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Report: Oct. 12 last date of NBA Finals under proposal up for vote Thursday

Report: Oct. 12 last date of NBA Finals under proposal up for vote Thursday

The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to vote Thursday on Commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for resuming the 2019-20 season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday. Ahead of the vote, Wojnarowski reported some pertinent details regarding the proposal, including a definitive end date for the NBA Finals. 

In the timeline shared with teams, Oct. 12 is the last possible date for an NBA Finals Game 7, Wojnarowski reported. The NBA draft and opening of free agency reportedly would follow.

Other details of Silver's recommendation to resume the season include a previously reported plan of games involving the 16 teams currently holding playoff position, and six more teams within six games of the eighth seed in each conference.

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Those teams include the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference and the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference.

While Thursday's vote requires three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan, team owners reportedly expect the board of governors to overwhelmingly support whatever plan is proposed.

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'Who else gonna shoot?' Replacing Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans is no small task for Wizards

'Who else gonna shoot?' Replacing Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans is no small task for Wizards

With Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans out of the picture now, the Washington Wizards' roster in the NBA's Disney World restart will look very similar to the one they had in the Las Vegas Summer League last July. That's not taking a shot, it is stating a fact.

The majority of their rotation will have been in Vegas. The Summer League roster had Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Admiral Schofield and Anzejs Pasecniks. Sprinkle in some Ish Smith, Shabazz Napier, Jerome Robinson and Thomas Bryant, and you basically have the Wizards' new-look team in Orlando.

This time, though, it will be obvious who is missing, as both Beal and Bertans are not participating to preserve their health for the future. And that leaves a massive hole of production the Wizards need to fill, likely with young and inexperienced players.

"I'm sad for Brad's injury and it sucks that he's not here with us," Brown said. "Brad is a big part of us. But it's one of those things where we have a lot of guys from the age of 20 to 23, so there's a lot of opportunity here."

In fact, with Beal alone the Wizards will have to replace the league's second-leading scorer. His 30.5 points per game are tops in the Eastern Conference and second only to James Harden's 34.4.

Beal is also the highest volume shooter in the NBA. He leads the league in field goal attempts per game this season, coming in at a whopping 22.9, which is the most for a Wizards/Bullets player since 1991.

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Another way to look at it is this: Beal has the fifth-highest usage rate in the league. By that metric, only four players in the league have a larger role in their team's offense than Beal: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Harden and Trae Young.

Add Bertans' numbers into Beal's and you can see just how much will be missing from the Wizards. They combine to average 45.9 points per game on 34.2 shots.

The two of them combine to take 37.6 percent of the team's total field goal attempts on average. And that percentage skyrockets in the fourth quarter, where Beal and Bertans take 59.8 percent of the Wizards' field goal attempts.

Beal and Bertans take 12.8 of the Wizards' 21.4 attempts in the fourth on average. And Beal's 7.9 shots in the fourth are third-most in the NBA.

Rui Hachimura now remains as the Wizards' leader in total shot attempts with 11.1 per game. That ranks 105th in the NBA among qualifying players.

Hachimura, though, feels like he's prepared for a larger role because of his experience as a star in college and on Team Japan in international play.

"Not only Gonzaga, but the national team, I had to be the guy. So for right now, I have more opportunity to score and to playmake. It's going to be great for me and as a team, a young team, we have a great opportunity. I'm so excited about it," he said.

Between Hachimura and the other remaining Wizards players, shots will have to be taken. The most likely result is that players like him, Brown and others will have no choice but to be more aggressive. They won't have the option to defer to veteran teammates who they are used to taking on an outsized scoring role. As former Wizards guard Jordan Crawford famously said, "who else gonna shoot?"

Napier says it will need to be a collective effort where everyone takes on a little more responsibility, not just a few stepping up.

"We have to understand that one person is not going to be able to do what they were able to do. We have to utilize everybody from the first person to the last person off the bench and understand that everybody in this league is capable of making a big-time shot or having a big-time game," he said.

"You don't have a star player like Bradley and a great player in D.B. [Normally,] you focus on them, even as players you focus on just trying to get them the ball. Your game doesn't show the way you would want to show it at times, or what you can possibly do. So, this is a great opportunity for a lot of guys to show who they are."

Head coach Scott Brooks mentioned Hachimura in particular when it comes to filling in for Bertans. For Beal, he pointed to Brown, Robinson, Bonga and the potential to play two point guards together.

He now has some time to figure it out before their first game on July 31 against the Suns.

"It's open. It's wide open. The next three weeks, guys are going to be fighting for minutes," Brooks said.

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Coaches' Roundtable: How do coaches earn the trust of superstar players?

Coaches' Roundtable: How do coaches earn the trust of superstar players?

