Quick Links

Paul Millsap says going small could help Hawks vs. Wizards: 'Our small-ball is better than theirs'

Paul Millsap says going small could help Hawks vs. Wizards: 'Our small-ball is better than theirs'

The Hawks are in an unenviable spot down 0-2 to the Wizards as they head back to Atlanta, though Paul Millsap could make the argument their position isn't as bad as it looks, that the series could be viewed as 0-0. Millsap also thinks he knows how the Hawks can have an advantage over the Wizards.

Millsap believes the Hawks can win when they go small and play him at the center position. That was seen at times in Game 2 on Wednesday, as Millsap played the five and guarded Marcin Gortat. The Hawks were forced to go that way with Dwight Howard in foul trouble, but that may not be the only reason he logged just 20 minutes after playing 29 in Game 1.

Millsap understands the numbers and knows some of the Hawks' best lineups this season haven't involved Howard. Here are Atlanta's five best lineups this season according to Basketball Reference:

Millsap must know that because he was pretty confident when he said this following the Hawks' Game 2 loss to the Wizards:

"It's simple. Our small-ball is better than theirs. We think we play small-ball better than anybody in the league. That's one of our better lineups. That's when we can push the tempo and get up and down the court. I think we've taken advantage of that."

Atlanta may need to get creative to get back in this series. Perhaps going small is the best way, though the Wizards can play that game, too, thanks to Markieff Morris' versatility.

[RELATED: Howard answers almost every question with 'I don't know']

Quick Links

Otto Porter not fazed by Wizards' interest in Paul George or John Wall's comments

Otto Porter not fazed by Wizards' interest in Paul George or John Wall's comments

John Wall's comments to ESPN's Marc Spears back in June brought all sorts of reactions, some honing in on his reference to Otto Porter and how his position at small forward could potentially be upgraded if the Wizards were to trade for Paul George, as at the time they were linked to the then-Pacers superstar. What Wall meant was that as good as Porter is, George is a superstar and therefore better. He even couched his comments by saying of Porter: "you can't take nothing away from what he did."

Many saw those quotes how Wall intended them and Porter can be included in that mix.

"We're talking about Paul George here. If we could get him on our squad? We could definitely contend for a championship," Porter said after the press conference to announce his new four-year contract worth $106.5 million on Wednesday.

[RELATED: Re-signing Otto Porter was never a doubt for Wizards]

George has since been traded to the Thunder and is not in the Wizards' picture, while Porter is here to stay. He will remain a key cog in the Wizards' operation alongside Wall, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris and others.

No one has to tell Porter that he himself can improve. He highlighted his ballhandling skills, for example, during his press conference as something he would like to work on.

If Porter takes more steps in development, he could close the gap between him, George and the other All-Star small forwards.

"It's just motivation. I will continue to get back into the gym. I didn't take anything personal. I'm just going to continue to go out there and work and play my game," Porter said.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - New NBA jerseys, will LeBron leave?]

Quick Links

Ted Leonsis predicts John Wall will sign extension with the Wizards

Ted Leonsis predicts John Wall will sign extension with the Wizards

On Wednesday, the Washington Wizards held a press conference officially announcing Otto Porter's four-year, $106.5 million contract extension with the franchise.

The announcement comes almost exactly a year after owner Ted Leonsis, team president Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks sat with Bradley Beal to announce a similar contract extension.

Beal and Porter are two-thirds of the Wizards' superstar core.

John Wall, the face of the franchise, is the third piece to the long-term puzzle and was recently offered a four-year, $170 million "supermax" contract. Wall still has two years and $37 million remaining on his current deal, but the team would love to be able to lock up all three of their core players for the foreseeable future.

RELATED: RE-SIGNING PORTER WAS NEVER IN DOUBT

Following the Wednesday press conference, Leonsis was asked about the offer to Wall. He predicts Wall will re-sign with the team.

“I told everybody that we would keep Bradley Beal, and already everyone is talking about the John Wall extension,” Leonsis said to a group of reporters following the press conference. “So my prediction is John Wall will sign his extension. He wants to be here and my goal is to have no drama.”

“I told everyone that when John was coming off his rookie contract, we would sign him and he would be our bedrock player." The Wizards did that in 2013, when they re-signed him to a five-year, $80 million deal. But with the Wizards one game shy of 50 regular-season wins and one win shy of the Eastern Conference Finals, the future is as bright as it has ever been for the Wizards. 

But when a potential Wall re-signing happens is still up for debate. The team is still moving it forward, but it's not urgent. "We're moving forward. We're still talking about that," Grunfeld said on Wednesday. "There's no urgency to it. Obviously, we would like to have John finish his career here."

Keeping Wall in D.C. long-term is the goal, and Leonsis is hopeful that it will get done.

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT