Washington Wizards Spend Day Off Playing FIFA on Verizon Center Jumbotron

The Washington Wizards are putting the Verizon Center scoreboard to good use on their day off.

Some Wizards players hooked up an Xbox game console to the Jumbotron, took a seat in the stands and played FIFA. Whoever came up with the idea should be applauded. 

Milwaukee Bucks point guard Kendall Marshall apparently found out about this and is dreaming a little bigger.

Isn’t that everyone’s life goal?

[Twitter, h/t CBS Sports]

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Georgia State’s Curtis Washington Finds Top of the Backboard on Fade Post Move

Georgia State Panthers forward Curtis Washington went with a fadeaway on this post move, but the results weren’t what he was hoping for.

Washington ended up finding the top of the backboard on this shot in the first half of Monday’s game against the Iowa State Cyclones.

Playing against a Top 25 opponent can be intimidating for players at a smaller program, and that possibly could be the reason for the shot.

[Vine]

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Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards 11/15/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The red-hot Washington Wizards looked to keep their run of success rolling on Saturday when they took on the Orlando Magic. John Wall and the Wizards had won two straight and six of their first eight, but they faced a tough test from a young Magic squad that had won two straight and four of its last six.

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Washington Wizards’ Supporting Cast Holding Up Its End of the Bargain

The Washington Wizards have one of the best starting lineups in the league when healthy, from John Wall to Marcin Gortat. But the real difference in their 6-2 start that included three separate back-to-back wins? Solid and efficient play from role players.

Head coach Randy Wittman is beginning to nail down his rotation, switching the three-point shooting abilities of Drew Gooden for increased minutes to tough interior player Kris Humphries and even giving Rasual Butler valuable minutes.

Garrett Temple, Otto Porter, Butler, Humphries and Kevin Seraphin are emerging as the group of role players Wittman will call upon to play the most minutes behind his core.

This group has played the most minutes outside the four core players over the last five games, with the team going 4-1 over that stretch.

This rotation of role players shoot a combined 79 percent from the free-throw line, a 58.6 percent true shooting percentage and a combined average offensive rating of 110 points per 100 possessions.

This unit is doing its part to alleviate some pressure from this talented starting unit.

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Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers 11/8/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to bounce back from a tough loss, when they took on the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. The Wizards saw their four-game win streak snapped their last time out, and they faced a tricky test from a stingy Pacers defense desperate to snap a five-game skid.

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Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors 11/7/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Two of the NBA‘s best teams of the early season squared off on Friday night, when the Washington Wizards took on the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards’ deep roster had ripped off four straight wins, but they faced a tough test in this one from a balanced Raptors squad who had won two straight and four of their first five games of the season. 

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What’s Driving Washington Wizards’ Early Season Success?

The Washington Wizards, despite losing to the Toronto Raptors on Friday, are off to a 4-2 start this season. But what is behind this hot start? I believe that the driving force is the improved all-around play of point guard John Wall.

Wall has been important for a Wizards squad that has lost several role players to injury, lending a helping hand as a passer, scorer and defender.

 

Scoring

Wall has continued his improved play from last season, averaging virtually the same amount of points with 19.2 points per game.

Even with the same amount of scoring, Wall has improved his shooting percentage to 44 percent, which also ties a career-high mark. The former University of Kentucky guard is averaging above 40 percent from every distance except three-point range, including 40 percent from 16 feet out to the three-point line.

As a matter of fact, Wall is averaging a career-high percentage from three feet out to the three-point line.

According to Zach Harper of CBSSports.com, Wall’s improved jumper is only making it more difficult on defenses:

His improving jumper since the beginning of last season has shored up the biggest weakness in his game. Adding a more than adequate jump shot gives him the option of deciding how to dissect a defense. Most of his damage will come with the pass, but he’s so fast and quick that a defense has to be ready to help over from the weak side when he decides to drive.

This has been gravy for Wall, as we all know what he is capable of in transition:

 

Wall has regressed back to his pre-2013-14 three-point numbers, which is something that will have to improve if the Wizards hope to contend for a title.

 

Passing/Ball Movement

In the four wins the Wizards have this season, they are putting up a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the two losses, that ratio falls to 1.4. The Wizards are led in this department by Wall, who is currently fourth in the NBA with 9.5 assists per game.

Wall accounts for 53.8 percent of the Wizards’ assists when on the court, serving as the primary ball-handler and initiator on offense.

Exceptional play by Wall has been an indicator of success, as he has averaged .5 more assists and .5 less turnovers in the four wins this season.

Wall’s passing is often set up by his pickpocketing ways, as seen by this clip from the Orlando Magic game, during which a steal turned into the NBA’s Assist of the Night:

 

Defense

The Wizards are giving up 15-plus more points per game to opponents when Wall is not in the game, which is the most obvious indicator of the team’s reliance on its star guard.

Wall is fifth in the league in steals with 2.7 per game. The Wizards are counting on Wall to account for over a quarter of their steals.

His athleticism is always good for several plays that negate opponent points and are liable to end in points for the Wizards on the other end.

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Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards 11/5/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to continue their early-season hot streak Wednesday night when they took on the Indiana Pacers. The Wizards had rolled off three straight wins after dropping the season opener but faced a tough test from the Pacers’ stingy defense in their quest for a fourth win.

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Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

The Washington Wizards visit the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden Tuesday with both teams at 2-1 through the season’s first week. 

Point man John Wall has stormed out of the gate for Washington, averaging 21.7 points, 11 dimes and three steals per game. Center Marcin Gortat will be another Wizard to watch, as “The Polish Hammer” has posted 19.3 points and 9.3 boards per game.

The Knicks looked sluggish in losing their home opener to the Chicago Bulls by 24 points, but they’ve come up with a pair of tough victories since then, besting the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets. 

With the triangle offense still a work in progress, Carmelo Anthony predictably leads the team with 22.3 points per game. Guards Iman Shumpert (10.7 points per game) and Shane Larkin (8.0 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game) have also enjoyed strong starts.

The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET. MSG and CSN Washington carry the local TV feeds.

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

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards 11/1/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to build some early-season momentum with a win Saturday night when they took on the Milwaukee Bucks. John Wall and the Wizards scored a win in their second game of the season and were eager for a second straight victory, but the young, explosive Bucks posed a tough test.

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