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NBA All-Star Game won't feature Wall as starter for East


NBA All-Star Game won't feature Wall as starter for East

It's official that John Wall will not be a starter for the second year in a row at the NBA All-Star Game, with Dwyane Wade and the surprise Kyle Lowry getting the nod for the East in the popular vote among fans, the league announced Thursday night.

Wall, however, will be a strong candidate to be voted as a reserve by coaches. Lowry eclipsed Kyrie Irving in the final voting that closed on Monday to take the starting spot by roughly 66,000 votes. Lowry plays for the Toronto Raptors, the host city for All-Star weekend on Feb. 14, and his backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan is likely to make the cut as a reserve.

If Lowry hadn't been named a starter, Wall would've had to compete with Lowry and DeRozan when history shows the host city (see Anthony Davis' first selection in New Orleans). Now it's likely Wall or Irving, who has played in just 14 games after a knee injury delayed the start to his season, for a spot. 

Unlike fan voting, coaches tend to reward accomplishment and what a player means to his team in weighing the candidates. Irving plays with LeBron James. Wall has 23 double-doubles which is by far the leader in the East among guards despite not having Bradley Beal and a host of others for most of the season. 

Now onto the starters for the East: Lowry, Wade (Heat), James (Cavs), Paul George (Pacers) and Carmelo Anthony (Knicks).

East reserves in contention: Wall, Irving, DeRozan, Jimmy Butler (Bulls), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Isaiah Thomas (Celtics), Paul Millsap (Hawks), Hassan Whiteside (Heat), Chris Bosh (Heat).

The West starters: Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Steph Curry (Warriors), Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Kevin Durant (Thunder) and Kawhi Leonard.

West reserves in contention: Draymond Green (Warriors), Chris Paul (Clippers), Damian Lillard (Blazers), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Klay Thompson (Warriors), James Harden (Rockets), DeAndre Jordan (Clippers), Dirk Nowitzki (Mavs), Marc Gasol (Grizzlies), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings).

The reserves will be formally announced next Thursday.

Here's the final tally for both conferences:

Eastern Conference

1             LeBron James (Cle) 1,089,206
2             Paul George (Ind) 711,595
3             Carmelo Anthony (NY) 567,348
4             Pau Gasol (Chi) 566,988
5             Andre Drummond (Det) 515,296
6             Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 473,579
7             Chris Bosh (Mia) 351,420
8             Kevin Love (Cle) 332,685
9             Hassan Whiteside (Mia) 301,362
10           Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 84,617
11           Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 73,079
12           Joakim Noah (Chi) 48,509
13           DeMarre Carroll (Tor) 46,044
14           Marcin Gortat (Was) 43,496
15           Paul Millsap (Atl) 41,654

1             Dwyane Wade (Mia) 941,466
2             Kyle Lowry (Tor) 646,441
3             Kyrie Irving (Cle) 580,651
4             Jimmy Butler (Chi) 564,637
5             DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 444,868
6             John Wall (Was) 368,686
7             Derrick Rose (Chi) 302,389
8             Jeremy Lin (Cha) 195,920
9             Isaiah Thomas (Bos) 153,642
10           Reggie Jackson (Det) 76,688

Western Conference

1             Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,891,614
2             Kevin Durant (OKC) 980,787
3             Kawhi Leonard (SA) 782,339
4             Zaza Pachulia (Dal) 768,112
5             Draymond Green (GS) 726,616
6             Blake Griffin (LAC) 651,860
7             Enes Kanter (OKC) 534,499
8             Tim Duncan (SA) 431,087
9             Anthony Davis (NO) 400,688
10           DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 364,270
11           DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 269,427
12           LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 268,003
13           Dwight Howard (Hou) 219,761
14           Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 173,317
15           Harrison Barnes (GS) 155,289

1             Stephen Curry (GS) 1,604,325
2             Russell Westbrook (OKC) 772,009
3             Chris Paul (LAC) 624,334
4             Klay Thompson (GS) 555,513
5             James Harden (Hou) 430,777
6             Manu Ginobili (SA) 226,289
7             Rajon Rondo (Sac) 200,518
8             Tony Parker (SA) 195,472
9             Andre Iguodala (GS) 181,142
10           Damian Lillard (Por) 158,360

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards' midseason report: Reasons for optimism

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Ty Lawson is playing a bigger role than anyone could have predicted for Wizards vs. Raptors

Ty Lawson is playing a bigger role than anyone could have predicted for Wizards vs. Raptors

The biggest surprise of the Wizards-Raptors series through two games, at least from Washington's perspective, has to be the fact Ty Lawson has very quickly earned a prominent role in Scott Brooks' playoff rotation.

Lawson, 30, was signed the day after the regular season and after he played much of 2017-18 in China with the Shandong Golden Stars. He did not appear in one game with the Wizards or any other NBA team during the regular season, yet he was the first point guard off the bench in Game 2.

When John Wall picked up two quick fouls, it was Lawson who got the nod, not Tomas Satoransky. Lawson ended up playing 31 minutes, more than Satoransky and fellow backup point guard Tim Frazier have earned combined through two games.

Though the Wizards had three point guards on their bench behind Wall before Lawson even signed, he has apparently surpassed them all on the depth chart. Satoransky is the most surprising, given he played quite well during the regular season.

Satoransky averaged 7.2 points, 3.9 assists and shot a team-best 46.5 percent from three. He had the highest offensive rating (124) on the team.

Lawson, though, played quite well in Game 2. He put up 14 points, eight assists and three rebounds while shooting 4-for-5 from three.

Lawson outscored four of the Wizards' five starters. Not bad for his first game.

"He did everything I knew he was capable of doing," Brooks said. "I’ve seen him do it for many, many years. He’s tough, he’s a competitor. He competes and pushes the pace. He plays defense. I liked the spirit."

Lawson provided a noticeable spark. He is still quick and aggressive with the ball, not afraid to look for his own shot, and played physical defense against the Raptors. Lawson ended the night plus-8 in the box score in a game the Wizards lost by 11.

"It’s good to see him get into a game and be able to produce for us," guard Bradley Beal said.

Given the Wizards lost Game 2 and face an 0-2 deficit in their series, it is likely that Brooks continues to alter his rotation in the coming games. He could go back to Satoransky more often, knowing he had some solid games against Toronto in the regular season, including on March 2 when he had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Satoransky could see more time at shooting guard or small forward and could play alongside Lawson. That might be Satoransky's best bet because Lawson did nothing in Game 2 to squander the opportunity.

For a team whose effort has been questioned by their head coach, Lawson's energy and urgency was noteworthy. He brought the edge of a guy playing for his NBA career, knowing a good playoff series could earn him a contract next season. 

Clearly, the way Lawson played was refreshing for Brooks given how long he kept him out on the floor. He may have come out of nowhere, but it looks like Lawson is here to stay.




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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Beal and Porter need to step up and so does the defense


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Beal and Porter need to step up and so does the defense

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller broke down the Wizards' 0-2 deficit and how Bradley Beal and Otto Porter need to play better.

They went into the potential change in the starting lineup, why the Wizards are doing so poorly on defense and the historical odds the Wizards are now up against.

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!