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Wizards blast Magic to tie a season-high with four straight wins behind Tomas Satoransky's career night


Wizards blast Magic to tie a season-high with four straight wins behind Tomas Satoransky's career night

The Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 115-98 on Saturday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Streak continues: The Wizards are all of a sudden unstoppable and they are doing it without their best player. On Saturday, they again earned a thoroughly impressive win without John Wall and again with unusually generous and crisp ball movement.

This time they dished 35 team assists. It was the fourth straight game the Wizards have had 27 assists or more, their longest such streak since April of 1997. This is the best passing streak the Wizards have had since Rod Strickland, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard were tearing it up for the Bullets.

Again, everyone got involved. Otto Porter led the Wizards with 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal. Tomas Satoransky set a career-high with 19 points.

All five Wizards starters reached double figures. Bradley Beal had 18 points, Markieff Morris had 16 points with three assists and three steals. Marcin Gortat had a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

The Wizards tied a season-high winning streak with their fourth straight victory. They moved to 30-22 on the season and within a game of the third-place Cleveland Cavaliers. Everything is looking up for the Wizards right now.

The Wizards, by the way, have won all four of these games without Wall. They are 9-6 without him this season. That's a small sample size, but it is a 49-win pace. Their record with him this year is 21-16, a 47-win pace.


Satoransky's career night: Satoransky keeps taking his game to new heights. The second-year guard had the best night of his brief career and showed an ability to affect a game with his scoring like we hadn't yet seen.

Satoransky was a force on the fastbreak with strong finishes and deft passes to his teammates. He attacked the rim in the halfcourt and stretched the floor with a consistent three-point shot. In addition to setting a career-high in points, Satoransky tied a career-best with three threes. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. He also added six assists and two steals.

Once again, Satoransky's impact was felt on defense. He helped keep Magic point guard Elfrid Payton in check, as Payton was limited to 14 points after Payton scored 30 and 27 against the Wizards in their previous meetings.

Satoransky is starting to shed the label of 'capable backup.' He is now becoming a real strength for the Wizards. Soon it may be worth a debate about where he ranks among best backup point guards in the NBA. 

Beal does so much: With Wall out, Beal is not only stepping up as a scorer, he has been leading the Wizards to win in a variety of ways. Saturday night was yet another well-rounded performance where Beal looked like in complete control from the opening tip.

Beal had 18 points and flirted with a triple-double with eight points and eight assists. He also had two steals and a block. 

Beal is being treated much differently by defenses with Wall not on the floor. He is often seeing double teams and is clearly the primary focus of opponents. But Beal is using that to his advantage. Instead of panicking, Beal baits the defense into collapsing on him before setting up others with passes.

Beal's patience and improvement as a passer is allowing the Wizards to run their offense through him in different ways without Wall out. Beal deserves a lot of credit for the Wizards' increased ball movement.

Up next: The Wizards are off Sunday before beginning a back-to-back set on Monday. They play at the Indiana Pacers with a 7 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Washington.


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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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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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