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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Can Otto get back on track?

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 5, Otto Porter looked like had found his way as a consistent threat on the offensive end of the floor. Through six games during that stretch he averaged 15.3 points on 63.3% shooting, including 52.2% from three, and brought in 7.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. There was even talk about a max contract next summer when he hits free agency.

But in the four games since, Porter has fallen off. He's still shooting at a high clip - 51.7% from the field and 38.5% from three - but he's averaged just 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 33.2 minutes per night.

The Wizards need to find a way to get Porter more involved on offense. For example, he took just four shots on Dec. 6 vs. Orlando. And Porter needs to get himself more involved on the boards. In those minutes, and at his position, he wants more than 3.3 rebounds per night.

[RELATED: Basic principles of defense elude Wizards in loss]

Beal and Wall continue to thrive

John Wall and Bradley Beal are the Wizards' best players and lately they have been in peak form. In the 13 games since he returned from hamstring tightness, Beal is averaging 25.4 points on 48.5% percent shooting, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He's shooting 44.7 percent from three on 7.9 attempts per night. The Wizards are 7-6 during that stretch.

Wall has caught fire lately, too. With his 30 points on Monday night against the Heat, Wall is averaging 29.2 points on 48.2 percent shooting, nine assists and 2.4 steals over his last four games. He's getting to the free throw line 7.6 times a game and hitting 84.2 percent of them. The Wizards right now have their two most important players performing at a superstar level.

Zeller starting to emerge

Cody Zeller has a long way to go to justify his selection as the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, just one slot behind Porter. But the Hornets big man is starting to make a significant impact on one of the Eastern Conference's best teams. Zeller, 24, is averaging 10.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 25.2 minutes a night. He's shooting an even 60 percent from the field.

Along with Zeller, the Hornets also play 23-year-old Frank Kaminsky (7'), Roy Hibbert (7' 2") and Spencer Hawes (7' 1") in their rotation. That's a lot of big men to matchup against for a Wizards team that remains without Ian Mahinmi.

Kemba's on a roll

Kemba Walker is off to a terrific start through 25 games this season. The six-year pro is averaging a career-high 22.8 points per game to go along with 4.9 assists and 1.5 steals. He's shooting a career-best 46.6 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from three. The Wizards did, however, beat the Hornets both times they played at the Verizon Center last year and Walker was held to just 10-of-29 (.345) shooting in those games.

[RELATED: State of the Wizards: McClellan has breakout game in D-League]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

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!

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Biggest storylines for Wizards coming out of the All-Star break center around John Wall

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Biggest storylines for Wizards coming out of the All-Star break center around John Wall

The Wizards experienced a wild ride before the All-Star break, but came out of it on solid ground, fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 33-24 record. With 27 games still remaining until the postseason, here is a look at the biggest storylines moving forward...

Who will they sign?

The Wizards are close to signing a new player as they were left with open roster spots following the trade deadline when they dealt guard Sheldon Mac to Atlanta for a second round pick. The Wizards have keyed in on the backup point guard position and are likely to go in that direction with the move. But they could still be in the market for other players, possibly someone at the backup wing position, even if they sign a point guard.

The Wizards only have a few days left to make a move because they need to get their roster to 14 players within 14 days of the Mac trade on Feb. 8. Their next game is on Thursday against the Cavaliers, so they could have someone in the building in time to play in that game.

RELATED: WIZARDS DID WELL IN FIRST HALF DESPITE OBSTACLES

When will Wall return?

Wall had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Jan. 31 and was prescribed a recovery timeline of six-to-eight weeks, meaning he still has about another three weeks to go before a return is possible. It could be another five weeks before he's back on the court. That puts him in the range of missing another 10-to-17 games.

The Wizards have played nine games since he went down and have won seven of them, but they aren't even halfway there yet. They have a long way to go. Because it's Wall and his return will have a domino effect, this is the most important storyline to watch for the Wizards moving forward.

How will Wall fit back in?

Wall's return will of course be a big deal for the Wizards. They will be adding an All-Star back into their lineup with just weeks before the start of the playoffs. But at the moment, they have a good thing going and are playing much better than they were in the last week or two before he was shut down. That, of course, had a lot to do with Wall playing injured.

It will be interesting if the Wizards are still winning at anything close to their current rate when Wall comes back. That would be the ideal scenario because they could ease him back into the lineup and take their time getting him up to speed. But it will also create a complex situation for head coach Scott Brooks, who will need to make adjustments to his rotation. The alternative would be if the Wizards aren't playing well when Wall returns and the concern there would be the urge to rush him back in any capacity.

PODCAST: BREAKING DOWN THE WIZARDS' FIRST HALF

Tough schedule

The Wizards have fared quite well for themselves so far with a 33-24 record despite injuries to Wall, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter to varying degrees. But they have done so while enjoying the easiest schedule in the NBA, 30th out of 30 teams. It is about to get a lot tougher coming out of the All-Star break.

All in the next five weeks the Wizards will see the Cavs, Bucks, Warriors, Raptors, Pacers (twice), Timberwolves, Celtics, Spurs (twice) and the Nuggets. Of their next 17 games, 15 will be against teams currently in the playoff picture. They could be without Wall for all of them. That won't be easy.

Can Oubre get back on track?

While Wall has been out, just about everyone on the Wizards has stepped their games up to compensate. Though he still impacts games in other ways, Kelly Oubre, Jr. has been one exception on offense. In his last 11 games, Oubre has averaged 9.4 points and shot just 31.2 percent from the field and 23.2 percent from three. In his previous 46 games, he averaged 12.4 points while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from three.

That is a major difference and the Wizards certainly want to get the early-season version of Oubre back. At his best he is one of their most consistent scorers and an excellent three-point shooter. When he's contributing on both ends of the floor, the Wizards are tough to beat.

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