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Morning tip: John Wall's sights on All-Star Game and All-NBA team

Morning tip: John Wall's sights on All-Star Game and All-NBA team

His sixth game of 40 minutes or more in the books, John Wall finally has the Wizards where they hadn't been since Nov. 24, 2015. Keeping them with a winning record, with the second game of a back-to-back at the Boston Celtics tonight, is key to his hopes of being a four-time All-Star and first-time All-NBA performer.

"I've been an All-Star before. I've been a starter. I've never been on an All-NBA team," said Wall, who hit the game-winning shot and registered his 23rd double-double vs. the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. "I'll be very disappointed if I don't make it this year, to be honest with you. On both."

Based on the first round of All-Star fan voting, which counts for 50% of the equation to determine starters for the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans, Wall likely won't be a starter as in 2015 when the Wizards opened that season 22-8 and played on Christmas Day when he dominated the N.Y. Knicks. They started 2-8 this year but are 19-18 after erasing an 18-point deficit to beat Chicago as Wall had a game-high 26 points, 14 assists and five rebounds. It was his 10th game of 12 more more assists.

No other conference player is in Wall's zip code when it comes to the points-assist double-double. He was just seventh in the fan voting among East guards at 87,000 -- 41,000-plus behind sixth-place Kyle Lowry and fifth-place Derrick Rose. The top two, as it stands Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade, will start but media and players also will vote to comprise the other 50%. Coaches will determine the reserves. The next round of fan voting comes out Thursday.

The lack of national attention and respect has long bothered Wall, who was irked at end-of-regular-season media voting that put Irving on the All-NBA team ahead of him for the 2014-15 season.

The Wizards were just 41-41 last year and missed the playoffs. Wall required surgeries to both knees May 5 but still averaged 19.9 points and 10 assists per game. Despite having to use part of this regular season to play his way back into shape, Wall is putting up career-highs of 23.4 points, 10.4 assists and 2.2 steals to go with 4.5 rebounds. He was named Player of the Month in December when he posted 10 double-doubles and set a career-high with 52 points.

"I don't know how you can start an All-Star Game and don't make an All-NBA team," Wall said of what he perceived as a slight in 2015. "I was close to averaging 20 and 10 (last year). Both of those recognitions mean a lot to me but All-NBA team is very important. I know there's a lot of great guards in this league and they're all playing well. 

"I know you don't get noticed if your team is not winning. We're a team that's back in the playoff picture. I think that should help me get over the hump from where we started early in the season. I don't know too many guys that won Player of the Month and wasn't an All-Star or made the All-NBA team. ... Got to see what happens."

MORE WIZARDS: Wall to Bulls' Valentine after dance: 'You woke a monster'

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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.

[RELATED: WAIT...WHAT'S 'WOLF SEASON?']

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.

[RELATED: HOW MAHINMI LOST WEIGHT, WHY HE LOVES D.C.]

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.

[RELATED: KELLY OUBRE CAN SEE WHY DURANT MADE A FAKE TWITTER ACCOUNT]

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LaVar Ball says Wizards 'better beware' with matchup vs. Lakers approaching, Marcin Gortat fires back

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USA TODAY Sports

LaVar Ball says Wizards 'better beware' with matchup vs. Lakers approaching, Marcin Gortat fires back

John Wall, when asked about Lonzo and LaVar Ball over the weekend on our Wizards Tipoff podcast, said that Lonzo is a "nice kid" but the trash-talking his father does will be "taken personally" by other NBA players. He explained how Lonzo will "be targeted" because of those comments.

Wall stopped short of saying whether he himself had taken them personally. Well, now LaVar is going after his Wizards.

In a video posted by Ball Is Life on Monday, Ball calls out the Wizards, who they host on Wednesday at the Staples Center:

"Washington is coming in here Wednesday? They better beware because Lonzo ain't losing again, not in the same week."

Wizards center Marcin Gortat saw the video soon after it was posted and tweeted that Wall is going to "torture" Ball for 48 minutes:

The Wizards play the Nuggets on Monday night, but it's hard not to look ahead at Wizards-Lakers which just got even more interesting.

For Wall's full comments on the Ball family, plus his explanation of 'Wolf Season,' check out the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

[RELATED: WIZARDS PICKING UP OUBRE'S OPTION WAS EASY CALL]