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Changes to NBA All-Star voting could help Wizards

Changes to NBA All-Star voting could help Wizards

NBA All-Star voting is changing, and that could be good news for Wizards stars John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The league announced that All-Star voting would no longer be exclusively by fans. While fans will still account for 50 percent of the vote, 25 percent will go to current players and the other 25 percent to media members. 

Here's how player and media voting will work, according to the NBA press release. 

Players and media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards from both the Eastern and Western Conference.  Players may vote for their teammates or themselves.

The move should help temper the popularity contest phenomenon, which can give players with higher Q ratings a roster spot over others who may deserve it more. Though a different kind of popularity contest is at play among players voting for themselves and their peers. 

Even in the unlikely scenario that most players just voted for themselves and favorite teammates, fan and media votes should ensure a somewhat objective outcome. 

These changes ahead of 2017 All-Star Weekend could end up benefiting players like Wall and Beal, who are having great seasons but can't get as many eyeballs guards like Kyrie Irving. 

First off, Cavs players will benefit from 25 nationally televised games, while fans outside of Washington will only see the Wizards on national TV five times. Then there's marketing money.

That Irving has his own Nike shoe and appears in lots of commercials doesn't necessarily make him better than other players, but he's certainly more visible.  

Writers and fellow players, in theory, could provide a better informed opinion of where the league's real quality lies, regardless of TV reach or marketing budget. 

Increased objectivity is good news for Wall, who's putting up career numbers. He's averaging 23.7 points, 9.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds in the first 25 games of the year. But he's already been an All-Star three times. 

The change could make a bigger difference for Beal, who's never made an All-Star team but is currently 6th in points per game among Eastern Conference guards and trending upwards. 

MORE WIZARDS: Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller were joined by Julie Donaldson to break down the Wizards' wins in Games 3 and 4.

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat are back and the Wizards are a different team because of it. Plus, how regaining their Death Row D.C. mentality has changed this series.

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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Another 40-point third quarter evens another playoff series for the Wizards

Another 40-point third quarter evens another playoff series for the Wizards

Last night's Washington Wizards comeback would not have happened had it not been for the team's blowout third quarter. 

Of course, you can say that literally about any quarter, but if you take away the third, the Toronto Raptors outscored Washington easily, 78-66.

The Wizards won by eight and this wasn’t the first time we’ve seen a performance of this magnitude from this bunch.

In that frame alone in Game 4, the Wizards broke out to 40 points, the same amount they had in the first two quarters combined. As a team, they shot 65 percent and 83 percent from deep (5-for-6).

By far that was their best offensive quarter of this series.

Of course, Bradley Beal got his due, 12 points including three three-pointers, but for the first time this series, Otto Porter Jr. became a threat on the offensive end of the court.

The 6-8 forward scored 10 of his 12 points, all of which came in a 26-14 run. First, he started with back-to-back three-pointers, both in the tail end of a transition, both a feed from John Wall. One came from the corner and the other came off of a screen that ended up being a close contest from OG Anunoby.

That run resulted in the Wizards’ first lead of the game from a corner three courtesy of Beal.

Speaking of Anunoby, he was silent in that quarter for the Raptors. Granted in the first half he was taken off the court after getting pinned under Marcin Gortat, but the Raptors’ guard played for nine minutes and the only thing he recorded on the stat sheet was a foul.

Serge Ibaka, who has also been a pain in the Wizards’ side also disappeared. One rebound, two points from the free throw line, and one block was all that the 6-10 forward managed. With Porter on the court and producing, it pushed Ibaka to set up outside the paint, clearing the lane for Wall to generate movement on the offense.

All this being said, Toronto actually didn’t have a bad quarter. They shot 50 percent from the field and DeMar DeRozan had 14 points.

But the Wizards were simply better. They out-shot one of the best all-around offensive teams in the league.

Rolling with the punches in transition, not passing up open looks, Wall dealing out six assists; that is the Wizards’ team that knocked off some of the top teams in the NBA this year. No one shot more than five times in the quarter and the team combined for 10 assists on the 15 made baskets.

They erased a 14-point deficit and were tied at 80 heading into the fourth.

If you look back to the last 40-point playoff quarter for Washington, there are many parallels. It was another series where the Wizards were down 0-2 to the Celtics. They were dealing with an offensive driven team and the physicality became a prevalent story in the series.

Had it not been for those 12 minutes of basketball, the Wizards would be down 3-1 and face an insurmountable climb to get back into their First Round series. Now they are at a fresh slate in a best-of-3 series. With all the momentum, Washington is just two wins away from getting back to the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs.

Hopefully, this time is a little different than the last.