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As All-Star voting begins, John Wall says Bradley Beal should be a lock

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USA Today Sports

As All-Star voting begins, John Wall says Bradley Beal should be a lock

Voting for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game begins this afternoon and Wizards guard John Wall has a player in mind he would like to see get the nod, in addition to himself of course.

Wall believes teammate Bradley Beal should head to Los Angeles this February as a first-time All-Star.

"I think he should be a lock, in my opinion. He had a 50-something point game. He had 85 points in back-to-back games," Wall said on NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Tipoff podcast.

"It easily should put him as a lock. I think he should have been a lock last year. But he definitely should be a lock this year. He's doing everything to help our team win when I was out [injured]. Even when I was playing, he was still playing well and shooting the ball at a high clip for us. I think he should be."

Wall, 27, has made the All-Star team four times in his career and this past season made All-NBA for the first time. The only accolade Beal has earned so far through six NBA seasons is a spot on the All-Rookie team.

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This season Beal is averaging 23.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Wall thinks those numbers are worthy of recognition.

"He's always been a guy that can score, but now he's doing everything to help our team even more," Wall said. "Not even just his rebounding, him being able to pass and find guys and get his assists up, and also get steals and do the little things that matter; that should solidify him as an All-Star."

Wall sees an evolution in Beal that reminds him of his own path to becoming an All-Star. 

"Same way I had to expand [my game]," he said. "When a guy is just scoring, people are like, 'Ok he is just scoring and not doing other things.' Everyone was like KD [Kevin Durant] can't win MVP because he can't do other things but then he started rebounding, started adding assists and started blocking shots. That makes Brad more of a tough player. He is willing to except the double team. That [deserves] a lot of credit and means you are great player in this league."

[PODCAST: JOHN WALL GOES 1-ON-1]

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks made sure to caution his endorsement of Beal as an All-Star with reminders that the team's success is more important. But he did say specifically that he thinks Beal should be going to L.A.

"We have two All-Stars in my mind," he said, referring to Beal and Wall. "I thought [Beal] played like one last year and obviously to me he's playing like one this year."

The All-Star Game will have a new format this season with the players receiving the most fan votes in each conference serving as captains and picking teams. There is no more East vs. West.

That, however, does not change the odds for Beal or any other Wizards players to make it. There will still be 12 players from each conference chosen.

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The guard position will be a crowded mix per usual with Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan and Wall among the headliners in the East. Ben Simmons will likely get plenty of votes. Victor Oladipo of the Pacers is also having a breakout season, one that Wall thinks has been worthy of an All-Star nod.

"I think he should be in there with Brad as a first [time] newcomer," Wall said. "Nobody expected the Pacers to be any good after they traded away Paul George."

Early All-Star voting on NBA.com and the NBA's app begins Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. Then, on Dec. 25 at 11 a.m., voting opens up on all channels including with social media hashtags. Fan voting ends on Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

To vote for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, click here.

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NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes reveals his 2018 NBA All-Star ballot

NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes reveals his 2018 NBA All-Star ballot

The 2018 NBA All-Star starters have been announced with few surprises based on the previous updates we saw from fan voting, which account for 50 percent of the equation. The other 50 percent is split by players and media.

I had the honor of filling out one of the media ballots before the Jan. 15 deadline and in interest of transparency, here is how I voted with some brief reasoning for why:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

G Kyrie Irving, Celtics

Irving is the best player on the top team in the conference. He is scoring like he always has, but is now expanding his game under coach Brad Stevens.

G Bradley Beal, Wizards

Beal has turned into one of the best scorers in the NBA and now does so many more things. It wasn't an easy pick between him, DeMar DeRozan, John Wall and Victor Oladipo, but Beal has been so valuable to the Wizards this season with Wall missing extended time that he got the nod.

PODCAST: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE?

F LeBron James, Cavs

LeBron remains the best player in basketball and is having one of his best seasons at the age of 33. It's incredible to watch and he is deserving of the most votes.

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Giannis is a bonafide star and is among the most versatile players in the NBA with how he can affect the game on both ends of the floor. Even without a three-point shot, he's completely unstoppable on offense.

F Joel Embiid, Sixers

Embiid is proving he can stay on the court (for the most part) and is putting up crazy numbers. Kristaps Porzingis and others got consideration for this spot, but Embiid edged them out with his rebounding.

RELATED: BROOKS FEELS GOOD ABOUT WALL AND BEAL'S ALL-STAR CHANCES

WESTERN CONFERENCE

G Russell Westbrook, Thunder

His scoring is down from last season, but Westbrook tops the NBA in assists per game and things are starting to click in Oklahoma City with him leading the way.

G James Harden, Rockets

The NBA's leading scorer, Harden is still putting up insane numbers despite co-existing with another star guard in Chris Paul. And the Rockets are really, really good.

F Kevin Durant, Warriors

The best player on the league's best team, Durant is currently fifth in points per game and tied for third in blocks. He is incredibly efficient and does so many things well.

F Anthony Davis, Pelicans

Davis continues to put up impressive numbers, but he's now more efficent than ever. The Pelicans are currently sixth in the West, too.

F Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

Towns has become almost underrated with all the attention placed on other young stars in the league, but he's as good as any of them. Big KAT has the T'Wolves on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James, Steph Curry named captains; Wall and Beal miss cut for starters

2018 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James, Steph Curry named captains; Wall and Beal miss cut for starters

The NBA announced the starters for next month's 2018 All-Star Game and once again LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the top vote-getter.

Stephen Curry of the Warriors was second in votes, meaning he and James will serve as captains and pick teams for the Feb. 18 showcase.

Neither John Wall or Bradley Beal of the Wizards made the cut as starters, so they will have to hope to make it as reserves by NBA coaches. The full rosters are announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

For the starters, fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote with players and media each representing 25 percent. 

PODCAST: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE?

Here are the starters from each conference. Keep in mind these groups will be split up once the captains pick their teams:

EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS

G Kyrie Irving, Celtics -- 2,170,833 fan votes (5th All-Star appearance)

G DeMar DeRozan, Raptors -- 998,999 fan votes (4th)

F LeBron James, Cavs -- 2,638,294 fan votes (14th)

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks -- 2,530,211 fan votes (2nd)

F Joel Embiid, Sixers -- 1,285,587 fan votes (1st)

RELATED: BROOKS FEELS GOOD ABOUT WALL AND BEAL'S ALL-STAR CHANCES

WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS

G Stephen Curry, Warriors -- 2,379,494 fan votes (5th All-Star appearance)

G James Harden, Rockets -- 1,486,830 fan votes (6th)

F Kevin Durant, Warriors -- 2,238,406 fan votes (9th)

F Anthony Davis, Pelicans -- 1,088,230 fan votes (4th)

F DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans -- 922,269 fan votes (4th)

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