Wizards hoping for turnover-light outing in Charlotte

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Wizards hoping for turnover-light outing in Charlotte

After five days and eight overall practices, the Washington Wizards take the lessons and play designs they have learned on the road for Sunday's preseason opener at Charlotte. Here's what you need to know about the first of eight exhibition games before the regular season opener on Oct. 30 at Cleveland...

Watch those turnovers: Seeing as the game is not televised, I asked Wizards coach Randy Wittman following Saturday's practice's what those of box score-only analyzers should be on the lookout for against the Bobcats. Like a springy defender anticipating an incoming pass, Wittman jumped my question.

"Turnovers," Wittman exclaimed, sounding a like a coach not willing to participate in a second straight season where the team averages 15.3 miscues per game. "Obviously that's got to be one of the areas that we this year. That number has got to come down a lot for us to be successful. You're always going to have someone what to run and push the ball like we want to but its still got to come down.

"That's probably my number one concern. It always is. We threw the ball all over this gymnasium Tuesday morning so, I'm hoping that doesn't happen."

With John Wall (knee) sidelined and Jannero Pargo (abdominal strain) having missed the previous two days worth of practices, the primary ball handling and push the pace responsibilities fall to A.J. Price and Shelvin Mack.

"I don't think we have any pressure," said Price, one of the several players expected to make their Wizards debut on Sunday. "Our job is simple: just not to turn it over. That's the only thing we have to be concerned with, not to turn the ball over. We don't necessarily have to score. We don't have to really rebound. We don't really have to do anything but not turn the ball over, make sure we get into our sets and we get good shots every time down."

To this point in his first training camp as Wizards head coach, Wittman has been pleased with the work done, the effort provided. Now comes the first opportunity to gauge whether the lessons learned (or at least taught) have sunk in.

"I just want to see a carryover of what we've put in and our execution of it both offensively and defensively," Wittman said. "We've got a long way to go still with what we're going to add, that's my main thing. On the flight back here to George Mason I want to look at the film and say 'oh that's petty good carryover' or it's not and we've got to get right back in here and get to work. That's what I'm looking for."

The Wizards return to George Mason University Monday and Tuesday for the final two days of the formal portion of training camp.

Beal vs. MKG: Wizards rookie Bradley Beal's de facto NBA debut comes against a team sporting another first-year player he's quite familiar with. One pick before Washington selected the University of Florida shooter, Charlotte tabbed another Southeastern Conference stud, Kentucky's grinding small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

"Im pretty sure were going to guard each other," the 19-year-old Beal said. "Hes a competitor and I love playing against him because he never takes it easy on anybody. I mean Im real close friends with him, but that doesnt mean anything to him. He just wants to beat you, he wants to be competitive, he wants to be the best that he can be.

During his one season at Florida, Beal faced Kentucky three times. After shooting 6-for-25 in the first two games, the 6-foot-4 Beal turned in arguably his best game of the season against the Wildcats during the SEC Tournament, finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and sank 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

"So, whenever I match up against him, its always a competitive battle. I love his game. I love the way he plays. I love his heart and passion and how hard he plays. I just have to be able to retaliate and hopefully play better than him."

Wittman is simply looking forward to seeing Beal play when the lights come on.

"I want to see what he can do," Wittman said. "As (for) what he's done here these five days and if any of that carried over into a game like situation against another team, that's all I'm concerned about right now as we move forward. I want to see where we're at retain wise and how we execute from where we're been."

While Beal's thoughts are focused on the upcoming events in Charlotte, the St. Louis native confidently offered a prediction for a certain National League Divisional Series that kicks off today in his hometown.

"Cardinals. Thats all Im going to say," Beal said as St. Louis hosts the Nationals for two games before the series shifts to Washington on Wednesday. "Im trying to actually go to the game, if were free. Itll be a close series. I know the Nationals are good, but I still got the Cardinals."

As for whether he caught any of the Cardinals playoff win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday, Beal cracked, "I knew they were going to win, so there was no point in watching."

Charlotte who?: Last season the 20-win Wizards finished 4-0 against the Bobcats. They weren't the only ones to find that winning feeling against a Charlotte team that underwent significant changes this offseason after a seven-win campaign and finishing with the lowest winning percentage in NBA history. Former St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap was named head coach while the roster shakeup included the additions of NBA veterans Ben Gordon and Brendan Haywood along with Kidd-Gilchrist.

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Redskins annouce list of 26 players who did not travel for Buccaneers game

Redskins annouce list of 26 players who did not travel for Buccaneers game

TAMPA — The Redskins did not bring the entire team to Tampa for their preseason game tonight.

A total of 26 players, most of the team’s starters and top reserves, stayed back in Washington.

They were not going to play in the game, which was rescheduled from tomorrow to tonight.

