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Wizards blasted by Utah Jazz in first game of road trip

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Wizards blasted by Utah Jazz in first game of road trip

The Washington Wizards lost to the Utah Jazz 116-69 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Ugly loss: Coming off a big win over the Pistons on Friday, the Wizards embarked on a five-game road trip with reason to feel good about themselves and how they had fared so far without John Wall. They aren't feeling good anymore.

The Wizards began their road trip on Monday with their most lopsided loss of the season and one of their worst as a franchise, a thorough beatdown at the hands of the Utah Jazz.

Rudy Gobert returned to Utah's lineup after a three-week absence and dominated the middle with 10 rebounds and three blocks. He led the defense while Alec Burks scored 27 points in 27 minutes off the bench to lead their offense. The Wizards, meanwhile, lost control from the opening tip and never built any sort of momentum to make it a competitive game.

The Wizards lost by 47 points, making this their second-worst defeat ever. Only once have they lost by more, 52 points, and that was all the way back in 1971.

The Wizards scored just 15 points in each of the first two quarters to compile 30 points at halftime, their second-lowest output in a half so far this season. They trailed by 34 points, which is the largest halftime deficit for the Wizards since 2002 when the New Jersey Nets led them by 39 on January 16.

You want more terrible numbers? The Wizards' four three-pointers made were their fewest since 2006. Their 28.7 field goal percentage was their fifth-lowest in franchise history. The Jazz out-rebounded them 52-31.

The Wizards fell to 12-11 on the season and have now lost seven of their last 10 games. They are 3-4 without Wall this season and 2-3 since he had two procedures on his left knee. 


Beal was off again: Bradley Beal played his second game with protective eyewear and, just like on Friday, he ditched those glasses midgame. Beal couldn't hit shots from outside or around the basket. There were some layups he missed that were tough shots, but ones he usually gets to go down.

After scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting against the Jazz, Beal is averaging just 12.5 points in his last four games. Whether he is being affected by the eye injury he suffered against the Sixers on Nov. 29 or not, his dip in production is coming at a tough time for the Wizards with Wall already out. He will be needed in their next game on Tuesday night against a very good Blazers backcourt.

Morris and Gortat came up short: So much for what could have been a breakout performance for Markieff Morris. After setting a season-high with 26 points against the Pistons on Friday, Morris laid an egg in this one. He managed 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting, but grabbed just one rebound.

Marcin Gortat was worse. He was held scoreless in 23 minutes for the first time since 2011. He did, however, have seven rebounds and four steals. But in a game the Wizards were dominated so badly on the boards, seven rebounds weren't enough from Gortat.

Mitchell is impressive: The Wizards got their first look at star rookie Donovan Mitchell and he was as-advertised. Mitchell made his first five shots, hitting midrange jumpers and floaters in the lane from all different release angles. He finished with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

Mitchell is known for his dunks and he threw down a huge alley-oop in the first half. Mitchell called for the pass near halfcourt and Ricky Rubio found him with a good setup:


Up next: The Wizards will get an opportunity to bounce back quickly from this one. They head northwest to play at the Portland Trail Blazers. Tipoff is at 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division


NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Atlantic Division...

Toronto Raptors, B+

2017-18 finish: 59-23, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Kawhi Leonard, G Danny Green, C Greg Monroe
Out: G DeMar DeRozan, C Jakub Poeltl, C Lucas Nogueira

The Raptors had one of the more consequential offseasons of any NBA team this year. First, they fired Dwane Casey, the 2017-18 NBA Coach of the Year, following a season in which they won 59 games. Then, they pulled off the biggest trade of the summer, a deal that featured two perennial All-NBA players. They let go of DeRozan and brought in Leonard in return. If they hadn't parted with DeRozan and Casey, they may have gotten an A. But it's hard to tell how much better they will be following the deal and Leonard does bring with him some concerns based on his quadriceps injury and the fact he has only one year left on his contract. The Raptors do, however, also get points for re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet.

Boston Celtics, C

2017-18 finish: 55-27, conference finals
In: C Robert Williams, G Brad Wanamaker
Out: C Greg Monroe

One year ago, the Celtics flipped nearly their entire roster and brought in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, they mostly stood pat and didn't add much of anything in free agency or trades. Their biggest acquisition was Williams, who they took 27th overall in the first round of the draft. The Celtics will hope they improve from within. They re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes, and should get Irving and Hayward back from injuries. They should have plenty of talent to compete for an NBA Finals berth, but as far as this offseason goes, they didn't do much.

Philadelphia 76ers, D+

2017-18 finish: 52-30, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Wilson Chandler, C Mike Muscala, G Zhaire Smith, G Landry Shamet
Out: G Marco Belinelli, F Ersan Ilyasova

Where do we begin? This summer was about as dramatic and bad as it could get for the Sixers. First, they had to fire their general manager because of a burner Twitter account scandal. Then, they struck out miserably in free agency with LeBron James and Paul George, and in trade talks for Leonard. After that, Smith - their first round pick - hurt his foot. And along the way, Ben Simmons has been dating a Kardashian, flirting with the curse that has claimed many pro athletes before him. Philly did re-sign J.J. Redick and Johnson, and the Chandler trade was nice, but all in all it was an offseason that fell way short of the Sixers' expectations. That said, they can still get way better next season based solely on their young players taking another step.

