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10.08.2018 05:22
Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon Antworten

After winging it with their perimeter depth late in a trying season Blake McLaughlin Ducks Jersey , the Washington Wizards decided they needed more. A mature 18-year-old from Las Vegas with a winning game and a modern style convinced them he was the right call.

The Wizards selected Oregon swingman Troy Brown Jr. with the No. 15 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.

The 6-foot-7 Brown provides the Wizards with needed wing depth, a versatile defender and a potential playmaker for their second unit. He averaged 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists during his lone season with the Ducks.

There were multiple meetings between Brown and members of the Wizards organization during the pre-draft process. They talked during last month’s NBA Combine in Chicago. Brown visited Washington for a June 11 workout. It took little convincing that the former 5-star recruit was the right choice.

”Easy,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said about the decision. ”This is a guy that we’ve been targeting.”

Team president Ernie Grunfeld said the workout on the Wizards’ practice court was just a piece of the evaluation process. Brown clearly helped his cause. The session included standard basketball drills along with a chance for the mature player to reveal his cerebral side.

”We asked him to draw up a last-second play and he drew up several,” Grunfeld said after Washington’s first draft choice in any round since 2015. ”So, he has a good understanding of all those things and he’s a skilled basketball player.”

Brown had a good feeling about the Wizards entering the draft.

”I was really excited. My workout went very well with the team. I was just very happy,” he said during a teleconference with local reporters. ”It’s a lifelong dream to make it to the NBA. You work so hard to make that dream come true. To finally hear my name especially with a team that I felt like kind of hit it off with at the workout, with the interview, I was very excited.”

Enthusiasm was in short supply for Washington last season. After falling a game shy of reaching the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, the Wizards finished 43-39 Mike White Color Rush Jersey , entered the playoffs as the eighth seed and lost in the first round to Toronto in six games.

In 2015, the Wizards drafted Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant 19th overall before shipping him to Atlanta for forward Kelly Oubre Jr., the No. 15 selection. Washington also tabbed forward Aaron White in the second round.

Minutes for Brown will come behind All-Star guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter. Oubre served as Porter’s primary backup last season. Jodie Meeks handled that role behind Beal, but he has 19 games remaining on his 25-game suspension for a violation of the league’s drug program.

Depth became an issue for Washington last season. Porter dealt with a lingering hip injury throughout and missed Game 6 against Toronto after undergoing minor surgery on his lower left leg. Five-time All-Star point guard John Wall missed 41 games with various injuries. Meeks’ suspension hit as the playoffs began.

Beyond last season’s issues, the NBA game’s move to more small-ball lineups puts a premium on versatile pieces.

”It’s very important. You have to have a lot of versatility (and) you have to have players that can play multiple positions,” Grunfeld said.

Now the Wizards have one more.

Washington selected another 18-year-old, Ukrainian Issuf Sanon, with the 44th selection. Grunfeld said Sanon will remain overseas for at least the 2018-19 season.




Note to opposing pitchers: Fear the beard.

The Colorado Rockies‘ Charlie Blackmon is starting to return to the form that saw him lead the National League with a .331 batting average last season, when he also had career highs with 37 home runs and 104 RBIs.

The bearded Blackmon homered in the first inning for the second time in the past three games Friday and added two other hits, sparking the Rockies to a 7-1 victory at Seattle. It was Colorado’s fourth straight win and seventh in the past eight games.

“It’s really good to continue to try and win games Alexander Alexeyev Capitals Jersey , play team baseball, even if you’re not feeling real awesome at the plate,” Blackmon told MLB.com earlier this week.

Blackmon hit a first-inning homer Tuesday in an 8-1 victory against San Francisco, then went deep against longtime Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Friday.

During the Rockies’ four-game win streak, Blackmon is batting .471 (8-for-17) with two homers, four RBIs and has six runs scored. By contrast, from June 6 to Monday’s 5-2 victory over the Giants, Blackmon hit .216 (22-for-102) with two homers.

“This guy is the National League batting champion,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s an All-Star, started the All-Star Game Youth Josh Allen Jersey , hit 37 home runs, knocked in 100 runs from the leadoff position. He’s going to be pitched tough the next year, for sure.

“And Charlie, at times, has come out of his game a little bit. Our conversation with Charlie has been, ‘Hey, be yourself.’ “

And that’s when opponents fear the beard.

“I’ve felt pretty good the past couple of days,” Blackmon admitted.

Blackmon will face a tough task Saturday afternoon in Seattle against Mariners left-hander James Paxton (8-2, 3.39 ERA). Paxton is 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies.

In his most recent start, Paxton pitched eight shutout innings Cecil Cooper Milwaukee Brewers Jersey , giving up just two hits while striking out 11, in a 1-0 victory over the Royals on Sunday.

Blackmon has a .305 career average against lefties. Of the left-handed batters with a minimum of 750 plate appearances, the only ones in baseball history with a better average against southpaws are Ichiro Suzuki, Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew and Larry Walker.

Colorado will send left-hander Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.25) to the mound. Freeland has made one career start against the Mariners, a 6-3 win at Safeco Field last season. He pitched six innings in that game and allowed two runs on six hits. In five career interleague starts, Freeland is 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA.

The Mariners hope to have outfielder Mitch Haniger back Saturday.

Haniger, who is second in the American League with 62 RBIs, has missed the past two games with a bruised right knee.

“(Thursday) it was really sore James Daniels Color Rush Jersey , but it’s calmed down quite a bit,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said before Friday’s game. “He had it looked at by the doctor and it’s day-to-day. Hopefully he goes along good today and he possibly could get back in there (Saturday). He was definitely moving and feeling better.”

Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon left Friday’s game in the sixth inning after trying to score from third base on a ball that was in the dirt and got away from Colorado catcher Tony Wolters. But Wolters quickly recovered and flipped to pitcher German Marquez, who tagged out Gordon, who tried to score standing up. Gordon landed awkwardly after crossing the plate and Servais said Gordon “tweaked his hip.”

“I think he’ll be OK,” Servais said. “We’ll know more (Saturday) morning.”

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