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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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How drawing up a play in the interview process helped sell the Wizards on Troy Brown

How drawing up a play in the interview process helped sell the Wizards on Troy Brown

While meeting with Oregon's Troy Brown during the pre-draft interview process, evaluators from the Washington Wizards issued him an on-the-spot challenge. Head coach Scott Brooks pulled out a dry-erase clipboard and a pen. He wanted to see Brown draw up a play.

This is a test Brooks has administered before to other players. Some have failed miserably.

"It sounds easy to throw a board at somebody in front of a big group and say 'okay draw a play' and I have seen many plays drawn, and I have seen it where there are not five players on the floor," Brooks said.

That wasn't the case with Brown. He didn't just draw up one play, he drew up several. One in particular came to mind when asked by reporters on Thursday night soon after the Wizards took him 15th overall in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“I think it was a situation where we were down by two or something like that," he said. "It was like a back screen into a slip, and then the fade three and they gave you a lot of various options to cause mismatches on the court for a last minute shot to either go ahead, or even attack the basket for a layup to go into overtime.”

NBC Sports Washington analyst Cory Alexander, a veteran of seven NBA seasons, demonstrated what Brown's play looked like on a whiteboard:

The Xs and Os of basketball flow effortlessly for Brown and Wizards' brass couldn't help but be impressed.

"He really understands the game. I think for a kid that is 18 years old, that is rare but he just has a good feel," Brooks said. 

"We were impressed with his character and the type of person he is and his basketball knowledge," team president Ernie Grunfeld said. "Obviously, like any young player, he has a lot of work to do but he has a lot of the intangibles that I think you need in today's game."

Smarts are a big part of what makes Brown a good basketball player. He isn't a particularly explosive athlete, with a modest 33-inch max vertical leap, but he boasts a 6-foot-10 wingspan and solid agility. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing how to operate an offense helps him make the most of his natural abilities.

Passing is where his basketball IQ comes in handy. Brown is unusually good at distributing for a 6-foot-7 small forward. He averaged 3.2 assists as a freshman at Oregon and nine times had five assists or more in a game.

He can pass like a point guard and the Wizards are excited to implement that skill into their offense.

"Passing is contagious. We’ve been pretty good the last two years and with talking about that how we even want to take another step," Brooks said. "He has the ability to make a lot of quick plays and his ball handling is pretty good for a guy his size. That is one thing I was impressed in his workout last week or when we had him. He is able to take the contact and use his strong frame to get inside the key and make plays.”


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller analyze the Wizards' two picks the night of the draft.

They went in-depth on first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. and why the Wizards took him when some big names were still on the board. They also broke down why the Wizards chose to pick a draft-and-stash guy in the second round.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!