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Bradley Beal on John Wall's All-Star votes: 'There's no way he should be that low'

Bradley Beal on John Wall's All-Star votes: 'There's no way he should be that low'

Thursday's NBA All-Star voting reveal did not reflect well on the Washington Wizards, who saw John Wall currently placed seventh among Eastern Conference guards and Bradley Beal nowhere to be found on the list. Both are enjoying career years, yet neither is getting rewarded for it by fans who have voted.

Wall is was named the East's player of the month for December and is currently averaging 23.5 points, 10 assists, 4.5 rebounds and a league-best 2.3 steals per game. Beal is scoring 22.1 points per game on a career-high 45 percent shooting. 

Few guards can compare to those numbers, yet many are getting more All-Star votes.

"Yeah, I saw it," Beal said. "I don't care. It is what it is. It's just voting. It's out of my control."

Beal insists it is not something he is worried about.

"It doesn't bother me. It's just opinion. It's fans and their favorite players," he said.

But when it comes to his backcourt partner Wall, Beal has a bone to pick.

"That's a little crazy to me. There's no way he should be that low," Beal said. "He averages a double-double. He's probably playing the best out of all the guards in the East."

Placed ahead of Wall on Thursday's ballot were Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, DeMar DeRozan, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and Kyle Lowry. Irving has over six times the votes of Wall.

The fan voting ends on Jan. 19 and makes up 50 percent of the equation to determine All-Star starters. After that, all NBA players and a panel of media members will weigh in for the other half of the voting process.

It sounds like one of Wall and Beal's teammates is ready to cast his ballot for them.

"John is having a career year and Brad is, too. I think both should make it," guard Marcus Thornton said. "I'm going to do my part and vote and tell everybody to vote for them. We need to just get them in. It would be big for both of their careers."

[RELATED: Tough road to All-Star Game for Wizards' backcourt]

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Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

WASHINGTON -- Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has translated so smoothly to the NBA level that it is easy to forget he is still just a rookie with only 31 games under his belt. For a reminder of his inexperience, just look at the fourth quarter.

Hachimura tends to start games hot on the offensive end, like he did on Friday in the Wizards' loss to the Cavaliers when he had eight points by the end of the first quarter. But he scored only nine points after that and went scoreless through seven minutes in the fourth.

That has been a consistent theme for him this season. He averages 4.8 points in the first quarter shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 4.0 points in the second shooting 57 percent and then 4.3 points on 47.9 percent in the third. In the fourth quarter those numbers plummet to 1.9 points on average and 33.3 percent shooting.

Basically, Hachimura often comes out on fire but then slows down considerably once opponents make midgame changes. Against the Cavs, Hachimura said it was because they disrupted passing lanes.

"They are an NBA team. They just adjusted. They didn't want me to catch the ball. They didn't let me just catch the ball. I think that's why," he said.

The Wizards have seen teams switch defensive match-ups midgame to counter Hachimura. Sometimes taking away his midrange jumper will be prioritized. The Cavs seemed to find success playing Hachimura more physically in the second half, bumping him away from his comfort zones.

Over time, Hachimura can improve his ability to sustain scoring throughout games simply by becoming more versatile. The more consistent he becomes at making three-point shots and creating off the dribble, the more difficult it will be for teams to stop him. As long as he keeps improving, he will reach a point where he can stay ahead of the defense with a multitude of counters.

Developing a more reliable outside game and more dribble combinations will take some time. For now, Hachimura believes the key to him keeping up his scoring pace involves working with his teammates, particularly star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

"I just gotta connect more with Brad. Brad is the one everybody is trying to guard. Screens and pick-and-rolls with him, that kind of stuff will help me," Hachimura said.

Hachimura's game against the Cavaliers reflected how the team played overall. After scoring 41 points in the first quarter, they managed only 42 in the second half. They blew a 16-point lead and lost, 113-108.

So, he wasn't alone. And those rooting for Hachimura to round out his game should feel good about his odds. He has a relentless work ethic and is often staying after practice to go over film with player development coach Dave Adkins.

Hachimura is perceptive and driven to improve. In order to take the next step as a scorer, he will have to get better at closing games.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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