RELATED: REDSKINS VS. BUCCANEERS LIVE BLOG

Here are the players who did not make the trip:

  • 8 QB Kirk Cousins
  • 11 WR DeSean Jackson
  • 20 CB Greg Toler
  • 23 S DeAngelo Hall
  • 24 CB Josh Norman
  • 25 RB Chris Thompson
  • 26 CB Bashaud Breeland
  • 30 S David Bruton Jr.
  • 31 RB Matt Jones
  • 51 LB Will Compton
  • 54 LB Mason Foster
  • 61 G Spencer Long
  • 64 NT Kedric Golston
  • 71 T Trent Williams
  • 73 DE Ziggy Hood
  • 75 G Brandon Scherff
  • 76 T Morgan Moses
  • 77 G Shawn Lauvao
  • 78 C Kory Lichtensteiger
  • 80 WR Jamison Crowder
  • 85 TE Vernon Davis
  • 86 TE Jordan Reed
  • 88 WR Pierre Garçon
  • 91 LB Ryan Kerrigan
  • 92 DE Chris Baker
  • 94 LB Preston Smith

 

None of the names on the list is particularly surprising with the possible exception of Hood.

He has likely earned a roster spot but his inclusion in the group getting the night off was not expected. We will keep an eye on his situation as we move towards Week 1.

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Kim batting leadoff for first time in pro career

Kim batting leadoff for first time in pro career

BALTIMORE—Hyun Soo Kim is batting leadoff for the first time in his major league career. Kim said through his translator that he couldn’t remember batting leadoff in South Korea, either. 

Kim is the third Oriole in the past five games to lead off for the first time. Steve Pearce led off on Sunday, and Jonathan Schoop led off on Monday night. 

It’s the second new situation for Kim in as many days. On Tuesday night, he was a ninth-inning defensive replacement for the first time.

“I felt nervous,” Kim said. “I made sure I didn’t make any mistakes out there—especially when the team is winning.” 

Adam Jones is nearing a return, manager Buck Showalter said. He’s missed five games with a strained left hamstring. Showalter said that he could have played Jones on Wednesday if he chose. 

Caleb Joseph will rejoin the Orioles from Norfolk for Friday’s game, but manager Buck Showalter said other callups haven’t been decided. He indicated that left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing, who’s on the 60-day disabled list will be added shortly. Some additional players may arrive Friday and others could be added Tuesday, the day after minor league seasons end.

Showalter hasn’t decided on additional coaches who will be recalled. 

NOTES: Chris Tillman pitched on flat ground again on Wednesday, and it went well. … Darren O’Day (shoulder) is proceeding well, but there’s still no estimate on his return. … The Orioles are sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League’s Peoria Javelinas. Left-hander pitcher Tanner Scott (Bowie), right-handers Jesus Liranzo and Jim Yacobanis (both Bowie), catcher Austin Wynns (Norfolk), infielder Adrian Marin (Bowie) and outfielder DJ Stewart (Frederick) will be joined by an additional pitcher to be announced.  

MORE ORIOLES: YOVANI GALLARDO NEEDS TO BE BETTER TO GET ORIOLES CLOSER TO FIRST

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Orioles make another move; pick up outfielder Drew Stubbs on waivers

Orioles make another move; pick up outfielder Drew Stubbs on waivers

BALTIMORE — The Orioles have claimed outfielder Drew Stubbs on release waivers from the Texas Rangers 

Stubbs is 31, and in 39 games this season, has batted .259 with three home runs and six RBIs with the Rangers and Atlanta. 

To make room for Stubbs on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein for assignment.

Lobstein was acquired for left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips earlier on Wednesday. 

The Orioles hope that Lobstein and Ashur Tolliver, another left-hander who was designated for assignment when Lobstein was acquired, both pass through waivers and can be options in September for the team. 

Stubbs will report to the Orioles on Friday, and Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the team may not be through making deals. Players acquired by midnight are eligible to play in the postseason.

“We have a couple of other discussions that we’re working on. We’ll see if those come to fruition. We are happy to address our outfield defense with a defender that can help us at a number of positions and also give Buck [Showalter] somebody off the bench that he can insert into the game that has a good chance to steal a base. He’s got a really good success rate in stolen bases over his career,” Duquette said. 

Stubbs has stolen eight bases this season without being thrown out. 

In his eight-year career with Texas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Colorado and Cincinnati, Stubbs has a .244 lifetime average. In 2010, he hit home runs and 77 RBIs with the Reds. Stubbs also strikes out often. In 2011, he led the National League with 205 strikeouts. 

“Since we lost Joey Rickard we’ve been looking for another outfielder. Particularly one that can play center field and the other outfield positions and play good defense,” Duquette said. 

Duquette wouldn’t address which players would be called up from the minor leagues for Friday’s game.