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5 things to know about new Wizards guard Donald Sloan

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5 things to know about new Wizards guard Donald Sloan

Here are five things to know about guard Donald Sloan, who the Wizards reached agreement with on a one-year deal on Thursday…

*A 6-3 combo guard, Sloan was out of the NBA last season. He played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China. There Sloan played with former Duke star Carlos Boozer and former Wizards forward Yi Jianlian.

*Sloan last appeared in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets. He played 61 games for them in 2015-16, averaging 7.0 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds. He shot 44 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three. Both were career-highs.

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*The Wizards are Sloan's seventh NBA team as he approaches his sixth NBA season. He also spent time with the Hawks, Pelicans (then the Hornets), Cavaliers and Pacers before joining the Nets. He played two years in Indiana along with Wizards big man Ian Mahinmi. In Brooklyn he played with Wizards forward Chris McCullough.

*Sloan has been all over the place as a professional basketball player. He has spent time with three different G-League teams. In 2011, he played for the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the Philippines. 

*Sloan played his college ball at Texas A&M. He was recruited by Billy Gillespie, but played three of his four seasons under current Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon. In 2007-08, Sloan played under Turgeon and alongside NBA star DeAndre Jordan.

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John Wall explains 'Wolf Season' and its connection to Michael Jackson

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NBC Sports Washington

John Wall explains 'Wolf Season' and its connection to Michael Jackson

Wizards star John Wall spent his offseason using the cryptic hashtag #wolfseason on workout photos posted to Instagram, leaving his fans and the media to fill in the blanks. Then, after helping the Wizards beat the Sixers on opening night last week, he proclaimed that it's 'Wolf Season' and only added "just keep watching" when asked for an explanation.

Well, now we have that explanation from the man himself and it has a connection to Michael Jackson. Wall appeared on the Wizards Tipoff podcast over the weekend and told the backstory. The name was created by his childhood friend and security guard Dave 'Flave' Best. 

"I'm in Wolf Mode. I'm on the attack," Wall said.

The whole idea revolves around his main purpose for ramping up his offseason workouts this summer. He wanted to get into better shape with the end of playoff games in mind.

"The beginning of games, that I'm great with. Sometimes coach might play me a full 24 or a full 12 minutes, whatever me might do. I've gotta prepare myself and I think that's what I trained this summer for, to do that," he said.

Wall, 27, went through the preseason and has now played two regular season games. The early returns, he said, are noticeable. 

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"I feel great, just being in better shape and being able to commit myself on both ends of the floor," he said. "I'm just trying to make it tough on defenders and making big stops."

Defense is a big part of it and it's clear Wall is focusing heavily on that area of his game. He couldn't help but bring up one specific play in the Wizards' second game against the Pistons where he wasn't happy with his performance.

"I think I played great defensively yesterday other than that one big three I gave up to Avery [Bradley] when we was up 113-108," he said.

So, how does this relate to the 'King of Pop?' Wall says part of Wolf Season is 'Thrilla Mode,' an ode to when Jackson turned into a wolf in the music video for the classic 'Thriller.'

"When I used the later picture, that was what it was for, to turn into a wolf," Wall said, referencing an Instagram post from September. 

Michael Jackson Thrilla Mode spilling sauce everywhere I go !! #WallWay #5Deep #BYB #WolfWall

A post shared by johnwall (@johnwall) on

"That's Wolf Season, just locked in," he said.

Between 'Death Row D.C.' and Wolf Season/Thrilla Mode, Wall and the Wizards have good taste in the music they draw inspiration from.

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

And for more on Wolf Season, check out Chris Miller's video on what it means for the rest of the NBA:

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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Paul Millsap and the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT DENVER NUGGETS

Where: Pepsi Center
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 8 p.m. with Wizards HangTime)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Smith may be out again

The Wizards are unlikely to have Jason Smith on board when they face the Nuggets on Monday night, as he continues to work his way back from a sprained right shoulder. Smith was injured in the season opener on Wednesday and has yet to practice since. He did conditioning drills on Saturday at Capital One Arena, but that was it.

If Smith can't go, the Wizards can again rely heavily on Kelly Oubre, Jr. in the starting lineup with Otto Porter at the four and Mike Scott coming off the bench behind them. That combination did work against the Pistons, who have a solid frontcourt, but it won't get any easier against Denver. Paul Millsap joined them in free agency and he's one of the best power forwards in the business. Plus, they have Nikola Jokic at center and he's a handful.

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No MMA with Millsap

Now that Millsap is in the Western Conference, the Wizards see him much less often and that is a real shame. He and Markieff Morris developed an excellent one-on-one rivalry last season that was highlighted by Millsap, then with the Hawks, saying the Wizards were "playing MMA" during their first round playoff series. Morris fired back by saying what would come next was "double MMA" and took other shots at him, like how the term 'stretch four' "is soft" but that it works for Millsap.

Morris remains out following the sports hernia surgery he had in September, but he can do some talking from the bench, as he said he would once he returned to the team earlier this month. Don't be surprised if Morris is a little more vocal during this game.

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Talented young trio

Millsap is the best veteran on the Nuggets, but they are building their future around three very intriguing young players. Jokic is just 22 and in their backcourt are Gary Harris (23) and Jamal Murray (20). Jokic averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists last season. Harris averaged 14.9 points and shot 50.2 percent from the field as a 6-foot-4 guard. Murray put up a solid 9.9 points in 21.5 minutes as a rookie after going seventh overall in the 2016 draft.

The Nuggets are a team on the rise and offense is their calling card. Last season they were third in the NBA in points per game (111.7) yet 27th out of 30 teams in opponents points per game (111.2). They had the second-worst defensive rating in basketball. Millsap should help those numbers over time, but expect this one to be a high-scoring affair because the Wizards are also a team known more for their offense these days.

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