Stacey Abrams speaks to Wizards, Mystics about voter suppression

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Stacey Abrams speaks to Wizards, Mystics about voter suppression

By Ethan Cadeaux

August 11, 2020 6:11 PM

Over the past few months, several players on both the Washington Wizards and Mystics have been very active in the fight for racial equality and social justice. 

About Stacey
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Stacey Abrams speaks to Wizards, Mystics about voter suppression

About Abrams
Abrams may refer to:

Abrams (surname), a list of notable people with the surname
Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919), U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding free speech during times of war
M1 Abrams, main battle tank
Abrams, Wisconsin, U.S. town
Abrams (community), Wisconsin, US unincorporated community
Abrams Books, U.S. publishing house
Abrams Discoveries, a non-fiction book series published by Harry N. Abrams

This week, the two teams were joined by politician Stacey Abrams on a Zoom call, where Abrams explained the importance of voting and the concept of voter suppression to the teams. Abrams launched the voting rights organization Fair Fight after her controversial loss in the governor’s race to promote fair elections in Georgia and across the country before local, state and national elections in 2020. 

In the first segment of the clip the Wizards shared on their official Twitter account, Abrams went into detail about how her family taught her the importance of voting growing up.

Stacey Abrams speaks to Wizards, Mystics about voter suppression

“Part of my responsibility is to serve others,” Abrams said. “My dad used to say, ‘having nothing is not an excuse for doing nothing.’ So even though we had no running water and the lights were cut off, they would take us with them to go and vote. They would take us with them to vote every single election.”

“While they didn’t say it in this explicit language, they wanted us to understand that the protests we were a part of, the activism, the community service work, these by themselves were absolutely essential and our obligation, but so was voting,” Abrams continued.

RELATED: WIZARDS AND MYSTICS CALL ON PEOPLE TO VOTE

Abrams had reportedly been under consideration at one time to be Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate as Vice President for the 2020 presidential election. Biden chose California Senator Kamala Harris on Tuesday. 

The fight for racial equality and social justice is nothing new for members of the Wizards and Mystics. Following the death of George Floyd, multiple players from each team, including stars Bradley Beal, John Wall and Natasha Cloud, all attended nationwide protests.

Last month, several members across both teams took to Twitter to express the importance of voting in the election this fall.

The two teams combined to lead a Black Lives Matter protest through Washington D.C. on Juneteenth. Additionally, Cloud opted out of the 2020 WNBA season to remain on the frontlines in her commitment to the fight for justice. 

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Tags: Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, Stacey Abrams

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Troy Brown Jr. starting at point guard for first time in his career against Bucks

By Chase Hughes

August 11, 2020 7:52 PM

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks had indicated Troy Brown Jr. would start at least one game at point guard before their season came to a close in Orlando and it turns out Tuesday will be that game. 

Brown will start against the Milwaukee Bucks alongside Jerome Robinson, Isaac Bonga, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant. They will face off against the top team in the East and the NBA’s best defense, but Milwaukee will be missing several key players, including point guard Eric Bledsoe.

Still, it is a good test for Brown, who is in his second season after joining the Wizards as a first round pick.

“He’s going to be running the show. I’m looking forward to it. He’s excited about it,” Brooks said. “He’s been prepping for it a little bit with the point forward role that he’s had down here. It’s another good reason why we’re fortunate to be down here.”

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Brooks expounded on that last point. This is a perfect example, he says, of the value the Wizards see in being involved in the NBA’s restart. They were the final team of the 22 invited by the league based on record.

“It has given us an opportunity to explore and experiment and otherwise during the season it would be hard to do that,” Brooks said.

RELATED: WIZARDS NEED TO TAKE MORE THREE AGAINST BUCKS

Brooks added that next year will be different with John Wall back from his long rehab from Achilles surgery. But there is no question this is a good chance for Brown to show what he can do at a position he says he feels most comfortable playing.

And since Wall will likely be limited at first from back-to-backs and playing entire games, there is reason to believe they will need three point guards next season. Brown could at the very least be a wing most of the time and slide over to the point guard spot when needed.

On Tuesday, he will get to audition for that role.

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Taking more threes is imperative for Wizards’ stalled offense as they face Bucks

By Chase Hughes

August 11, 2020 6:00 AM

The Wizards remain winless in the NBA’s restart bubble through six games now and that has left them only two opportunities to secure a victory or otherwise leave Orlando with no more wins than when they arrived. Keep in mind they haven’t won an organized basketball game in five months.

The playoffs are an impossibility and it has all been about player development, anyways. But surely they would feel a lot better about themselves with at least one victory.

The big problem is their final two games are against really good teams; the Bucks and Celtics. They will start with the Bucks on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

Milwaukee will be a major challenge for the Wizards and not just because they have the best record in the East and arguably the best player in the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo. They happen to have the best defense in the NBA and the Wizards’ most glaring issue in the bubble has been a lack of scoring.

It was predictable they would struggle offensively once it was revealed Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans would not be joining them in the bubble. The two are their top scorers and combine to average 45.9 points per game. But the drop-off in offense for the Wizards has been staggering.

Of the 22 teams in Orlando, the Wizards are 21st in points (105), 20th in offensive rating (102.9), 21st in field goal percentage (43.5) and 19th in three point percentage (32.3). The volume isn’t there from the perimeter, either, as the Wizards rank 21st in both threes made (9/g) and attempted (27.8/g).

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They are missing nine points from their season average on three-pointers made(12). Given they are averaging 9.7 fewer points in Orlando than they do on the season as a whole, that seems noteworthy.

Thomas Bryant has been their best scorer in terms of volume and efficiency. He’s averaging 18.3 points while shooting 50.3 percent from the field. Troy Brown Jr. has also been good with 16.3 points and 5.0 assists per game. And Jerome Robinson is averaging 15.5 points while shooting 37.8 percent from three.

Collectively, it hasn’t been enough to replace the production missing with Beal and Bertans out. Those guys are particularly good at making threes and their removal from the lineup has deprived the Wizards’ offense of space.

As good as the Bucks are defensively, though, they might present a chance for the Wizards to have a breakout game from long range. Milwaukee allows more three per game (14) than any other team.

They also give up a league-high 39.5 three point attempts per game. Teams shoot 36.5 percent on threes against them, which only ranks 14th, but is still a high clip. Beal shot 35.3 percent on threes this season, for comparison.

The Wizards should be able to take more threes against the Bucks if they want to.  If a few fall early, maybe they can ride the wave to a better offensive game. If not, it could be another long night.

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