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Wizards react to allowing Rockets to set NBA record for 3-pointers: 'You can't lack effort. We lack effort'

Wizards react to allowing Rockets to set NBA record for 3-pointers: 'You can't lack effort. We lack effort'

HOUSTON -- In the closing minutes on Wednesday night, the fans in the Toyota Center sensed it. On each Rockets possession, they screamed 'three' in unison and many held up three fingers, imploring their favorite team, one that already leads the NBA in three-point attempts, to take even more.

Whether the Wizards were aware of it or not, they were about to be on the wrong side of history. With 31 seconds left, Michael Carter-Williams sank the Rockets' 26th three of the night, setting a new NBA record for most threes made by one team in a single game.

The Wizards have had a nightmare of a time defending the three-point line this season, and it was taken to the extreme in their 136-118 loss to the Rockets. They allowed 55 attempts, tied for the eighth-most ever, and 47.3 percent of them went through the net.

Afterwards, the Wizards were left to explain how they accounted for the worst three-point defensive effort in the history of a sport. 

"It's just extra effort, man," guard Bradley Beal said. "With a team like that that shoots threes and loves to space you out, you've gotta have that extra effort."

Effort has been a lasting theme for the Wizards this season, and not in the good way. They have lacked energy in far too many games, and the team's leaders have pined for it through the media.

But after 32 games, it still isn't there, and now even Trevor Ariza is singing the same tune. He joined the Wizards two games ago in a trade with the Suns, but can already tell what is missing.

"It was definitely on us giving them a lot of open looks. We have to do a better job defensively, giving multiple efforts. We could've given a better effort," Ariza said.

"Basketball is a game of mistakes, so we know we are going to make mistakes. But the thing that you can't do is lack effort. We lack effort. That's what I notice so far."

On some of the threes, the Wizards did make an honest attempt to defend them. The Rockets, of course, deserve credit for their accomplishment.

They did a masterful job of earning mismatches. Too often, Wizards big men like Jeff Green and Thomas Bryant found themselves on an island tasked to cover James Harden or Chris Paul.

Harden in particular devoured them with his stepback jumper. He swished threes right in Wizards' players faces. Even when they anticipated the stepback move and closed out right into his space, he still made shots.

"In this league, with the way fouls are called, you can't guard him," John Wall said. "You just pray he miss."

Six different Rockets players hit multiple threes. Harden had six and scored 35 points. Paul had five and dropped 21. Eric Gordon and Gerald Green each had four.

But it wasn't just the usual suspects. The fact Carter-Williams hit the record-breaker was fitting, as it helped illustrate just how bad the Wizards' defense was.

Since he entered the NBA in 2013-14, Carter-Williams has the worst career three-point percentage of any player (min. 500 attempts). His lifetime average is 25.4 percent.

After Wednesday night's horror show, the Wizards maintain their status as one of the worst three-point defenses in the NBA. They are 27th in threes allowed (12.4) and 28th in opponents three-point percentage (37.3). 

They hoped Ariza would help with their perimeter defense and, over time, he may. For one night, however, it was as bad as it could possibly be.

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NBA reportedly close to televising a HORSE competition while players are in isolation

NBA reportedly close to televising a HORSE competition while players are in isolation

While we wait for the 2019-20 NBA season to return from suspension, the league may have found another way to entertain us. 

Last week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the NBA was working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition featuring several high-profile players. 

In this case, players would shoot by themselves, presumably at their homes, and go shot-for-shot with other players remotely. The great thing about H-O-R-S-E is all you need to be able to do is shoot, leaving the door open for former players like Paul Pierce to get in on the fun. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the NBA and ESPN's deal to televise H-O-R-S-E is nearing completion with a number of NBA stars on board to compete, per Wojnarowski. Chris Paul, Trae Young and Zach LaVine are expected to participate while the competition will also include WNBA players and a few recent NBA alumni. 

This wouldn't be the first time we've seen NBA players playing H-O-R-S-E on television. Back in 2010, Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo and Omri Casspi played each other in H-O-R-S-E as a part of All-Star weekend. As you'd expect, Durant won. 

This follows the NBA kickstarting the first-ever NBA 2K Players Tournament Friday, where 16 NBA stars play each other in an NBA 2K20 tournament for charity. Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young and Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura headline the event that is expected to run until April 11. 

According to Woj, the details on the H-O-R-S-E competition are still being finalized with the league and ESPN, who'd ultimately air the event. 

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Jerry Stackhouse says he regrets time with Wizards, playing with Michael Jordan

Jerry Stackhouse says he regrets time with Wizards, playing with Michael Jordan

From an outside perspective, it seems like Jerry Stackhouse would have cherished his time with the Washington Wizards, as he was given the opportunity to share the floor with Michael Jordan, an admitted idol whom he was at times compared to as a 6-foot-6 star guard from the University of North Carolina.

But Stackhouse, now the head coach at Vanderbilt, views that time with deep regret. He looked back on those days on the latest episode of the 'Woj Pod' hosted by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and explained why he still isn't over the frustration he felt at the time.

"Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington and for a number of reasons," Stackhouse said. "I felt we were on our way in Detroit before I got traded there. It was really challenging to be able to be in a situation with an idol who at this particular point, I felt like I was a better player.

"Things were still being run through Michael Jordan," he continued. "[Head coach] Doug Collins, I love Doug, but I think that was an opportunity for him to make up for some ill moments that they may have had back in Chicago. So, pretty much everything that Michael wanted to do [we did]. We got off to a pretty good start and he didn't like the way the offense was running because it was running a little bit more through me. He wanted to get a little more isolations for him on the post, of course, so we had more isolations for him on the post. And it just kind of spiraled in a way that I didn't enjoy that season at all. The kind of picture I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year."

What made matters worse for Stackhouse is that his previous team, the Detroit Pistons, won a title in 2004, just two years after he left in a trade. The Wizards sent promising young guard Richard Hamilton to Detroit for Stackhouse in a six-player deal. Hamilton was the leading scorer on that Finals-winning team while playing the same position Stackhouse did.

"[Jordan] had a young guard there in Rip Hamilton, who I was traded for to Detroit, that he didn't feel like he could get it done with. So he was like, 'Let's go get Stackhouse, I know he's tougher and he can score, let's go bring him in here,'" Stackhouse said.

"Watching a team I helped kind of build a foundation for in Detroit go on to win a championship a couple years later, it left a bad taste in my mouth, so I was pretty happy to get out of Washington and get on to Dallas."

Stackhouse was traded by the Wizards in 2004 to the Mavericks in the deal that brought Antawn Jamison to D.C. Stackhouse would play five years in Dallas, only to see them win a title two years after he left. Two years later, he played for the Miami Heat, who would win a championship the year after he left there.

That's some bad timing on multiple accounts. Stackhouse feels like he missed out on a ring, but you could argue he missed out on several.

You can listen to the full interview with Stackhouse right here.

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