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Real pain in Wizards' loss to Lakers is seeing villainous LaVar Ball emerge victorious

Real pain in Wizards' loss to Lakers is seeing villainous LaVar Ball emerge victorious

LaVar Ball is a villain, make no mistake about it.

As fans, we yearn to see the good guys thwart the bad guys, to see the heroes rise above and send the villains back to the depths of where they came from. It's the basic structure of good vs. evil.

We invest in stories of good vs. evil because we lust for seeing the villains get their comeuppance.

The above is why the Wizards' Wednesday night loss to the Lakers is such a tough pill to swallow.

Losing to the Lakers isn't bad because the Lakers haven't won a playoff game since 2012.

 Losing to the Lakers means LaVar Ball wins. It means the villain only gets stronger, their head filled with more confidence, and in LaVar's case: hot air.

It was just the fourth game of the season, but as a fan, it hurts. It hurts bad, and basketball really doesn't have a lot to do with the hurt.


Take the Super Bowl for example.

For the first three quarters, every non-Patriots fan in the country was starting to imagine a world in which the good guys actually won. A world where the villainous Patriots finally got put in there place. This would finally be the year the team everyone loves to hate gets their comeuppance, and in front of the entire world. Then 28-3 happened, and we had to slink back to the corner of the bar while every person with even a lick of Bostonian in them cursed up a jubliee of wild celebration and profanity. The villains won.

The list of sports villains goes on and on: Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather, Kentucky basketball, Alabama football, the Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few.

Heck, Michael Jordan was a villain. Not because he was a bad person (which many will debate), but because — dangit — he never lost. All we wanted was to see Jordan lose. It's why the 1998 NBA Finals against the Jazz was so painful. Not only was Jordan on the cusp of defeat, but his opponents — led by John Stockton and Karl Malone — we're wildly likeable. Then Jordan pushed off on Byron Russell. The villain won.

It's not so much that we hate them personally. We just want to them fail because very rarely are the best teams also the most liked. It's part of the human complex. We're haters by nature, whether you're "the jealous type" or not.

We seek the return of the status quo, for a hero to ride in and save the day, vanquishing the villain and finally making them realize they are not some sort of unstoppable, superhuman force.

LaVar Ball is very stoppable. 

He will be wrong at some point, and it will be glorious.

We just really wish it would have happened on Wednesday night. 


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

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Wizards vs. 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 Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…


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

Three things to watch...

Wizards are heating up

The Wizards have won a season-high four straight games as they enter Friday night's matchup with the Heat. In all four of those games they have held opponents to under 100 points. Only the Celtics have had a longer such streak this season, they got to eight. If the Wizards make it one more game, they will push to five for the first time since 2015.

Five straight wins for the Wizards would also get them closer to some franchise history. The longest win streak in Wizards/Bullets history is just nine games. That's tied with the Orlando Magic for the shortest-longest win streak in franchise history for an NBA team. Five wins would put them more than halfway there.


Will Gortat bounce back?

Marcin Gortat has had some honest analysis of himself and the Wizards recently and he couldn't have been happy with his outing on Wednesday night. Gortat was held to just two points on 0-for-6 shooting and five rebounds. Meanwhile, his Heat counterpart Hassan Whiteside had 15 points and 21 rebounds.

Gortat is having a solid year overall, but consistency on the boards has eluded him. He hasn't reached double figures in rebounds in five straight games. In two of his last three games, he has topped out at two points. Look for Gortat to be extra-motivated against Miami.


How will the Heat respond?

After a close game in Miami on Wednesday, the Wizards and Heat will run it back on Friday night. Given the Heat lost the first meeting in this home-and-home set, they likely value this opportunity to get even. Add into the equation that the Heat thought the officiating favored the Wizards on Wednesday and they might be pretty fired up.

It's very difficult to sweep a good team like the Heat in a home-and-home series, so the Wizards will have their work cut out for them. If they can hold them off again and swing a win, the Wizards will be sitting pretty at 10-5 just in time for their road trip.


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LeBron James admits he's playing too many minutes after Draymond Green pointed it out

USA Today Sports

LeBron James admits he's playing too many minutes after Draymond Green pointed it out

With Isaiah Thomas, Tristan Thompson and Derrick Rose currently injured, LeBron James has had to take on a bigger workload with the Cavaliers. He's leading the NBA in minutes per game (38.1) and that's despite being 32 with his 33rd birthday coming up next month.

The minutes are so high for LeBron that Draymond Green of the Warriors is talking about it to the media. He was interviewed by USA Today recently and said: 

"My concern would be that LeBron is playing so many minutes right now... Yeah, he’s super human but eventually his super human powers go away."


Green is known for speaking his mind and LeBron doesn't always agree with him, but in this case he does. Here is what LeBron told Cleveland.com when he heard Green's comments:

“Draymond’s right... We want to get those minutes down for sure. But as of right now, we’ve had two point guards out and we’ve had some different lineup changes, so, I’ve had to play more minutes than I would like, and more minutes than my teammates would like me to have.”

Meanwhile, LeBron is showing no signs of slowing down. He's averaging 28.3 points, 8.7 assists, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks, all while shooting a career-best 57.9 percent from the field. 

Almost 40 minutes per night, however, is way too much and it comes into question how long LeBron can keep this up. Believe it or not, LeBron will slow down at some point and heavy minutes is one way to accelerate that process.

Now that LeBron has acknowledged he's playing too much, it will be interesting to see if Cavs coach Tyronn Lue makes an adjustment. It's not an easy call because the Cavs aren't playing very well right now.