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NBA Power Rankings 2017-18: Celtics keep winning, Wizards hot again

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USA Today Sports

NBA Power Rankings 2017-18: Celtics keep winning, Wizards hot again

It's getting harder and harder to remember the last time the Celtics lost a game (October 18 by the way). 

That's what happens when you roll out a 13-game winning streak after a gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward to start your season.  

Does that move them ahead of the Warriors for the number one spot? Are the Pistons proving they're more than just an early season fluke?

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The Wizards were stuck in a 5-5 slump after starting the season 3-0. Now, they've re-committed to playing defense, and it's shown. Holding their last three opponents under 100 points as of Wednesday afternoon.

Not to mention, the Clippers haven't won in a long time after their strong start to the year.

Where does everyone come in this week? Check it out. 

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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters and the Miami Heat 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 AT MIAMI HEAT

Where: American Airlines Arena
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wizards are gaining steam

The Wizards find themselves in a desirable spot as they head to Miami for the first game in a home-and-home set against the Heat. Washington has won three straight and sit 8-5 on the season. That's good for third in the Eastern Conference and their .615 win percentage is tied for sixth-best in the NBA. They have righted the ship just in time to face a good Miami team.

The Wizards were one of the NBA's best offensive teams last year and are now even better. In 2016-17 they ranked fifth in the league in points per game (109.2). This season they are second (111.4) and behind only the Golden State Warriors (119.6). The Wizards also boast the fourth-best offensive rating (110.9), the fifth-best field goal percentage (47.4) and the fifth-best average point differential (+5.5). Their defense has its ebbs and flows, but this team can flat-out score.

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Wall is banged up

John Wall is a big reason for why the Wizards are so good on offense, but right now he is not at 100 percent. That's despite his 21 points and nine assists on Monday night against the Kings. Wall is still playing with his left shoulder taped up, has had migraines and a cold recently, and on Monday he sprained his ankle. Over the weekend he also had fluid build up in his knee after getting IVs.

That's a lot of ailments and Wall will now have to go up against one of the better point guards in the NBA in Goran Dragic. The Heat point guard is having another strong season with 19.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. He shoots an impressive 47.1 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three. What Dragic is exceptionally good at is getting past perimeter defenders and into the lane.

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Heat give Wizards fits

Dragic is good against everyone, but he has given Wall trouble in particular. Last year Dragic scored 25.5 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting against the Wizards. Those numbers were a big reason why the Heat won all four meetings between the teams last season. Miami has won five straight games against the Wizards overall dating back to 2015-16.

Big man Hassan Whiteside (15.9 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 1.9 bpg) is a force down low. Dion Waiters (16.4 ppg) can get hot and change games with his scoring. James Johnson (12.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.3 apg) is hard-nosed and can go a little bit of everything. And surely Wizards fans remember Kelly Olynyk (9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg). The last time the Wizards saw him he dropped 26 points for the Celtics in a decisive Game 7 of their second round playoff series. He also had a little run-in with Kelly Oubre, Jr. during that series, in case you forgot.

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NBC Sports Washington's Kara Lawson set to be inducted into Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

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NBC Sports Washington's Kara Lawson set to be inducted into Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

NBC Sports Washington Wizards color commentator Kara Lawson will enter the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame as part of the eight-member class of 2018, the Hall of Fame committee announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Lawson, a native of Springfield, Va. was a WBCA All-American in 1999 as the star of the West Springfield women's basketball team. She went on to play college basketball at the University of Tennessee for legendary coach Patt Summitt.

Lawson finished her career with 1,950 points in 143 games, before being selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock. Lawson, as a member of the Sacramento Monarch, won the WNBA championship in 2005. She also won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as a member of Team USA women's basketball team. She joined NBC Sports Washington to serve as the Washington Wizards color commentator before the start of the 2016-17 season.

Lawson joins a star studded class of 2017 that includes former National League batting champion Michael Cuddyer (Chesapeake, Va.), former NFL running back Thomas Jones (Virginia Cavaliers), former NBA champion Rick Mahorn (Hampton University) and iconic Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer.

The induction ceremony is set for April 7 at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, Va.

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Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2018:

— Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech Football
— Michael Cuddyer, Great Bridge HS/MLB
— Doug Doughty, Roanoke Times Journalist
— Chuck Hartman, Virginia Tech Baseball
—Thomas Jones, Virginia/NFL
— Kara Lawson, West Springfield HS/WNBA
— Rick Mahorn, Hampton/NBA
— Megan Silva Schultz, Randolph-Macon Basketball