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Wall, Beal among finalists for Team USA's Olympic roster


Wall, Beal among finalists for Team USA's Olympic roster

John Wall and Bradley Beal form one off the NBA' top backcourts. Once again, the decision makers with USA Basketball want both with the national team.

Wall and Beal were among 30 players announced Monday as finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team/ The final 12-man roster will be announced by USA Basketball later this year.

Both Wall and Beal were previously part of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Pool and represented USA Basketball during their prep years. Neither has been selected for the national roster since entering the NBA. 

Wall, the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December, hasn't been shy in the past about expressing his lack of optimism with making the various Team USA rosters. No knock on either guard, but the odds are long of Wall or Beal being in Rio for the 2016 games simply because of the star-studded backcourt depth.

RELATED: By far, Wizards lead NBA in games lost

Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) are locks at point guard barring injury or the unforeseen. Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), who played for USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, as made previous Team USA squads. It's hard imagining Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) not making the final cut.

 James Harden (Houston Rockets) was the 2015 NBA Most Valuable Player runner-up to Curry. Wing guard Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) is one of the top perimeter threats in the league. Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls). Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors) are also in contention.

Those rounding out the roster include LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Anthony; Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors);  DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings);  Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); James; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); 

Wall is averaging a career-high 20.3 points, 9.6 assists (second in the NBA),4.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals (fourth in the NBA) this season.

Beal has averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals this season, though another bout of leg stress injuries have limited him to 19 games.

If the two impress over the final months of the NBA season, perhaps USA Basketball officials will give the Wizards' backcourt a longer look. They've already made the first cut.

MORE WIZARDS: Stop Damian Lillard and Wizards will stop the Blazers

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

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


Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)



Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets


Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves


Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.


Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.


Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.


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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.


Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest. He edged Larry Nance, Jr. of the Cavaliers in the finals.