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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura further away from returning than we thought

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura further away from returning than we thought

WASHINGTON -- When Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura first went down with a groin injury and underwent a minor procedure, the team said he would miss at least five games before getting re-evaluated. He has since missed seven and now several more weeks can be tacked on to his return timeline.

Head coach Scott Brooks revealed that after the team's practice on Tuesday, suggesting Hachimura would again be re-evaluated sometime in early- to mid-January. Hachimura, 21, has not only been held out games, he hasn't been with the team.

Brooks expects that last part to change soon, but Hachimura is currently at home resting with his groin area still very sore. And when he does rejoin the team, Brooks said he might not be sitting on the bench.

Brooks and general manager Tommy Sheppard went to visit Hachimura at his home last week and Brooks says he's doing well, all things considered.

"He's in good spirits," Brooks said. "I try to keep in contact with him as much as we can."

Hachimura suffered the injury when he was inadvertently kicked between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga during a game against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 16. Since, he has not been with the team in any visible way; at games or at practices. Whether he has spent any time at their facility in the past two weeks-plus is unclear.

Brooks, though, said Hachimura is able to walk despite the soreness. He just isn't around the team.

"We miss him. We miss his enthusiasm, we miss his game and we miss his presence," Brooks said.

Teammate Ish Smith echoed that sentiment, saying he looks forward to Hachimura being back with the team, even if he isn't ready to play.

"I haven't been able to see him. I miss my guy, man," Smith said. "I know that's a sensitive area and a sensitive situation. I just want him to get his rest and make sure he's good to come back 100 percent."

Hachimura has started 25 games for the Wizards this season after joining them as the ninth overall pick in June. He is averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

There were two other injury updates at Tuesday's practice. One is good, that Bradley Beal practiced and is "moving in the right direction" towards a potential return on Wednesday, according to Brooks. But there was also bad news about center Moe Wagner, who is expected to in a walking boot for another week and then, per Brooks, could take up to two weeks to get back into shape after that.

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Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

If you were a fan of the NBA's new format for the All-Star game, which featured a target score to decide the winner instead of a clock, you might be in luck. 

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the NBA is likely to use the target score format again in next year's All-Star game. The NBA's president of league operations Byron Spruell told Lowe it's a 'good assumption' we see this format again. 

In its maiden voyage, the target score was a smashing success. The NBA has struggled to make the All-Star game entertaining and intense enough for the best players in the world to try. By adding 24 points onto the leading team's score at the end of the third and saying, "First one to this number wins," it sparked the competitive fire in the league's biggest stars and made for an unforgettable basketball moment. 

The target score is very similar to the "Elam Ending," created by Ball State University professor Nick Elam. The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all event held over the summer, has used the Elam Ending for the last two years.

Chris Paul suggested using the format in the All-Star game to commissioner Adam Silver, and now the target score ending has a chance at making it to the G-League. 

Lowe also includes in the story that the NBA will discuss using the target score system in the G-League, the league's developmental league. However, concerns about making G-League play too different from play in the NBA make it unlikely for a full adaptation of the target score system. 

Spruell did say a possible first step would be using the system at the annual G-League Showcase, which usually takes place in December. 

To go even further down the rabbit hole of hypothetical changes to NBA games, the NBA will also reportedly discuss using target scores in the elimination rounds of a midseason tournament. In late December, the NBA propose massive schedule changes to the league's owners including shortening the regular season to 78 games and introducing a midseason tournament. 

The owners still have to approve the changes before any target scoring system can be implemented. 

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Wizards congratulate Marcin Gortat on retirement with tribute video

Wizards congratulate Marcin Gortat on retirement with tribute video

Following Marcin Gortat's retirement from basketball, the Wizards and Capitals made sure to congratulate him on wrapping up a 12-year career. 

Gortat spent five seasons with the Wizards from 2013-2018, averaging 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds during his time in D.C. He was a reliable roll man f next to John Wall and helped lead the team to four straight playoff appearances. 

After spending a short time with the Clippers last season, The "Polish Hammer" decided to retire earlier this week. He did not play in the NBA this year. 

Could there be a Gortat appreciation night at Capital One Arena sometime soon? Wizards fans probably wouldn't oppose. 

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