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Wizards' big man rotations starting to settle out as playoffs near

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In today's Wake-Up Call, we take a look at which big men will get minutes as the playoffs near and take a look at a couple times where Washington basketball and politics have crossed paths recently.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Gooden edging out Kris Humphries for playoff minutes?

Two months ago, if you had told us Drew Gooden had a shot at playoff minutes, we would have guessed it meant Kevin Seraphin was hurt, but now it's looking like he might be Wally Pipping Kris Humphries, according to J. Michael at CSN Washington:

At some point before the playoffs begin, the Wizards are going to have a decision to make on Drew Gooden and Kris Humphries who play the same position. Based on where both reserve power forwards are now, and the likely first-round opponent, it'll be the former.

Gooden, who had 16 points in Saturday's win at the Memphis Grizzlies and is 10-for-16 from three-point range in his last five games, is playing his best basketball of the season. Humphries just played his third game in a row after missing 17 because of a left groin strain and has yet to regain his form. He was 1-for-4 for just two points.

Gooden's spacing has proven to be valuable for the Wizards, even when his shot isn't falling. But it doesn't have to be an either/or proposition with Humphries and Gooden. Gooden got minutes at center in the playoffs last season, and there's no reason why the Wizards couldn't have him stretch the floor at the five this time around, especially against Toronto. Of course, Humphries still has to show he's fully recovered from injury, which he hasn't done quite yet, but if he can, the Wizards should still find ways to get him involved in the playoffs.

2. Seraphin struggling to adjust to Sessions' up-tempo offense

I know what you're thinking: A low-post player whose best offense is a hook shot is struggling to adjust to playing in a more up-tempo style? SHOCKING. But that's exactly what's happening:

"It's different. It's not bad. It's just a different way to play," said Seraphin when asked by CSNwashington.com about his changed role. "When I was with Dre before he got traded, when we would get in the game he would say, 'I'm looking for you.' Now more often it's just more in the flow. Not much sets. We just running, playing. Dre was especially always making sure with the second unit to look for me."

You can take Seraphin's word for it, or you can compare Seraphin's numbers when he played with Miller and when he played with Sessions, via NBAwowy.com.


PACE FG% TS% USG Points Per Possession
With Miller 86.5 51.8 54 25.8 1.04
With Sessions 92.4 47.3 48 22.5 0.9

Yikes.

3. Politicians can play too

You probably already saw that President Obama played some hoops with the Wizards at the Easter Egg Roll. But that wasn't the only story where Washington basketball and politics collided on Monday.

Yahoo! had a great piece about the Members Basketball Association, otherwise known as the Four O’Clock Caucus, where members of both sides of Congress would get together and play hoops back in the late eighties. One of the key players in the MBA was Tom McMillen, who you may remember as the Bullets' white haired assassin, or as a three-term member of the House of Representatives.

You'd think after retiring from the NBA and getting into politics you wouldn't have to guard Magic Johnson, but you'd be wrong:

And at that time, Tom McMillen was in Congress. And Tom was a former pro basketball player. And luckily Tom came down, so we had somebody to line up with Magic. Normally it was just a pickup game and you didn’t have to reveal your side, but in this case McMillen was with the Democrats, so we had him be the Democrat star and Magic would be the Republican star. And so I asked Magic if he was a Republican or Democrat. He said, ‘I’m a Democrat.’ And I said, ‘Well, you’re a Republican today.’ So he played with the Republicans. And it was great fun.

You know the court we played on, the floor was mercifully short and narrow, so it had to seem really small to him. He’d take about three strides and he’d be down to the other end of the basket, the other end of the floor. But we had a spirited game; it was a lot of fun.

It's a shame nothing like this could happen in today's NBA. Could you imagine the scandal if Marcin Gortat fouled President Obama and broke his nose? Alternatively, could you imagine if Bradley Beal tore his ACL playing a pick up game against Marco Rubio or something? Olivia Pope couldn't clean up that mess.

Just gonna leave this here