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All-time best International 3-on-3 lineups we wish we could have seen in the Olympics

All-time best International 3-on-3 lineups we wish we could have seen in the Olympics

The IOC is set to add 3-on-3 basketball to the Olympics in 2020 which naturally has basketball fans dreaming up all sorts of scenarios. Could anyone actually challenge the U.S.?

In this scenario, we pick the best all-time 3-on-3 lineups from each country, but to make sure we have enough teams, we are picking from players' birth country according to Basketball Reference.  This is taking into account all the greats who have played for an NBA franchise. Let us know if we missed anybody...

Argentina: Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni, Luis Scola

Argentina has always played well at the international level, but this doesn't seem that intimidating given some of the other teams. Manu will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Australia: Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Andrew Bogut

Kyrie Irving was born in Melbourne, which is definitely something I knew before starting this list. Simmons over Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova was tough, but I wanted to do anything I could to keep Delly off this team. Grit can only go so far in 3-on-3.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Vladimir Radmonovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jusuf Nurkic

This team has a ton of size and rebounding. Playmaking will be a significant issue. Bogdanovic will really have to go off, much like he did in Rio, for this team to have any success.

Brazil: Leandro Barbosa, Nene, Anderson Varejao

Tough omission leaving off Oscar Schmidt, but I wanted to stick to NBA guys. Brazil is really going to struggle given some of the other trios.

Canada: Rick Fox, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson

Yeah, I know what you're thinking "Where is Steve Nash?" Well, he was born in South Africa. Disappointing, I know, but not as disappointing as Anthony Bennett. 


China: Tom Meschery, Yi Jianlian, Yao Ming

Meschery was born in Harbin, China and rocked an incredible mustache in the 1960's. I would give him this spot on the team just for the mustache. 

Croatia: Drazen Petrovic, Peja Stojakovic, Toni Kukoc

This would be a really fun team to watch and would be hell to play with their size and shooting ability. Dark horse team to medal.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Emmanual Mudiay, Bismack Biyombo, Dikembe Mutombo

Well, you have a guard and two forwards, but will lack scoring from behind the arc. Good luck going inside against Biyombo and Mutombo though.

France: Nicolas Batum, Dominique Wilkins, Rudy Gobert

Yes, I know Tony Parker and Joakim Noah both play for the French National Team, but neither were born in France. Parker was actually born in Belgium, but you get the bonus of Dominique Wilkins, who was actually born in Paris. This would be a really solid team.


Germany: Dennis Schroder, Detlef Schrempf, Dirk Nowitzki

This was actually a difficult decision, but having the option of Kiki Vandeweghe and Carlos Boozer made it more difficult than I originally suspected. This could be a sneaky good threesome.

Italy: Reggie Jackson, Marco Belinelli, Danilo Gallinari

Sorry, Andrea Bargnani. It turns out Reggie Jackson was born in Pordenone, Italy and gives this team a playmaker. They are going to shoot a lot of three's.

Lithuania: Sarunas Marciulionis, Arvydas Sabonis, Jonas Valanciunas

Sabonis is going to be the star of the team and carrying two bigs will force Marciulionis into more of a playmaker role. Given that, it's tough to leave off Sarunas Jasikevicius, but he didn't have as much NBA success as Marciulionis.

Russia: Alexey Shved, Andrei Kirilenko, Timofey Mozgov

Yeah, good luck.

Serbia: Marko Jaric, Nikola Jokic, Vlade Divac

A lot of height on this team and a lot of skill from the two big men. Maybe could have gone Darko Milicic instead of Jaric, but that's way too much height and not enough athleticism.

Slovenia: Goran Dragic, Beno Udrih, Rasho Nesterovic

This team will probably look different whenever Luka Doncic makes his way to the NBA, but until then this team screams "first round exit."

South Sudan: Luol Deng, Thon Maker, Manute Bol

This team has all the height and all the length and they will be difficult to break down on defense. Offense, on the other hand, will be a significant issue.


Spain: Ricky Rubio, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol

This is the team that probably challenges the U.S. the most. They don't have the shooting that other teams have, but the Gasol's can probably knock down just enough jumpers to make up for Rubio's lack of a consistent shot.

Switzerland: Thabo Sefolosha, Enes Kanter, Clint Capela

Apparently, Kanter was born in Zurich, Switzerland and Turkey can survive without him.

Turkey: Hedo Turkoglu, Ersan Ilyasova, Mehmet Okur

Without Kanter, Turkey subs in Mehmet Okur. You could do worse. Plus, you have Turkoglu.