New York Knicks, B

2017-18 finish: 29-53, missed playoffs
In: F Mario Hezonja, F Kevin Knox, F Noah Vonleh, C Mitchell Robinson
Out: F Michael Beasley, G Jarrett Jack, F Kyle O'Quinn

It's been a while since the Knicks had an offseason to write home about and this one is no exception. There was nothing they did that would flirt with an A-grade. However, the early returns on their draft are excellent. Knox and Robinson were both standouts in the Summer League and offer fans a little bit more hope about the team's future. As long as Kristaps Porzingis can return this season safe and sound from his ACL tear, the Knicks could take a step forward in 2018-19.

Brooklyn Nets, C+

2017-18 finish: 28-54, missed playoffs
In: F Ed Davis, F Kenneth Faried, F Jared Dudley
Out: F Dante Cunningham, G Nik Stauskas, C Jahlil Okafor

The best news about the Nets' offseason is that their trade with the Celtics, the one that stripped them of years of first round picks, is finally over. Next year, the Nets will have a first round pick. This summer, they once again didn't add any major pieces in the draft, but seemed to make some smart moves in free agency. The Davis deal is solid and Faried may benefit from a change of scenery. More baby steps for Brooklyn.

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NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division


NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Southeast Division...

Washington Wizards, B+

2017-18 finish: 43-39, 1st round of playoffs
In: C Dwight Howard, G Austin Rivers, G Troy Brown, Jr., F Jeff Green, C Thomas Bryant
Out: C Marcin Gortat, F Mike Scott, G Ty Lawson, G Tim Frazier, G Ramon Sessions, F Chris McCullough

Given the circumstances of their salary cap situation, the Wizards did quite well for themselves this summer. They shook things up by trading Gortat and actually got something solid back for him in Rivers. They then filled Gortat's spot with an eight-time All-Star in Howard and did so at a bargain price, the taxpayer mid-level exception. They also added Green at a nice price and Brown, who acquitted himself nicely in the Summer League. Whether the Wizards made a major leap forward is debatable, but the potential is there for them to re-install themselves as contenders in the East. The possibility things go wrong is also there, but all in all, a strong summer for the Wizards.

Atlanta Hawks, B

2017-18 finish: 24-58, missed playoffs
In: G Jeremy Lin, C Alex Len, G Trae Young, G Vince Carter, G Kevin Huerter, F Justin Anderson, F Omari Spellman
Out: G Dennis Schroeder, C Mike Muscala, C Dewayne Dedmon, G Malcolm Delaney, G Isaiah Tayor

The Hawks did a nice job with the draft by picking up an extra first round pick just to move back two spots (from third to fifth) in their trade with the Mavericks. They added Young with the fifth pick and then got Huerter later on at No. 18. The Len signing at two years and $8.5 million looks like a bargain and they added a nice mix of veteran free agents and young players to develop. It will probably be a few years before the Hawks are back in the playoffs, but they seemed to take a step forward this summer.

Miami Heat, D

2017-18 finish: 44-38, 1st round of playoffs
In: F Duncan Robinson
Out: G Dwyane Wade, G Wayne Ellington, F Luke Babbitt

The Heat had one of the least impactful summers of any team in the NBA. The biggest addition they have so far, and this is true, is Robinson. They didn't make any draft picks and struck out in free agency. What they did do is let go of Wade, Ellington and others. The only way the Heat improve year-over-year is if their young guys like Bam Adebayo or Justise Winslow take a big step forward. 

Charlotte Hornets, C+

2017-18 finish: 36-46, missed playoffs
In: C Bismack Biyombo, F Miles Bridges, G Devonte' Graham
Out: C Dwight Howard, G Michael Carter-Williams, G Treveon Graham

New Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak quickly turned the franchise into a different direction this offseason by trading Howard to the Nets. They then added Biyombo in a deal with the Magic and acquired Bridges through the draft. There isn't a lot to love or hate about the Hornets' offseason, so they fall in the middle of the grading scale. The real question now is what they do with Kemba Walker, who has just one year left on his contract.

Orlando Magic, B+

2017-18 finish: 25-57, missed playoffs
In: C Mohamed Bamba, C Timofey Mozgov, F Justin Jackson, F Jarell Martin, G Jerian Grant
Out: G Mario Hezonja, C Marreese Speights, G Arron Aflalo

The Magic had a strong summer. The re-signed forward Aaron Gordon, a rising young player, and drafted Bamba, who has the tools to become an All-Star and a dominant defensive force. They had some questionable moves, like trading for Mozgov, but the future looks a lot brighter for the Magic than it did just a few months ago.

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