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John Wall looking forward to playing friend DeMarcus Cousins

John Wall looking forward to playing friend DeMarcus Cousins

Seven years have passed since John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins roamed the campus of the University of Kentucky as the two standout stars on John Calipari's 2009-10 Wildcats. And in that time the two have squared off twice a year in the NBA ranks, Wall as a point guard for the Wizards and Cousins a center for the Sacramento Kings. 

Though it has been seven years, and though they have now been counterparts for so long, the friendship between Wall and Cousins remains strong as they head into yet another showdown on Monday night at the Verizon Center (6:30 p.m. on CSN).

"We talk all the time. Me, him and Eric [Bledsoe], we're always on group chats and always talking," Wall said. "We're checking up on each other. Whenever I'm not playing and those guys are playing, I'm always watching their games. Like last night, I watched both of them play. It's just something I like to do."

Wall pays close attention to Cousins, who at 26 is off to a terrific start with 28.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. A two-time All-Star, Cousins continues to get better, Wall has noticed.

Cousins is currently shooting 40.8 percent from three on 4.2 attempts per game. At 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, that makes him an even more difficult matchup than before.

"He's shooting the three better," Wall said. "It stretches you out and makes you do coverages that you don't want to do. But you have to make that adjustment. You've gotta do a better job of guarding your man and getting back in front of the basketball before those guys attack the basket. Just do the best you can. Marcin [Gortat], or whoever is guarding him, they aren't going to guard him one-on-one. We the other guys have to be there to help him out."

Wall and Cousins will go at it once again on Monday night and Wall is looking forward to it.

"It's always fun," Wall said. "He's my brother. But when we compete, when we get in between those lines, everything goes out the window. We're going to try to get the best out of each other. I know he's going to be physical. He's going to talk a little trash, I will talk a little trash. Hopefully we come out with the win."

[RELATED: Beal accepts fine but calls choke of Fournier unintentional]

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

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


Series: Series tied 2-2
Where: Air Canada Centre
Tip-off: 7:02 p.m. (earlier tipoff than usual)
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Pivotal game

The Wizards have done their part in winning both games at home to even up this series at 2-2. Now comes Game 5, which could very well determine who takes this series.

Winners of Game 5 in a seven-game series tied at 2-2 hold a 164-34 (.828) record all-time. That means teams that lose Game 5 come back to win the final two games and the series only 17.2 percent of the time.

The Wizards need to get this one and they know all too well why. Last year they were in this same position in their second round series against the Boston Celtics. They went down 0-2, won the next two games but then lost Game 5 and ultimately the series in seven games.

Road warriors

The Wizards will also have to do something they have yet to do in a while in Game 5 and that is win on the road. Though they have won eight straight home postseason games, they have lost their last six on the road. It goes back to that Celtics series when Washington lost all four games in Boston. The last time they won on the road in the playoffs was Game 6 last year against the Hawks.

The Raptors are particularly tough in Toronto. They were 34-7 this season at home, tied with the Houston Rockets for the best record in the NBA. 

The recent historical odds are also in Toronto's favor. Since 2003, the home team has won each of the first four games in a seven-game series 35 times. In those series, the home team has held a Game 5 record of 22-13 and a series record of 26-9. If the Raptors get Game 5, history will be on their side to go on to win the series.

Can Otto get going?

Games 3 and 4 in Washington saw All-Star Bradley Beal break out to score 28 and 31 points. Will we see the same from Otto Porter before this series is over?

Game 4 seemed to suggest that is possible. After scoring only one point in the first half, Porter erupted for 10 points in the third quarter alone. Though he only scored 12 points in the game overall, it was the most aggressive we have seen him all series.

Porter is averaging just 10.3 points per game through four playoff games. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three, and as long as the Wizards are winning he won't complain, but Porter can do much more than that on offense. If he starts scoring more, the Wizards will be tough to stop.

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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5


Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes, Travis Thomas and Julie Donaldson reset the series and looked ahead to Game 5.

They were joined by TSN Sports anchor Kayla Grey to find out the Toronto perspective. The Wizards have all the momentum in this series, now they just have to keep it going.

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!