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NBA free agent roundup: Atlanta native Dwight Howard flies home

NBA free agent roundup: Atlanta native Dwight Howard flies home

Even though the Washington Wizards remained on the sideline during the opening hours of free agency, the money flowed around the NBA. Here's some of the notable signings on Day 1, including those affecting the Wizards:

* Dwight Howard returns to the Southeast division and to his hometown of Atlanta with a three-year, $70.5 million contract, according to Yahoo's The Vertical. Adding one of the game's top center's could mean the end of Al Horford's run with Hawks. Even if one chooses to argue's Howard's power game is a worthy tradeoff, Horford has been Atlanta's heart and soul since the Hawks selected him third overall in 2007. It's also possible both could play together, which would mean moving Paul Millsap to small forward, but also probably losing free agent swingman Kent Bazemore.

* Chandler Parsons' injury history almost makes Bradley Beal seem like Bruce Willis' character in "Unbreakable." That's why the small forward's max contract with Memphis should have even the big doubter's of Beal's reported five-year, $128 million think better about the Wizards' move.

* Stretch-4 options Mirza Teletovic and Darrell Arthur made sense for the Wizards. Now both are off the market and not for crazy money. Both agreed to three-year deals with Teletovic receiving $30 million total from the Bucks -- props, Milwaukee -- and Arthur $23 million from the Nuggets. As a reminder, the Wizards have Markieff Morris for $24 million over the next three seasons. That's good value.

* Former Georgetown star Jeff Green will join his fifth NBA team once he signs a reported one-year, $15 million with the Orlando Magic. When he's right, the combo forward can carry an offense. The issue is getting that out of Green on any consistent basis. With Orlando he'll join a forward rotation with newly acquired Serg Ibaka 

* Point guard Mike Conley is on the verge of re-signing with the Memphis Grizzlies. That's not the interesting part. Should Conley sign that deal, it would make him the highest paid player in league history. 

The Grizzlies will likely trot out Conley, Parsons, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. That's a strong core, but good enough to challenge Golden State, Oklahoma City, San Antonio or even the Los Angeles Clippers? Eh, probably not.

* As for those deals that dropped jaws, Evan Turner's four-year, $70 million deal with Portland arguably tops the had-scratching list, though there are contenders.

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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!