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NBA All-Star bracketology: Bradley Beal and John Wall continue to help their cause

NBA All-Star bracketology: Bradley Beal and John Wall continue to help their cause

Both John Wall and Bradley Beal had huge weeks as they continue their quest to make the 2018 All-Star team. 

Here is a look at the Eastern Conference All-Star guards race so far as of Jan. 14. Voting ends on Jan. 15 and the All-Stars will be announced on Jan. 23. For information on how to vote for the All-Star Game, click here.


Kyrie Irving, Celtics

24.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 spg, 47.7 FG%, 38.9 3PT%

Iriving has not been shooting well at all lately, just 36.2 percent in his last six games since our previous bracketology post. But he is still putting up points with 19.0 per game during that stretch and remains the star of the top team in the conference. He's likely to be voted in as a starter.

DeMar DeRozan, Raptors

25.4 ppg, 5.0 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.1 spg, 48.2 FG%, 36.1 3PT%

DeRozan is on fire these days having scored 35 points or more in four of his last seven games. That includes 52 against the Bucks on New Year's Day and 42 against the Warriors on Saturday night. DeRozan is a certified lock to be an All-Star.

Victor Oladipo, Pacers

24.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, 48.7 FG%, 40.8 3PT%

Oladipo missed four games with a sore knee, but picked up right where he left off. The Pacers are 3-1 since he returned with Oladipo averaging 20.8 points on 50 percent shooting in that stretch.


Bradley Beal, Wizards

23.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 4.4 rpg, 1.2 spg, 45.8 FG%, 36.2 3PT%

Beal has been remarkably consistent with 20 points or more in 10 straight games while shooting 50 percent from the field. He's also averaged 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals in those games. Beal may not be voted in as a starter, but he's almost certain to be a reserve at this point.

John Wall, Wizards

19.7 ppg, 9.3 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 spg,, 1.1 bpg, 42.6 FG%, 34.7 3PT%

Wall is playing his best basketball of the season these days. Over his last seven games, Wall is averaging 25.0 points, 11.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from three. The Wizards are now 11-5 since he came back from injury. He has improved his numbers at a good time and is looking more and more like an All-Star lock.

Ben Simmons, Sixers

16.9 ppg, 7.3 apg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, 51.3 FG%, 00.0 3PT%

Simmons' scoring numbers are starting to rise while he continues to do just about everything else at an elite level. In his last four games, Simmons has put up 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks per outing. Those are ridiculous numbers for anyone, let alone a rookie.



Kemba Walker, Hornets

21.8 ppg, 5.7 apg, 3.3 rpg, 1.2 spg, 42.3 FG%, 34.8 3PT%

Walker's numbers keep getting better and the Hornets are starting to level out. They have won five of their last eight games. But there is so much competition at the guard position and the Hornets (16-25) remain so far down in the standings that Walker is in danger of being a snub.

Eric Bledsoe, Bucks

18.0 ppg, 4.2 apg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 spg, 46.8 FG%, 33.1 3PT%

Bledsoe continues to put up good, but not great numbers. The Bucks are also good, but not probably good enough to warrant two All-Stars. Bledsoe seems destined to be one of the first guards left out this year.


Dennis Schroder, Hawks; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Goran Dragic, Heat; Khris Middleton, Bucks


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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:


2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:


4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:



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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.


Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:


Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.