Ukraine: Vitaly Potapenko, Slava Medvedenko, Alex Len

This is the team Stephen A. Smith will mock the most. No contest. 

United Kingdom: Ben Gordon, Kelenna Azubuike, James Donaldson

More Ben Gordon isn't necessarily a bad thing.

United States: LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal

This isn't fair. Honestly, you could sub in Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson... whoever, it doesn't matter. What is the worst American trio that could probably win gold?

Rest of Africa: Steve Nash (South Africa), Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria)

This is a serious contender with a 2x MVP in Nash, 1x MVP in Olajuwon and a social media MVP in Embiid. I'm all-in on this team.

Rest of Caribbean: J.J. Barea (Puerto Rico), Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Patrick Ewing (Jamaica)

It was a tough call between Barea, Mickael Pietrus (Guadeloupe) or Raja Bell (U.S. Virgin Islands) for the third spot. Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and Mychael Thompson (Bahamas) were tough to omit, but neither were going to make it over Duncan or Ewing.

Rest of Europe: Tony Parker (Belgium), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia)

This is a medal contender. I love everything about this team, but they do lack a deadly three-point shooter. Rik Smits (Netherlands), Zaza Pachulia (Georgia), and Marcin Gortat (Poland) were the big omissions.

Rest of the World: Greivis Vasquez (Venezuela), Eduardo Najera (Mexico), Steven Adams (New Zealand) 

Admittedly, I just wanted Greivis Vasquez in this hypothetical tournament. 


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Biggest storylines for Wizards coming out of the All-Star break center around John Wall

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Biggest storylines for Wizards coming out of the All-Star break center around John Wall

The Wizards experienced a wild ride before the All-Star break, but came out of it on solid ground, fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 33-24 record. With 27 games still remaining until the postseason, here is a look at the biggest storylines moving forward...

Who will they sign?

The Wizards are close to signing a new player as they were left with open roster spots following the trade deadline when they dealt guard Sheldon Mac to Atlanta for a second round pick. The Wizards have keyed in on the backup point guard position and are likely to go in that direction with the move. But they could still be in the market for other players, possibly someone at the backup wing position, even if they sign a point guard.

The Wizards only have a few days left to make a move because they need to get their roster to 14 players within 14 days of the Mac trade on Feb. 8. Their next game is on Thursday against the Cavaliers, so they could have someone in the building in time to play in that game.


When will Wall return?

Wall had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Jan. 31 and was prescribed a recovery timeline of six-to-eight weeks, meaning he still has about another three weeks to go before a return is possible. It could be another five weeks before he's back on the court. That puts him in the range of missing another 10-to-17 games.

The Wizards have played nine games since he went down and have won seven of them, but they aren't even halfway there yet. They have a long way to go. Because it's Wall and his return will have a domino effect, this is the most important storyline to watch for the Wizards moving forward.

How will Wall fit back in?

Wall's return will of course be a big deal for the Wizards. They will be adding an All-Star back into their lineup with just weeks before the start of the playoffs. But at the moment, they have a good thing going and are playing much better than they were in the last week or two before he was shut down. That, of course, had a lot to do with Wall playing injured.

It will be interesting if the Wizards are still winning at anything close to their current rate when Wall comes back. That would be the ideal scenario because they could ease him back into the lineup and take their time getting him up to speed. But it will also create a complex situation for head coach Scott Brooks, who will need to make adjustments to his rotation. The alternative would be if the Wizards aren't playing well when Wall returns and the concern there would be the urge to rush him back in any capacity.


Tough schedule

The Wizards have fared quite well for themselves so far with a 33-24 record despite injuries to Wall, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter to varying degrees. But they have done so while enjoying the easiest schedule in the NBA, 30th out of 30 teams. It is about to get a lot tougher coming out of the All-Star break.

All in the next five weeks the Wizards will see the Cavs, Bucks, Warriors, Raptors, Pacers (twice), Timberwolves, Celtics, Spurs (twice) and the Nuggets. Of their next 17 games, 15 will be against teams currently in the playoff picture. They could be without Wall for all of them. That won't be easy.

Can Oubre get back on track?

While Wall has been out, just about everyone on the Wizards has stepped their games up to compensate. Though he still impacts games in other ways, Kelly Oubre, Jr. has been one exception on offense. In his last 11 games, Oubre has averaged 9.4 points and shot just 31.2 percent from the field and 23.2 percent from three. In his previous 46 games, he averaged 12.4 points while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from three.

That is a major difference and the Wizards certainly want to get the early-season version of Oubre back. At his best he is one of their most consistent scorers and an excellent three-point shooter. When he's contributing on both ends of the floor, the Wizards are tough to beat.