Wizards waiting for Martell Webster to find footing

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The Wizards scored 99.9 points per 100 possessions with Martell Webster on the court last season, not a great mark, but certainly better than the 95.2 points per 100 possessions they produced without him. With Webster joining John Wall on the court, Washington’s offensive rating jumped to 105.2.

That earned Webster a fat contract from the Wizards, who were totally set on building around Wall.

Webster is an excellent long-range shooter, the type of floor spacer who excels with a point guard like Wall. Again this season, the Wizards’ offense is better with him on the court.

But that hasn’t been true the last two games, since Webster returned from an ankle injury. Webster went 0-for-6 on 3-pointers, and Washington lost both contests.

J. Michael of CSN Washington:

There’s no reason to believe his ankle, which he began taping for the first time in his career to prevent a recurrence, is the reason. Webster has played 39 and 33 minutes and could be seen battling for rebounds in traffic.

“I think his ankle is fine. Sometimes you lose a rhythm. He missed a game,” coach Randy Wittman said. “You get in a routine, it’s sometimes hard to get back in it. He’ll be alright. He’s fine physically.”

The Wizards, who’ve lost four straight overall, are facing a lot of problems. One of their other key floor spacers, Bradley Beal, has been out longer and will need time to hit his stride.

Webster is just a role player, but how quickly he finds his rhythm could have a lot to say about how quickly Washington gets back on track.

Dwyane Wade sinks halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)

So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.

Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

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The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

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Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

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Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.