Wizards

Quick Links

What will a Scott Brooks team actually look like?

What will a Scott Brooks team actually look like?

Perhaps the simplistic, though at times accurate way to view a new head coach is thinking if he did this and that at a previous stop, that plan comes with him. Yet considering Scott Brooks had the unique superstar dynamic of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma City, is it fair to wonder whether we actually know what truly defines a Scott Brooks team?

"That's a fair question," Brooks answered to a small group of reporters in the halls of Verizon Center following his introductory press conference Wednesday.

It's a question the new guy wasn't ready to answer seeing as he'd been on the job for about 24 hours. It's a process he's ready to figure out. 

"I'm excited to get to know all of our players first," Brooks said. "[Wizards president] Ernie [Grunfeld] and the staff will get together to add pieces along the way to make this a competitive team.

"We ultimately want to compete for championships. In order to do that, it's a process of going step by step and you can't skip steps. I learned that as a player. I was fortunate enough to be on a championship team in Houston. But I love the group that we have. I can't emphasize that enough. I love the players that we have."

No doubt the coach loved the players he helped groom with the Thunder. Durant and Westbrook emerged as among the elite players in the league. Lengthy forward Serge Ibaka provided a big man element and other key contributors including future NBA Most Valuable Player runner-up James Harden helped as Oklahoma City went from a 23-win team the season before Brooks took the head job to the NBA Finals three years later.

"I'm proud of what we accomplished as a group," Brooks said. "Three conference finals and an NBA Finals, one of the youngest teams in the [league] history to get there."

The focus typically centered on Oklahoma City's potent offensive stars. The Thunder ranked top five in scoring in each of Brooks' last five seasons, yet also were one of the top defensive teams in that stretch. Oklahoma City ranked top 10 four straight seasons in defensive efficiency before injuries hampered the squad in 2014-15, Brooks' final season. 

"We've always focused on being a two-way team," he said.

The focus with Washington starts with John Wall. Though a perennial All-Star guard like Westbrook, Wall offers a true pass-first presence while the Thunder standout looks for his own shot more often. That difference of styles will be part of Brooks' planning, as will Bradley Beal's perimeter shooting, Marcin Gortat's rim-to-rim running, Markieff Morris' athleticism, Otto Porter's 3-and-D progress and Kelly Oubre's potential. Then there are the other nine spots still open. 

There is work to do and Brooks says he's ready for the challenge. When it's all done, we might see what a Scott Brooks team looks like.

"This team that I have the privileged to coach," he said, "I'm looking forward to get to know the guys and to establish a system that we're successful night in and night out."

Quick Links

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:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

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

ROSTERS

TEAM LEBRON:

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

TEAM STEPHEN:

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

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

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.

RELATED: JOHN WALL GIVES UPDATE ON HIS REHAB

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.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

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.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

Quick Links

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.

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

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.

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT