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Wizards notebook: Beal takes a tumble


Wizards notebook: Beal takes a tumble

Bradley Beal gave everyone a scare at the end of Wizards practice Monday afternoon and it had nothing to do with Halloween rounding the corner.

With the already injured trio of John Wall (knee), Nene (foot) and Kevin Seraphin (calf) watching and not participating in the team's full court scrimmage, a defending Beal tumbled to the ground after an apparent collision, clutching at his leg. All the sounds in the gym, from dribbling basketballs to idle chatter went silent except for the audible noise of the Wizards first round pick in obvious pain.

Down seemingly for an eternity yet in actuality mere seconds, Beal eventually rose to his feet, walked around on his own and then eventually off the court with head athletic trainer Eric Waters.

Following practice Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Beal: "just kind of tweaked his ankle, just kind of rolled it over." Even for a man who has seen his share of rolled ankles after years spent as both player and coach, Wittman casually acknowledged at least a fleeting case of the you've got to be kidding me's.

"Especially with the injuries we've had...but he got up right away and put weight on it so that's a good sign,” Wittman said.

And with that quote, we have an early entry for understatement of the season. Whew.

Nine-year veteran Brian Cook added a lighter touch.

“He’s 19,” Cook correctly noted. “I’m sure he’s fine.”

* Sticking with the injury front, don't expect Seraphin on the court for Wednesday’s game against Miami. The 6-foot-10 center has missed the last three contests after suffering the calf strain six minutes in against Cleveland on Oct. 13.

Wittman said Seraphin is "making good progress," but offered no specifics on a return.

"That's one of those things that can continue to make great strides in a day or two - then it could be a week, it could be two," Wittman said. "Calf, hamstring, any kind of muscle injury, you just don't know until it runs its course."

Without two of his primary three interior options, Wittman has compensated by moving players from their normal positions, whether its Chris Singleton at power forward or using Trevor Booker for extended minutes inside. For a coach still searching for ideal combinations and learning more about what each player offers, the current scenario is hardly a negative, for now anyway.

"You've got to adjust, you have to play guys. As I said leading into the [Milwaukee] game, 'it's a good thing for me'. It gives me an opportunity to adjust our guys, see what they can and can't do [when] put in this spot, because of injury, sickness, foul trouble. Who can I trust to move into this different spot? So that's been a good thing, for those guys too, to learn a different spot," Wittman said.

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 



John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?