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NBA Draft Watch: John Henson


NBA Draft Watch: John Henson

Should the lottery odds play out accordingly, the Wizards figure to land one of the top four spots in the 2012 NBA Draft. Even the worst case scenario of falling all the way totricky number five,North Carolina forward John Henson is not a likely option. Despite his athletic gifts, 6-foot-11 size and penchant for rebounding and defense, his current draft rank falls somewhere in the back half of the lottery. That's not a bad neighborhood to be in, just not where the Wizards figure to set up shop. Not at the moment anyway.Draft Express ranks Henson the number 11 overall prospect while ESPN's Chad Ford slots him at 13. Seems a touch low for me. Maybe the junior is the latest prospect to be knocked for essentially having too much game tape on the college level from which nitpicking scouts can find flaws. Perhaps the aloof nature of Henson's game combined with sky-high expectations for the latest UNC big man have left some wanting. Then there are fears that his thin frame is not capable of adding on the needed weight to handle the NBA pounding.
On the Wizards, Henson's springy game could make for a nice fit opposite the powerful Nene.Similar to my concerns about adding any non-Anthony Davis big man, not sure what adding Henson does to the current rotation and in this case specifically, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker. Perhaps some team offering the world (i.e. will take Rashard Lewis' or - fingers crossed - Andray Blatche's contract) will have the Wizards contemplating a move down in the lottery. Adding Henson straight up might not be ideal, but could be an interestingsecondary transaction, Anthony Davis-lite as it were.NBA Draft Blog's Ed Isaacson shared his thoughts on Hensonplushis Q&A with the intriguing frontcourt prospect. The thoughts are below; click here for the Q&A."As a freshman, Henson was an intriguing prospect, reminding many of a Tar Heel who recently departed to the NBA, Ed Davis. Long, with good defensive instincts, UNC fans were excited to see what he could do. In his sophomore year, they got it and more. Henson became a fantastic defender, shot blocker and rebounder, and making some contributions on the offensive end, fulfilling pretty much what people had hoped. Henson could have taken reputation and lived off it in college, or even have taken it to the NBA. He wanted another year, and what he showed as a player this season easily surpassed anything people though just a few years earlier. "The defense, shot blocking, rebounding were all still there and still improving, but this year, Henson showed significant development on the offensive end. Whether it was his post moves, his ability to hit mid-range jumpers, or his passing ability out of the post, Henson showed as complete a game as any other big man in college. Yet, people will point to things like stats, or the talent surrounding him, and say, 2 more points per game, and less rebounds and blocks, how much improvement is that really? Watch the player he was as a freshman and watch him this past season Henson is now a NBA player, he will be a good one at that, and he is still improving."

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

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


Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 


Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.


Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.


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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one.