Who's going to step up for Wizards?


Who's going to step up for Wizards?

With the Wizards' two best players still sitting out with injuries, somebody is going to have to take over the reins as the go-to guy for Washington until point guard John Wall and center Nene return. It was evident in the Pacers loss on Saturday that the team is searching for that player to step up in crunch time and demand the ball.

Down 87-85 with 20 seconds left at Indiana, no one seemed to want to make an offensive move until Trevor Booker -- not known for his jump shot -- had to take an awkward 10-footer that fell short with 1.2 seconds left. Booker is a solid component of the Wizards’ starting five, but he's probably the fourth or fifth option offensively when it comes to just a normal possession -- so having him take a game-tying shot was not the best choice.

So who are the possible candidates to be the Wizards' go-to guy for now?

Rookie Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford come to mind right away because they can create their own shots, either running off screens or taking defenders off the dribble.  

The rookie Beal is now the team's leading scorer at 13 points a game and is looking extremely confident with his jumper and his penetration to the basket. Beal scored 17 points in the loss to the Pacers and tallied 22 the previous game against Milwaukee. Beal is starting to show why he was the #3 overall pick in the NBA draft.

Crawford is capable of scoring in bunches and he's probably the most fearless offensive player the Wizards have, but right now he's slowed by a sprained ankle, averaging 10 points off the bench.

Center Kevin Seraphin looked capable of getting touches late in games but after two strong outings against the Celtics he's had little impact the last two games as his average has dipped to 10 points.

Wall is out at least until early December with a sore knee and there is still no timetable for the return of Nene because of plantar fasciitis, so there's a great opportunity for someone to step up and assume the scoring load. It's just a matter of who is going to take it?

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Jordan Reed ruled out for Redskins vs. Cardinals; Vernon Davis set for start

Jordan Reed ruled out for Redskins vs. Cardinals; Vernon Davis set for start

After separating his shoulder against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Jordan Reed has officially been ruled out for the Redskins game in Arizona. 

Friday, coach Jay Gruden said Reed doesn't have sufficient range of motion to play against the Cardinals but remains hopeful he'll be healthy for the following game against the Eagles. Reed estimated that range was at about 30 percent Monday.

The decision to sit Reed against the Cardinals comes with little surprise. The 'Skins star tight end did not practice all week, even after having a few extra days to rest after the game last Thursday.

Playing without Reed is obviously a blow to the Washington offense, but No. 2 tight end Vernon Davis has been a strong development for Gruden's team this year. Thursday, Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay said that while losing Reed is a blow to the unit, the team can run almost all of the same plays and sets with Davis that they can with Reed. 

"Fortunately you’re in a situation where you feel really good about your tight end in Vernon Davis where he’s playing at an extremely high level in both phases in the run and in the pass game," McVay said.

As good as Davis has been, he's not the dynamic threat Reed presents. In the second half against Dallas — while playing with the injured shoulder — Reed hauled in two touchdowns and played arguably the best football of his career.

On the season Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns despite missing two games earlier this year dealing with a concussion.

Davis has played in all 11 games this season and has 31 catches for 450 yards and two TDs. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Wizards at Spurs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Spurs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The Washington Wizards play at the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…


Where: AT&T Center
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 8 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Season series finale

It's only Dec. 2, yet the Wizards and Spurs play for the final time this season on Friday night. The two teams squared off just three games ago, on Nov. 26 at the Verizon Center, where the Spurs won 112-100 in a game that wasn't as close as the score would suggest. San Antonio shot 53.3% and coasted to victory behind 24 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, 20 from Tony Parker and 19 from Kawhi Leonard.

The 15-4 Spurs are always a difficult matchup, but this year they have been more vulnerable at home. The Spurs are 11-0 on the road this season, but 4-4 in San Antonio. This is all after the Spurs went 40-1 at home last year. The Wizards, though, have not won in San Antonio in the John Wall and Bradley Beal era. 

[RELATED: Brooks breaks down Wizards beyond X's and O's]

Mahinmi out

The Wizards will once again be without rim protector Ian Mahinmi, as the veteran continues to deal with a sore right knee. He made his season debut in the Wizards' first game against the Spurs after missing six weeks following left knee surgery. But Mahinmi's right knee now hurts and on Friday it will cost him his third straight game.

Mahinmi has already missed 16 games this season, so the Wizards are quite used to playing without him. His absence will mean more playing time for Jason Smith. What will make things even tougher for Washington, however, is the fact Markieff Morris is banged up. He's dealt with twisted ankles and a sore foot recently and will have to run around with LaMarcus Aldridge, who can stretch the floor a bit with his shot. 

Spurs bench

The Wizards had a lot of trouble with the Spurs' bench in their first matchup this season. The game was close until the second quarter when reserve guard Patty Mills entered and started hitting threes. Mills finished with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including three threes on five attempts. Mills also dished four assists in 19 minutes of work.

Jonathan Simmons was another spark off the Spurs' bench. He scored 15 points in 22 minutes to go along with four assists, two steals and a block. His energy and athleticism was tough for the Wizards to deal with. Simmons had a monster putback dunk and a slick chasedown block. With his speed and leaping ability, he's a tough guy to match up with.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Smith tries to play off failed high-five attempt]