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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

As part of NBC Sports Washington'sNBC Sports Washington preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview John Wall's season...

Player: John Wall

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2016-17 stats: 78 G, 36.4 mpg, 23.1 ppg, 10.7 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.0 spg, 0.6 bpg, 45.1 FG%, 32.7 3P%, 80.1 FT%, 48.2 eFG%, 111 ORtg, 108 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Wall took his game and team to a new level this past season. He earned All-NBA for the first time, set career-highs in important categories and led the Wizards to 49 wins, a division title and Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs, all firsts since the 1970s. Now comes the question of whether he can top it.

Wall has one huge element working in his favor in that he's healthy this offseason. Instead of rehabbing just to get back to 100 percent, he is able to move forward and improve his game. Last year he was coming off surgeries to both knees. This summer he has been able to go full bore.


Wall's offseason workout plan has been out there for the world to see through Instagram and his documentary called 'No Offseason' produced by Ball Is Life. Several common themes have emerged. He wants to get much better on defense and improve his conditioning to close out games. He has been trying different training methods like biking and boxing in that quest.

Wall has gone as far as stating he's the best two-way point guard in the NBA and accepting a Twitter challenge from Kobe Bryant to make first team All-Defense. Wall taking his defense to a new level would be fantastic for the Wizards, who will need to slow guys like Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas and Kyle Lowry if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Potential to improve: Three-point shot, on-ball defense, late-game conditioning



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The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and the timing is right

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The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and the timing is right

The NBA is building momentum towards a significant change in their draft entry rules. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been outspoken about his preference to change the so-called one-and-done rule and on Thursday he met with the newly created Commission on College Basketball in Washington, D.C. to discuss the subject.

The meeting was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who says the league could once again let high school players be drafted. The compromise could be a rule requiring those who go to college to stay for at least two years. That would be similar to Major League Baseball, which stipulates three years of college.

Would a similar rule be a good idea for the NBA? While the players' union would like the option to go straight from high school, there was a reason the one-and-done rule was implemented in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement. The perception back then was that players left for the NBA too early and many flamed out because of it. The thought was that some players would have had better careers if they were older and more experienced when they became professionals.


Darius Miles, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry and Sebastian Telfair are notorious cases of draft busts who came out of high school. Many wondered if those guys would have been better off with a year in college to adjust to life on their own and with an intermediary step up in competition.

But there are important differences in the NBA's structure nowadays. Now there is a robust minor league system with G-League affiliates all over the country. There are also two-way contracts, allowing teams to pay more money to a prospect and have more flexibility in bringing them up to the NBA. Players don't have to adjust as quickly as they used to.

The G-League is going to continue to expand and the perception keeps changing. Now, it is more common to see players have a stint in the G-League either for development purposes or injury rehabilitation. Player development of baseball players is different, but the MLB's well-established minor league system is the reason why their rule allowing high school players to go pro really works.

The one year in college under the one-and-done rule, however, does have some positives. Most notably, it allows NBA teams to get a better read on draft prospects. Instead of evaluating guys exclusively in high school and AAU, they get to see them play in the ACC, SEC and other big college conferences.

NBA front offices may be hurt by it, but the time is right to go back to high school players entering the pros. Things are much different than they were in 2006 and the league can handle it. Ending the one-and-done rule would be better for the players and it should also make a lot of college basketball fans happy.

That is the good of what the NBA is considering, however, the rule requiring two years of college should not be part of the equation. If the NBA wants to grant some freedom, then actually do it. Some players may need just one year of college and nothing more. Don't punish them for it.

The two-year requirement seems like a very bad idea, but it could be part of the deal. Either way, it seems like the one-and-done rule could come to an end sooner than later and it's for the best.


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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Miami Heat

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Miami Heat

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 91-88 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night at Capital One Arena...

1. The first half didn't feature many highlights for the Wizards, as they managed just 29 points in what was their worst half of the season so far. This play, though, was nice.

Mike Scott hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter:

Scott had only four points in nine minutes.


2. The Wizards had a special guest in attendance. Nationals ace Max Scherzer showed up and was nice enough to join Chris Miller on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast.

This particular part of the interview was funny. Scherzer was asked who would be the best basketball player on the Nats and who would play the dirtiest. Scherzer was honest:

3. The Wizards were down by as many as 25 points, but they made it a game in large part due to Bradley Beal catching fire in the second half. He hit three threes in the third quarter, including this one:

Beal finished with a game-high 26 points.

4. John Wall (eight points) didn't hit his first shot until there was just 5:25 left in the fourth quarter. But his first shot was a big one, a timely three that helped key the WIzards' comeback charge:

5. Wall would hit another three soon after that:

The Wizards had a final shot attempt, but Beal's stepback jumper rimmed out. They are 9-6 on the season with the Raptors up next.