NBC Sports Washington brought together local coaches Ron Rivera (Washington football), Todd Reirden (Capitals), Scott Brooks (Wizards) and Mike Thibault (Mystics) to discuss the intricacies of their craft in a free-wheeling discussion hosted by Julie Donaldson. We present six days highlighting different themes of their conversation - experiences, stories and lessons shared from careers in coaching.  

One of the most important jobs of a head coach of a professional sports team is to build trust with players. This isn’t the pee-wees where coaches are teaching you how to play the game. A head coach must bring several professional men or women together and convince them that he can make that team successful. It’s about selling yourself to the team as much as it is leading it.
 
This is a task coaches like Scott Brooks and Todd Reirden know all too well.
 
Brooks took over as head coach of the Washington Wizards in 2016. Reirden, meanwhile, was promoted from associate coach to head coach after Barry Trotz resigned in the wake of the Capitals' Stanley Cup championship in 2018. Both coaches joined host Julie Donaldson along with Washington football head coach Ron Rivera and Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault in NBC Sports Washington’s Coaches' Roundtable.
 
Brooks inherited a team with two superstars in John Wall and Bradley Beal and immediately went about the task of teaching them how good the Wizards could be if those premier talents worked within the team’s structure. But that took work. 
 
“When you have superstar players, you have to form a relationship with them and have them have a good understanding that you need your teammates to help you even become even better of a superstar,” Brooks said. “I’ve always believed in good role players. If you can make them superstars in their roles, and I think the star players and the coaches can do that and allow that to happen, that makes the star players even better. It makes your team better. ... When they understand that your team has a chance to be special."
 
Brooks has now been the head coach in Washington for four seasons, leading the team to the playoffs twice. The Wizards did manage to make the cut for the resumption of the 2020 NBA season on July 30, so Brooks still has a chance to make it three out of four.
 
Reirden also inherited a talented roster with players like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The Capitals were coming off a Stanley Cup championship when he took over, of course, and he had been with those same players since 2014 so his task was unique. He already had established relationships. 
 
“I thought the real challenge for me coming in and taking over the defending champion was to be able to relate to that and find different strategies,” Reirden said.
 
Reirden was with the Capitals as an assistant coach for four years under Trotz coaching the team’s defensemen. Now in his second season as head coach, Reirden has led the Caps to two Metropolitan Division titles and the team will be among the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference when the NHL’s season pause ends on Aug. 1. 
 
As a member of Trotz’s staff, Reirden knew the players already. Building the same level of trust with those players that Trotz had while convincing them that he, too, could lead them to the NHL mountaintop, however, remains was an unenviable task.

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“It was going to be a tough act to follow,” Reirden said.
 
But in many ways, that relationship with Trotz helped Reirden. In fact, much of Reirden’s preparation in taking over was learning from his own coaches.
 
“I think trust from players, it comes from honesty and as a player, I was fortunate enough to play for a coach by the name of Joel Quenneville, who is the second-winningest coach in the NHL history,” Reirden said of the current Florida Panthers coach who led the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups last decade. “What he taught me as a player, and I didn’t always like to hear it, but it was honest evaluation of my game. And some days were some pretty long drives back to my apartment. I may have even shed a tear after some of the things he said to me. But at least I knew where I stood, and it allowed me to focus on what I needed to do to improve.”
 
That is a philosophy Brooks shares with Reirden after a discussion he once had with legendary UCLA men's basketball coach John Wooden.
 
“I remember middle of my career, like in the middle of the 90s, I knew I wanted to get into coaching, so I had a meeting with Coach Wooden and it was the most surreal experience I've ever had,” Brooks said. “It was like a biblical figure. It’s like John Wooden. You've heard so much about fundamentals, so much about pyramids, so much about the first thing he taught his players, how to tie his shoe and put the shoes on so it wouldn't cause blisters. And I just remember one thing, one word that really just stood out, and he said 'honesty'. You want to be a good coach? Be honest with your players. And some of the tough conversations that I had with players or some of the tough conversations that coaches had with me and honesty was so important.”
 
Brooks added, “Sometimes you kind of want a little bit of a half-truth and the reason why you didn't play was because you couldn't guard anybody and you couldn't pass in positions. But you want honesty, and I think that helps gain your players’ trust.”
 
On the one hand, what is Brooks going to be able to teach Wall or Beal about the game of basketball that they don’t already know? What could Reirden possibly have to tell Ovechkin about scoring goals? They most want to be put in a position to succeed. 
 
As great as those players are, however, they can’t have that success without the team and both coaches agreed it takes that honesty to build up a player’s trust enough that they are willing to listen and play how they are coached. But that is a goal more realistic with buy-in from the top players. If they believe, their teammates will follow, too. 
 
“You cannot fake genuineness to the players and passion and the desire,” Reirden said. “They know whether you're trying to make them better, trying to make our team better. They know whether you're all in or not. They see right through you and I think that it's best to wear your passion on your sleeve and show up with a great game plan that involves everybody, involves your full team. Because none of us are winning without having a team in our sport.”

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