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Bench efficiency contributes to Wizards' road turnaround

Bench efficiency contributes to Wizards' road turnaround

The road issues have been solved, at least for now, with the Wizards trampling the Atlanta Hawks by 26 points and on their way to New Orleans for a game Sunday.

They cleaned up a lot of the mess they created for themselves on Oct. 27, the regular-season opener for both teams, when Dennis Schroder lived inside the paint and Dwight Howard dominated rebounding. 

Friday, Schroder was 3-for-11 for nine points with four turnovers. Howard had 12 points and 13 rebounds, but most of his scoring came after halftime when the outcome was clear. It marked the Wizards' third win in their last four away games.

"We did a great job of keeping their guys out the paint," Wizards point guard John Wall said. "Everybody was into the ball. ... Challenged every shot, just about."

The Hawks were limited to 30 points in the lane (14 fewer than Oct. 27) and were outrebounded 52-41 (they won this category 52-40 on Oct. 27)

Then everyone not named Wall and Bradley Beal made their shots. Marcin Gortat was 7-for-8, Otto Porter 7-for-11, Tomas Satoransky 4-for-5 and Trey Burke 4-for-7.

"A lot of teams are going to double-team me and Brad or trap us in pick-and-roll situations," Wall said. "We just try to make the right plays."

Coach Scott Brooks has been pleased that his preaching of spacing since training camp has gotten through. 

"Everybody touched the ball," he said. "Everybody was getting good looks."

Reserves tend to play better at home than away, but in the last four road games: Burke is 11-for-17 shooting with 10 assists; Satoransky is 5-for-7; Smith is 15-for-23 with 16 rebounds; and Kelly Oubre was 12-for-20 before he went 2-for-11 Friday, but he has 10 rebounds and six steals.

RELATED: Safe to say the Wizards have turned the corner

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Wizards' Markieff Morris to have surgery, miss start of training camp

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USA Today Sports

Wizards' Markieff Morris to have surgery, miss start of training camp

The Wizards will be without starting power forward Markieff Morris for the start of training camp, as Morris is due for surgery to repair a sports hernia on Friday.

The Wizards begin training camp on Tuesday, Sept. 26 in Richmond, Va.

Their first preseason game is on Oct. 2 and they begin their regular season schedule on Oct. 18 at home against the Sixers.

That should give Morris several weeks to recover before the season begins.

ROSTER OUTLOOK: WHY MARKIEFF MORRIS IS THE X-FACTOR

Morris, 28, is entering his third season with the Wizards and has become a key cog in their starting lineup. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds during the 2016-17 season, as the Wizards won 49 games and their division for the first time since the 1970s.

If he misses time, whether in the preseason or regular season, the Wizards will have to turn to backups Jason Smith and Mike Scott. Depending on the situation, it could call for more small-ball lineups with Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre, Jr. playing together at the forward positions.

The Washington Post first reported the news..

RELATED: PODCAST: CHENIER ON GETTING HIS JERSEY RETIRED

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Will Tomas Satoranksy's role expand in his second year?

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USA Today Sports

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Will Tomas Satoranksy's role expand in his second year?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Tomas Satoransky's season...

Player: Tomas Satoransky

Position: Point guard/shooting guard

Age: 25

2016-17 stats: 57 G, 12.6 mpg, 2.7 ppg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 spg, 0.1 bpg, 41.5 FG%, 24.3 3P%, 69.7 FT%, 44.6 eFG%, 101 ORtg, 111 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Four years after the Wizards picked Satoransky in the second round of the 2012 draft, he finally joined the team for his rookie NBA season in 2016-17. A lot had changed about the Wizards roster in that time, as Satoransky joined a playoff-ready team as their third point guard.

Satoransky's rookie season saw him play inconsistent minutes and not always at point guard, the position he is most comfortable with. That may end up being his full-time role once he carves his niche in the NBA, but for now versatility to play multiple positions appears to be the key for Satoransky to earn more playing time.

[RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING]

Head coach Scott Brooks has spoken about it several times this offseason and so have members of the front office. They would like to see Satoransky, who is 6-foot-7 and very athletic, to get more comfortable playing shooting guard and small forward. Basically, he needs to be more valuable off the ball. Satoransky is used to being the primary ball-handler, but with John Wall on the roster those opportunities will be always few and far between. Now with Tim Frazier in store, Satoransky remains down the depth chart.

In order to fit into the plan Brooks and others have described, Satoransky will need to continue working on his outside shooting and help defense. He can still make an impact with his passing ability and speed up and down the court even if he isn't playing point guard. It will just take an adjustment from what Satoransky has long been used to. Once he gets more comfortable, Satoransky will be fun to watch. He's one of the Wizards' most athletic players, he just hasn't been able to fully show it in NBA games.

Potential to improve: Outside shooting, scoring efficiency, defensive versatility.

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

Will Tim Frazier be the solution at backup point guard?

Jodie Meeks could make big impact off bench

Mike Scott can add toughness to Wizards' bench

Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

[RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?]

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