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Wizards at Thunder: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Thunder: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The Washington Wizards play at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…


Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Brooks' return

Wednesday night may be an emotional one for Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, as he returns to Oklahoma City for the first time since he was fired following the 2014-15 season. Brooks spent seven years as the head coach of the Thunder and was with the organization for two years before that as an assistant, dating back to their days as the Seattle Supersonics. 

Brooks will coach against superstar Russell Westbrook for the first time on Wednesday, but most of the stars he guided in OKC are gone. Kevin Durant moved on to the Golden State Warriors this past summer. Serge Ibaka was traded to the Orlando Magic. And James Harden was already long gone, having been traded to the Houston Rockets. Brooks looked back on coaching those guys, plus Nick Collison who remains in OKC, on Tuesday:

"I had a chance to coach some really great players. I mean, Nick Collison is a great player. Most of the world don't look at him as a great player, but he was great. He did a lot of things that were so important to us winning a lot of games. Harden, KD and Westbrook. They might be one, two and three in the MVP this year. And you could argue that all three are deserving."

[RELATED: Scott Brooks embraces his return to Oklahoma City]

Will Mahinmi play?

The Wizards had surprising news to share about Ian Mahinmi before each of the previous two games. On Saturday night against the Spurs, he made his season debut unexpectedly after rehabbing six weeks from left knee surgery. Then, on Monday he did not play against the Kings due to soreness in his right knee, possibly from overcompensating for his left knee during his recovery.

Getting Mahinmi back to 100 percent is important for the Wizards, who have struggled defensively this season, particularly with their second unit. He was their biggest offseason acquisition and they want him back for the long haul. He could also come in handy Wednesday with Steven Adams down low and Westbrook attacking the basket with regularity.

Can they limit Westbrook?

With all the aforementioned stars having moved on, all eyes are on Westbrook when it comes to the Thunder. The 28-year-old guard is off to a ridiculous start this season, currently averaging a triple-double. He's putting up 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds per game. Those are insane numbers. Westbrook has recorded a triple-double his last three games and the night before that fell just one assist short.  

John Wall will be tasked with guarding Westbrook and it won't be easy. There are few players at the point guard position who are as big and fast as Wall and Russ is one of them. Last season Westbrook averaged a triple-double (19.5 ppg, 11 apg, 12 rpg) and shot 50 percent in two games against Washington.

[RELATED: Wizards' players want to beat Thunder for Scott Brooks]

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John Wall said he's not listening to Drake's music during Wizards-Raptors playoff series

John Wall said he's not listening to Drake's music during Wizards-Raptors playoff series

The friendly feud between Wizards guard John Wall and Raptors superfan Drake nearly tilted to Washington over the weekend as the rap star apparently floated the idea of showing up for Game 3 in D.C. 

Drake, in fact, was going to bring with him a prop to show just how confident he was after his team went up up 2-0.

"I told him to be here for Game 3. He told me he was going to be here," Wall said. "He didn't show up. He told me we was getting swept and he said he had the broom for us."

Wall and Drake exchanged trash-talk throughout the first two games held up in Toronto as Drake sat courtside. Their back-and-forth was caught on camera and went viral.

Wall now has the upperhand with the Wizards having won two straight games as the series shifts back to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday.

"I wanted him to know that they wasn't going to sweep us," Wall said. "We did what we were supposed to do. We came home and took home court, won two games."

Wall continued to say that him and Drake "are just having fun." He has referred to Drake as a friend in the past and Drake is a fan of the University of Kentucky, where Wall starred during the 2009-10 season.

But that friendship is currently on hold. Wall, in fact, says isn't listening to any of Drake's songs during the series and that includes 'Nice For What,' Drake's latest single. The song is being played everywhere, but Wall is avoiding it. 

"I can't?" Wall said when told he can't get away from 'Nice For What.' "I always have my headphones on."

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How the Wizards have taken Raptors big man Serge Ibaka out of the series on offense

How the Wizards have taken Raptors big man Serge Ibaka out of the series on offense

The Wizards-Raptors first round playoff series has evolved to feature the emergence of several players who started off slowly including Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Kelly Oubre, Jr. The opposite has happened for Toronto big man Serge Ibaka.

After Ibaka lit up the Wizards for 23 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in Game 1, there has been a disappearance. His scoring has gone missing and it's a big reason why the Wizards have won two straight games and earned a 2-2 series split.

Head coach Scott Brooks knows Ibaka well from their days in Oklahoma City. He helped develop Ibaka and has since watched from afar as his game has changed to include a consistent outside game.

Brooks has on several occasions referred to Ibaka as one of the best three-point shooting big men in the league. The numbers back that up. Last season, he shot 39.1 percent from three on 4.0 attempts per game, excellent for a 6-foot-10 power forward.

This season that number dipped to 36 percent, but he hit 41 percent of his threes in his final 16 games of the regular season. That carried over into the playoffs when he went 3-for-4 in Game 1 as part of an 8-for-11 shooting night overall.

The Wizards made a point to take away those outside shots following their series-opening defeat. The way they are doing that is by crowding him when he gets the ball, even if it means him getting past the initial defender.

"You want to make sure you meet him on the catch. You want to take away his shot," Brooks said. "When he gets open shots, they are money. He's going to knock them down... We did a good job of meeting him on his catch and making him put the ball on the floor with his left hand. You can live with the results."

After his 23-point outburst in Game 1, Ibaka has scored just 20 points total in the last three games. He has gone 2-for-6 from three.

The Wizards are taking away his shot attempts in general. He took 11 shots in each of the first two games of this series, but just four in Game 3 and five in Game 4. In Game 3 he had three points and three turnovers and on Sunday he had seven points and four turnovers.

Here are two examples of the Wizards' defense on Ibaka. On this first play, Markieff Morris meets Ibaka as soon as he catches the ball and the result is a turnover:

On this next play, Morris follows Ibaka all the way to the rim and even though he goes up on a pump fake, Morris recovers to alter Ibaka's shot and force a miss:

The Wizards, however, did get away with one against Ibaka. He was left wide open for a three in the final minute, but the shot rimmed out:

As the first two plays demonstrate, Morris deserves a lot of credit for the Wizards' success against Ibaka. He has the size and mobility to keep up with him and is willing to use contact to his advantage.

"Just playing the tendencies," Morris said. "We're making them do things they are uncomfortable with and are getting better results."

Ibaka was fourth on the Raptors this season in points per game and third in shot attempts. He is their third option behind All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. If the Wizards can continue to lock up Ibaka, it will be difficult for the Raptors to beat them.

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