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NBA Draft Lottery: Playing the 'what if' game

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NBA Draft Lottery: Playing the 'what if' game

Here. We. Go.Tonight, sometime after 8:00 p.m., the NBA Draft lottery gods - or for the truly cynical, commissioner David Stern - reveal the Wizards initial selection in the 2012 draft. So far, we know the following: The Wizards have the second best overall odds - 19.9 percent - to land the overall No. 1 pick. The Wizards can pick no worse than fifth overall. The Wizards have a 55.74 percent chance of landing one of the first three picks. There is99.99 percent chance the Wizards miss out on Kentucky shot blocker Anthony Davis if they do land the first pick in the draft. This number is unofficial, but highly logical.
Which teamgets the springy unibrowed wonderwillbethe main story coming out of tonight's festivities. The "winning" team may decide a trade is in their best interest, but regardless it would be stunning if Davis was not the first name chosen on June 28, night of the NBA Draft.Only the Bobcats have better better odds at landing the first selection than the Wizards, followed by the Cavaliers, Hornets, Kings and Nets. For the entire lottery odds breakdown, click here.Beyond Davis, there appears be a group of four prospects in the mix for picks 2-5: Floridaoff-guard Bradley Beal, Connecticut center Andre Drummond, Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson. If you want to talk odds, the newest Wizard likely comes from this quartet.From the time the order is revealed until the picks are made, said order could change many times over - at least the rumor mill will have us believing that over the next month. For now, here's a down and dirty look at what happens should certain teams jump ahead of the Wizards.If you want Beal, then you don't want to see: the Cavaliers, whodrafted Kyrie Irving with the overall No.1 pick last season,receiving another dose of good fortune(apparently as an homage to lady luck, the Cavs are once again sending Owner Dan Gilbert's son to be the team's on-stage representative.As a nod to that winning formula, the Wizards are sending Zach Leonsis, son of team owner Ted). Like the local team, Cleveland's primary weakness is its perimeter attack and pairing Beal with the reigning Rookie of the Year would make for some scary upside combo. Could see the Nets going small if they believe Deron Williams stays and their chances of landing Dwight Howard are at least reasonable.The Hornets will pass on Beal assuming they intend on retaining restricted free agent Eric Gordon. As it stands, this is my preferenced pick for the Wizards, though they might be able to land backcourt help with their two second-round picks.If you want Drummond,then you don't want to see: The logical argument that the Wizards should not take the incredibly raw center. Kidding, kidding, though with Nene and Kevin Seraphin inside and their needs outside, not really. As it stands, seems like the UConn freshman falls to four or five. Then again, it just takes one team to fall in love and apparently Drummond has been doing the getting in shape thing. Maybe the Hornets decide to bring the big man to the Big Easy since current center Chris Kaman is an unrestricted free agent. Should the Wizards fall to five, could be an interesting debate between taking Drummond orone of the remaining perimeter options like North Carolina's Harrison Barnes or Drummond's Connecticut teammate Jeremy Lamb.If you want Kidd-Gilchrist, then you don't want to see: Just about anyone ahead of the Wizards. Charlotte's current small forward options are rather pedestrian. Sacramento could part ways with the out-of-position Tyreke Evans this summer. Clevelandcould use aSF upgrade, though pairing MKG with Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson makes for a non-shooting frontcourt. New Orleans could use a healthy dose of aggressiveness, which Kidd-Gilchrist offers most of all. For the Wizards, my fear is that his lack of outside touch does not address their current need and his skills are in a general sense similar to Chris Singleton. That's not the same as saying they should pass onthe tough-minded winner. Thatis what doing your homework is all about.If you want Robinson, then you don't want to see: Hornets owner Tom Benson boogying on Bourbon Street. Okay, you might never want to see that, but in this case it could mean New Orleans solidifies its frontcourt with the chiseled rebounder. With two lottery picks (second one courtesy of the Timberwolves), the Hornets could target a big man early then look for a needed point guard later in the lottery. The Kings might crown Robinson with the second or third pick if given a chance.Unless the Nets move into the top 3, their selection goes to the Trail Blazers as part of last season's Gerald Wallace trade.Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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