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Wizards say Kelly Oubre, Jr should know better after ejection vs. Celtics

Wizards say Kelly Oubre, Jr should know better after ejection vs. Celtics

Everything that had gone on between the Wizards and Celtics through nearly two years of animosity and two previous playoff games that featured knocked out teeth and a gruesome bloody nose, all of it came to a head in Game 3 of their series on Thursday night at the Verizon Center. 

Early in the second quarter of the Wizards' blowout win, Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk caught Wizards forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. with a blindside screen. Oubre fell to the ground and earned an offensive foul call, but that wasn't enough. Oubre immediately rose to his feet, charged Olynyk and threw all seven feet and 240 pounds of him to the ground.

Referee Monty McCutchen sensed the spark from Oubre before he came back for more and tried to stand in between the two giants, but he was no match for a 6-foot-7 Oubre, who trucked Olynyk to the floor like Sean Taylor used to drop slot receivers.

For the soldout crowd at the Verizon Center, it was a thrilling moment in a series that has already lived up to all the rivalry hype that preceded it. They even chanted Oubre's name.

But ultimately it was a very poor decision by a young player still finding his way in the league. Oubre was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul and now faces a potential suspension, depending on a league review. And he's lucky it didn't prove more costly in a game the Wizards won easily.

Oubre didn't talk after the game, but many of his teammates did. Bradley Beal approached Oubre during why the officials reviewed the replay right after the incident and before they ejected him. Beal shared that conversation afterwards.

"I was encouraging him. In a situation like that, you've just gotta be smart," Beal said. "You got the call. As much as it may frustrate you, you just continue to do what you're doing. At that point in the game, that's what they wanted it to be. They wanted it to be physical and let it get out of hand a little bit. We were up 20 or whatever it was. They were kind of playing angry. They were fouling and setting moving screens. That's going to happen throughout the course of the game. I just told him: 'we need you. You're one of our best defenders. You're constantly getting better. You're a threat on the floor and we need you. Just make sure that moving forward you are smart about it. If somebody hits you, just move on. Just continue to play smart.'"

[RELATED: Jennings and Rozier ejected from Wizards-Celtics Game 3]

Head coach Scott Brooks did not excuse what Oubre did, but was understanding of the frustration.

"I think we've got to control our emotions. We can't respond that way," he said. "But when you keep getting hit in the head, you might respond that way and I think that's what he did. I'm not saying that that was the right thing to do. We have to focus on playing basketball."

From the Celtics' vantage point, the whole incident was Oubre's fault. Al Horford said "there was no such thing as the two Kellys – Kelly Olynyk stayed back." 

Olynyk answered succintly for each question, saying simply "I set a screen" and "I didn't expect it."

Since the Wizards completely obliterated the Celtics, they were able to laugh a bit at what Oubre did. He lost his temper and needs to learn from his mistake, but it was still an entertaining moment, even for his teammates.

Beal, for one, wasn't quite familiar with that side of Oubre and did not expect it to come out against Olynyk of all people.

"I thought they was cool. That's what threw me off," Beal said. "It really takes K.O. a lot to go off. I always see them shake hands. Like, before the game they would shake hands and talk a little bit."

On what was going through his mind when he saw Oubre get up:

"It was pretty much you weren't stopping him. You weren't stopping him. I knew exactly where he was going," Beal said.

Like Beal, Markieff Morris had some words for Oubre. The ones he shared with the media drew laughs.

"I told him they were going to throw him out 'so might as well leave now,'" Morris said.

It was shocking in the moment, yet funny afterwards. But now the Wizards and Oubre wait to hear his fate.

[RELATED: Wizards' Kelly Oubre faces possible suspension]

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jaxson Hayes

School: Texas
Position: Center
Age: 19
Height: 7-0
Weight: 219
Wingspan: 7-4
Max vertical: 34.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 2.2 bpg, 72.8 FG% (3.8/5.3), 00.0 3PT% (0.0/0.0), 74.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jarrett Allen, John Henson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 10th, NBADraft.net 9th, Bleacher Report 10th, Sports Illustrated 9th, Ringer 10th

5 things to know:

*Hayes is considered the best center prospect in this year's class. He is athletic, plays with energy and measured in at the combine at about 7-feet in shoes with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He can run the floor and play above the rim.

*The skill that stands out most for Hayes is rim protection. He averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. That extrapulates to 5.7 blocks over 100 possessions. He has long arms and appears to have good instincts tracking the ball in the lane. He is following in the footsteps of fellow Texas shot-blockers before him like Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. The latter may be the best player comparison for Hayes in today's NBA.

*Hayes is not considered a very good rebounder. He averaged 5.0 per game and only once reached double figures. It could be that he just needs to add some weight, an issue that is correctable but would hurt him even more at the NBA level initially. The worst-case concern is that he is soft and won't do the necessary dirty work.

*At this point, Hayes offers nothing in the way of an outside shot. He didn't attempt a single three-pointer in college and didn't do much on offense outside of dunks and putbacks. In order to justify being taken with a high draft pick, he will either need to develop a post game, an outside shot or be extremely good on defense. His lack of an all-round game will certainly give some teams pause in evaluating him.

*Hayes comes from a family of impressive athletes. His father played 12 seasons in the NFL and recently served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. His mother played basketball at Drake University and later coached in college, including a stint as an assistant at Oklahoma. Hayes followed his father's footsteps by playing wide receiver in high school before a growth spurt made it clear basketball was the path to go.

Fit with Wizards: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.

The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.

Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.

Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Nassir Little

School: North Carolina
Position: Forward
Age: 19
Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
Wingspan: 7-1
Max vertical: 38.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.8 FG% (3.6/7.6), 26.9 3PT% (0.4/1.4), 77.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, Justise Winslow

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 11th, NBADraft.net 11th, Bleacher Report 16th, Sports Illustrated 11th, Ringer 14th

5 things to know:

*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.

*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length. 

*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.

*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.

*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.

Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.

But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.

That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.

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