Wizards

Who's going to step up for Wizards?

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Who's going to step up for Wizards?

With the Wizards' two best players still sitting out with injuries, somebody is going to have to take over the reins as the go-to guy for Washington until point guard John Wall and center Nene return. It was evident in the Pacers loss on Saturday that the team is searching for that player to step up in crunch time and demand the ball.

Down 87-85 with 20 seconds left at Indiana, no one seemed to want to make an offensive move until Trevor Booker -- not known for his jump shot -- had to take an awkward 10-footer that fell short with 1.2 seconds left. Booker is a solid component of the Wizards’ starting five, but he's probably the fourth or fifth option offensively when it comes to just a normal possession -- so having him take a game-tying shot was not the best choice.

So who are the possible candidates to be the Wizards' go-to guy for now?

Rookie Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford come to mind right away because they can create their own shots, either running off screens or taking defenders off the dribble.  

The rookie Beal is now the team's leading scorer at 13 points a game and is looking extremely confident with his jumper and his penetration to the basket. Beal scored 17 points in the loss to the Pacers and tallied 22 the previous game against Milwaukee. Beal is starting to show why he was the #3 overall pick in the NBA draft.

Crawford is capable of scoring in bunches and he's probably the most fearless offensive player the Wizards have, but right now he's slowed by a sprained ankle, averaging 10 points off the bench.

Center Kevin Seraphin looked capable of getting touches late in games but after two strong outings against the Celtics he's had little impact the last two games as his average has dipped to 10 points.

Wall is out at least until early December with a sore knee and there is still no timetable for the return of Nene because of plantar fasciitis, so there's a great opportunity for someone to step up and assume the scoring load. It's just a matter of who is going to take it?

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Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Voting for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game's starters is now closed and though they have not fared well with fan ballots, the chances Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal are picked as reserves seem good.

The All-Star reserves are chosen by NBA head coaches and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks thinks the Wizards should have two representatives.

"They're definitely both having All-Star years," Brooks said. "I can't vote for either one, but they are definitely in my mind two of the best guards in the East."

Wall, 27, is averaging 19.9 points and leads the Eastern Conference with 9.3 assists per game. He also leads all NBA guards with 1.1 blocks per game.

Bradley Beal, 24, is seventh in the East with 23.7 points per game and third among Eastern Conference guards. He is averaging a career-high 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

The 25-19 Wizards are currently in the playoff picture, which should help their cause for two All-Stars. But there is a lot of competition at the guard position.

Beal has done plenty to make the case he should be a first-time All-Star. He leads the Wizards in points and has played in every one of their games.

What could hold Wall back is that his numbers are down from last season and the fact he missed 11 games due to injury.

Brooks, though, thinks he should be in there and that it shouldn't be all that close.

"I think John is the best point guard in the East," he said.

Wall is certainly up there among the best point guards in the conference. His competition would be guys like Kyrie Iriving, Kyle Lowry and maybe Ben Simmons. Wall is a more versatile player than Irving and has better numbers than Lowry or Simmons.

The All-Star starters are announced on Jan. 18 and the full rosters will be revealed on Jan. 23. We'll see if Wall and Beal make the cut.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one: