Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic 10/30/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to bounce back from a disappointing season opener Thursday night as they met the Orlando Magic. The Wizards dropped their first game of the year to the Miami Heat and faced a tough test from the Magic as they looked to rebuild after last season’s subpar campaign.

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Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat 10/29/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Miami Heat began the post-LeBron era with a 107-95 win over the Washington Wizards.

Chris Bosh led the way with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter after briefly leaving the game with a leg injury.

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Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

The Washington Wizards open the season Wednesday by visiting the Miami Heat, who are mercifully without the services of LeBron James after making four consecutive NBA Finals appearances. 

While Washington remains a team on the upswing with a talented young backcourt and solid defensive ability, Miami looks set for a serious backslide now that King James has abdicated from his kingdom, even with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh returning.

The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can catch the local TV feed on Sun Sports or CSNB.

Keep it right here for all the breakdowns before, during and after the game!

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Kevin Durant creates Washington Wizards buzz with tweet

Kevin Durant grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. The Oklahoma City Thunder star will be a free agent after the 2015-2016 season, and there has already been speculation that one of the frontrunners to sign Durant will be the Wizards. On Monday, Durant got the Twitter world buzzing when he responded to a tweet…Read More

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Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks 10/22/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to break out of their preseason slump on Wednesday night, when they faced the New York Knicks. John Wall and company had dropped two straight games, and faced a tough test from a Knicks squad led by superstar Carmelo Anthony.

Watch the video for full highlights. 

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5 Bold Predictions for the Washington Wizards During 2014-15 Season

Martell Webster is lost for the first month of the season with yet another back surgery. Then, Bradley Beal was lost for the first month, it not more, with a left wrist fracture.  

And those are just two of the injuries the Washington Wizards have had to deal with this offseason. New acquisition Kris Humphries suffered a laceration on his hand, Glen Rice Jr. sprained his ankle, and veteran Paul Pierce tweaked his knee

Oh, and Nene and DeJuan Blair will miss the season opener for an altercation earlier in the preseason against the Chicago Bulls

If all of that doesn’t sound that bad, there’s plenty more to look forward to as the 2014-15 NBA season goes on. 

The Eastern Conference is wide open once again and is considerably easier than the West. Despite all of these setbacks in the preseason, the Wizards still have a chance to make a statement a year after John Wall made his first postseason, and they upset the Chicago Bulls in the first round in convincing fashion. 

Making the playoffs is expected for the Wizards this season given all of the talent on the roster, even with all the injuries, but there’s still some unknowns about the season. 

To look past these injuries in the immediate future, here’s five predictions that should surprise Washington, and NBA fans in general, before the season comes to an end. 

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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Washington Wizards 10/20/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Two of the NBA‘s most promising young teams squared off in a preseason clash on Monday night when the New Orleans Pelicans took on the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards’ elite backcourt, led by John Wall, faced a tough test from a Pelicans squad led by center Anthony Davis.

Watch the video for full highlights. 

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Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards 10/17/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards both looked to continue their strong preseasons on Friday. John Wall and the Wizards looked to prove their hot start was more than a fluke, while the Hornets looked to continue to build momentum heading into the season.

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Otto Porter Has Golden Opportunity with Wing-Depleted Washington Wizards

This is exactly what Otto Porter Jr. needed. 

After a letdown rookie year, he’s been presented with a golden bounce-back opportunity in Washington. Trevor Ariza is gone. Bradley Beal could be out two months with an injury. Martell Webster is coming off major back surgery. Glen Rice Jr. just sprained his ankle. 

There’s only so much weight the Wizards can lean on 36-year-old Paul Pierce.

Whether he deserves the title or not, Porter has suddenly become an X-factor for one of the more competitive teams in the Eastern Conference.

The good news for Porter is he’s entering the season healthy and not trying to play catchup. Last year, Porter missed most of NBA Summer League, all of the preseason and the team’s first 18 games. 

With Ariza playing the way he was and the Wizards battling for playoff position, Porter never really had a chance. 

He was also looking at a significant role adjustment, having been the centerpiece of a strong Georgetown rotation (24.09 usage rate in 2012-13) before entering Washington’s lineup as a fifth option (15.3 usage rate in 2013-14). 

Porter was ultimately thrust into the lineup cold, midseason, after spending the last two years in college. That’s like jumping into a conversation spoken in a different language mid-discussion. 

But Porter appears to be a little more prepared heading into his sophomore year with the Wizards. He’s coming off a tremendous Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 19 points on 48.4 percent shooting. And he’s looked sharp in preseason so far, having scored at least 12 points and shot at least 53 percent in four of five games.

“He’s night and day,” teammate Kevin Seraphin told WSNWashington.com’s Ben Standig. “I told him that yesterday. I’m proud of him. He’s really stepped up right now. He’s more confident in everything. I love his game.”

“I do feel like I’m back to myself, where I was before I got drafted,” Porter said via Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. “(I’m) mentally prepared, physically prepared.”

He’s even knocking down threes, something he’ll need to do in order to justify regular minutes, not just with the Wizards, but as a pro in general. Porter was just 4-of-21 from downtown last year—between Vegas and preseason this summer and fall, he’s 11-of-27.

Given all of Washington’s injuries on the wing, along with its overall lack of offensive depth, Porter isn’t just a body filling in—he’s going to be put in a position that asks him to generate offense, whether it’s as a playmaker, scorer or finisher.

It’s the ideal chance for Porter to showcase his versatility, arguably his most attractive quality out of college. At 6’8″, he’s got excellent size for a wing who can handle the ball and separate into mid-range jumpers.

With John Wall on the floor, Porter will be able to play a bit more to strengths, which center around his ability to make plays off the ball as a cutter, shot-maker and offensive rebounder

Where Porter really must improve, other than shooting, is as a driver getting to the hoop. According to NBA.com, Porter didn’t score one basket off a drive, or a take from 20 feet out that resulted in a bucket within 10 feet of the rim, in 2013-14. 

Just by being on the floor longer with fewer weapons in the lineup, Porter is going to see more opportunities to attack one-on-one. 

Castillo noted that Porter had spent the summer working on offense and “emphasized creating separation, shooting, attacking the rim, and ball-handling.”

The bar will naturally get higher for Porter heading into his second year in the league, regardless of what happened last season. And it should—Porter was the No. 3 pick in 2013, with part of his appeal having stemmed from his maturity and perceived NBA-readiness.

Having gotten a season under his belt and a little more comfortable in the offense, Porter looks poised for a breakout sophomore year in what’s likely to be a regular role for a surging franchise. 

“I do feel that way, now that I’m healthy,” Porter told Castillo when asked if he’s improved over the past few months. “Also, I learned so much last year. And now that I’ve seen it and learned from it, now I can attack. My goal is to be very aggressive—ultra-aggressive—and having fun.”

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Maccabi Haifa vs. Washington Wizards 10/15/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to keep their strong preseason campaign rolling when they faced Israeli side Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday. The Wizards had won three of their four preseason games, but they faced a tough test from the Israeli powerhouse.

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