RELATED: WIZARDS' MARCIN GORTAT CONTINUES REBOUNDING TEAR]

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Mike Scott's season...

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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Markieff Morris is helping his brother gameplan to defend LeBron James

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USA Today Sports Images

Markieff Morris is helping his brother gameplan to defend LeBron James

Wizards forward Markieff Morris is all-in on his brother Marcus and the Boston Celtics beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Not only is he showing up to games in his twin brother's jersey, he is helping Marcus break down film on LeBron James.

James was held to just 15 points on 31.3 percent shooting with seven turnovers in Game 1 and Marcus got some credit for stopping him. In the two games since, James went off for 42 and 27 points, each time posting 12 assists to complement. Though Cleveland lost Game 2 as well, they punched back with a 30-point win in Game 3.

The Morrises are combining forces to make sure that doesn't happen again, according to Jay King of The Athletic. They stayed up until 2 a.m. on Sunday morning reviewing plays. 

Game 4 between the Cavs and Celtics is on Monday night. If Boston wins, they will take a 3-1 lead in the series, which will be very difficult for the Cavs to overcome. Yes, they mounted the most famous 3-1 comeback in NBA history, but this isn't the same Cavs team that accomplished the feat in 2016.

There is of course some irony in Markieff helping the Celtics, given he was so integral in the rivalry between the Wizards and Boston. But, as he has shown many times over the years, it's family over everything.

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