After winging it with their perimeter depth late in a trying season Paul Worrilow Color Rush Jersey , the Washington Wizards decided they needed more. A mature 18-year-old from Las Vegas with a winning game and a modern style convinced them he was the right call.
The Wizards selected Oregon swingman Troy Brown Jr. with the No. 15 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
The 6-foot-7 Brown provides the Wizards with needed wing depth, a versatile defender and a potential playmaker for their second unit. He averaged 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists during his lone season with the Ducks.
There were multiple meetings between Brown and members of the Wizards organization during the pre-draft process. They talked during last month’s NBA Combine in Chicago. Brown visited Washington for a June 11 workout. It took little convincing that the former 5-star recruit was the right choice.
”Easy,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said about the decision. ”This is a guy that we’ve been targeting.”
Team president Ernie Grunfeld said the workout on the Wizards’ practice court was just a piece of the evaluation process. Brown clearly helped his cause. The session included standard basketball drills along with a chance for the mature player to reveal his cerebral side.
”We asked him to draw up a last-second play and he drew up several,” Grunfeld said after Washington’s first draft choice in any round since 2015. ”So, he has a good understanding of all those things and he’s a skilled basketball player.”
Brown had a good feeling about the Wizards entering the draft.
”I was really excited. My workout went very well with the team. I was just very happy,” he said during a teleconference with local reporters. ”It’s a lifelong dream to make it to the NBA. You work so hard to make that dream come true. To finally hear my name especially with a team that I felt like kind of hit it off with at the workout, with the interview, I was very excited.”
Enthusiasm was in short supply for Washington last season. After falling a game shy of reaching the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, the Wizards finished 43-39 P.J. Hall Color Rush Jersey , entered the playoffs as the eighth seed and lost in the first round to Toronto in six games.
In 2015, the Wizards drafted Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant 19th overall before shipping him to Atlanta for forward Kelly Oubre Jr., the No. 15 selection. Washington also tabbed forward Aaron White in the second round.
Minutes for Brown will come behind All-Star guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter. Oubre served as Porter’s primary backup last season. Jodie Meeks handled that role behind Beal, but he has 19 games remaining on his 25-game suspension for a violation of the league’s drug program.
Depth became an issue for Washington last season. Porter dealt with a lingering hip injury throughout and missed Game 6 against Toronto after undergoing minor surgery on his lower left leg. Five-time All-Star point guard John Wall missed 41 games with various injuries. Meeks’ suspension hit as the playoffs began.
Beyond last season’s issues, the NBA game’s move to more small-ball lineups puts a premium on versatile pieces.
”It’s very important. You have to have a lot of versatility (and) you have to have players that can play multiple positions,” Grunfeld said.
Now the Wizards have one more.
Washington selected another 18-year-old, Ukrainian Issuf Sanon, with the 44th selection. Grunfeld said Sanon will remain overseas for at least the 2018-19 season.
Shaun Livingston and JaVale McGee have been giving the Golden State Warriors a huge lift in these NBA Finals by making every shot they take look easy.
Then again, they all have been easy.
Livingston is a perfect 9 for 9 from the field in this championship series. McGee is 8 for 9, and his lone miss came when he tried a dunk and stuffed the ball into the rim instead. The average distance of their made field goals is a staggeringly close 3 1/2 feet Kevin Hogan Color Rush Jersey , which is basically gimme range in golf and darn close to gimme range in basketball as well – especially at this level.
For as spectacular as LeBron James has been in the first two games, his Cleveland Cavaliers are down 2-0 largely because the Warriors’ supporting cast members like Livingston and McGee – journeymen of sorts – are soundly outplaying their Cavs‘ counterparts.
Stephen Curry is playing like an NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have been brilliant, and Draymond Green is quietly averaging a near triple-double. But the Warriors’ motto is ”strength in numbers,” and Livingston and McGee are personifying that.
”It’s just being aggressive, being in the right spot too,” Livingston said. ”It’s nothing really magical about what I do or how I’ve been playing. I’ve been fortunate enough to, you know, shoot at a high clip. But a lot of those are dunks. Also, just being in the right spot on the court.”
Livingston has taken three jumpers Terrell Edmunds Color Rush Jersey , all of them mid-rangers of about 13 feet, in this series. Everything else has been at the rim. McGee made one shot from about 6 feet; his other eight attempts from the floor have basically been dunks.
McGee was moved into the starting lineup for Game 2. He said Tuesday that he doesn’t know if he’ll stay there for Game 3 in Cleveland on Wednesday night.
”These are some of the greatest teams in the world, ever,” McGee said. ”It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of it and to be a contributor in it.”
It’s a difficult enough spot for the Cavaliers to deal with Curry, particularly when he is coming off an NBA Finals-record nine 3-pointers in Game 2. It’s daunting to deal with Durant, one of the few guys in the league who can post up against James, turn and face the four-time MVP and shoot over him with relative ease. It’s maddening to chase Thompson around and have him get shots off using his super-quick release, even when he’s fairly well covered.
Golden State opponents expect that.
Livingston and McGee shooting 17 for 18, that just doesn’t seem fair.
”I think when you’re locked in and you’re trying to take away K.D., you’re trying to take away Steph and Klay http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-isaiah-oliver-jersey , Livingston, McGee, they’re going to get some shots,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. ”We’ve just got to do a better job of taking away the easy dunks and layups around the basket. When you’re focusing on those three guys, other guys are going to get shots. But we’ve got to do a good job of just taking away the easy ones.”
McGee got the Warriors off and running in Game 2 with two easy dunks to open the game. Golden State never trailed.
Livingston said that wound up being a huge energy boost for Golden State, and he knows that the Cavaliers will aim to take the easy ones at the rim away in Game 3. As such, the Warriors might already have a counter in mind for whatever anticipated adjustment Cleveland makes.
”Coaches, I think they have a good game plan moving forward, seeing maybe what kind of adjustments Cleveland can make,” Livingston said. ”We just have to be ready. Steph Lorenzo Carter Color Rush Jersey , Kevin, Klay, our scorers, they take the majority of the load, right? So they get a lot of the attention and the pressure. I think we have to be ready, all us other guys, to relieve some of that pressure.”
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