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Giannis Antetokounmpo studies WIzards' John Wall, thinks they're similar players

Giannis Antetokounmpo studies WIzards' John Wall, thinks they're similar players

Watching John Wall and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the court Saturday night, casual fans might not realize they both play point guard.

At 6-11, Antetokounmpo has the stature of a forward or center, while Wall is about what you'd expect for a point guard at 6-4. But the differences pretty much end there, or so Antetokounmpo thinks. 

In the locker room after the Wizards beat the Bucks 110-105, the Greek Freak rejected the idea that his towering frame makes his game different from Wall's.

In fact, he thinks they're pretty similar players. 

"John Wall is a great player," Antetokounmpo said. "He likes to do a lot of things I like to do, too."

The Bucks point guard went on to list the things he and Wall both do well. 

"Finding open guys, he likes to play in transition. And his game is like, our games are similar. But our body type is a lot different. We like to drive to the rim, make plays in the paint."

Antetokounmpo, who turned 22 less than a week ago, said he tries to learn from watching Wall, a three-time All-Star.

"He’s a great player and I’m always trying to watch his game, to take a lot of things out of him, too," Antetokounmpo said. 

Wall can't match Antetokounmpo's length in terms of rebounding and shot blocking, but their games do have a lot in common. 

In the Wizards locker room, Kelly Oubre said the key to defending Antetokounmpo was preventing him from driving to the basket at will, a skill Wall has perfected. 

"Don't give [Antetokounmpo] what he's used to having. He's a driver, he's a slasher. Just stay in front of him. That's definitely what we tried to do."

While the Bucks guard was still effective with 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, the Wizards forced him into seven turnovers. Wall finished the game with four, but struggles periodically with coughing the ball up. 

In short (or tall), the two players are more similar than they look.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards impressed by longevity of Bucks' Jason Terry

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Why (and how) your NBA Cares Community Assist Award vote should go to Bradley Beal


Why (and how) your NBA Cares Community Assist Award vote should go to Bradley Beal

Voting has officially begun for the season-long NBA Community Assist Award, and Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal is a finalist. 

Chosen by fans and an NBA executive panel, the award honors a player’s strong commitment to positively impacting his community through sustained efforts over the course of the season.

In December, Beal visited Ron Brown College Preparatory High school in D.C. to give away two pairs of shoes to every member of the JV and varsity basketball teams.

It didn't stop there. Beal took his role as a mentor to the next level by checking in with the kids multiple times a month to make sure they are on the right track in both athletics and their academic studies.

Later on in February, Beal invited 10 students from RBHS on a private tour of the National African-American History and Culture Museum.

The seven-year NBA veteran also made a point to donate game tickets to community groups and toys to the Salvation Army during the holiday season. 

Here's some key information about the voting process: 

  1. Voting begins: Wednesday, April 24th at 12:01 p.m.
  2. Voting ends: Sunday, May 5th at 11:59 p.m.
  3. How does voting work? Through the above date range, every tweet posted using both of the hashtags #BradleyBeal and #NBACommunityAssist counts as one vote.
  4. Retweets of tweets using the above hashtags also count as one vote

This all comes following another All-Star season that saw the 25-year-old finish with career-highs in points (25.6), rebounds (5.0), and assists (5.5). He played in all 82 regular-season games. 

The winning player will receive $25,000 to their charity of choice, a donation from the NBA and Kaiser Permanente.


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The next Damian Lillard will be drafted this June, Ja Morant

The next Damian Lillard will be drafted this June, Ja Morant

On Tuesday night, Portland guard Damian Lillard broke #NBATwitter with his 37-foot, series-clinching buzzer-beater against Oklahoma City. 

It's not the first time we've seen him do that, but it's by far the biggest impact his play has had on the NBA world to this point.

Fair or not, Lillard's image has always been the overlooked underdog.  Even after being named All-NBA First Team last season, it's rare you hear his name mentioned among the NBA's most popular players. 

That attitude is what fuels the Portland Trail Blazers though. It's what the entire roster uses as motivation every game. It's a mindset every team in the NBA should be emulating too, and it starts with their star. 

If you're an organization in the middle of a rebuild, you should be looking no further than Ja Morant if you want this same organizational mindset going forward.

Ja Morant is the next Dame Lillard.

Ja Morant is going to be a star. 

The Wizards are one of those teams, and with the NBA Draft Lottery coming May 14, if the ping pong balls land in their favor, Morant needs to be their pick at No. 2 in the NBA Draft.

Don't worry about any other point guards on the roster and what that means. Don't pass on Morant.

Obviously, No. 1 would mean Zion Williamson, and anything past No. 2 means both are probably off the board, so we'll stick with that No. 2 pick in this case.

Both Lillard and Morant come from small schools in Weber State and Murray State, respectively. Both were under-recruited with Lillard being just a two-star and Morant not even being ranked by recruiting services ESPN, 247Sports, or Rivals.

Lillard was the better three-point shooter coming out of college, but Morant still has range, and can jump out of the gym.

Neither has a ton of size (Lillard 6-2, 185 lbs., and Morant 6-3, 175), but both aren't scared of the spotlight, and step on the court ready to eat the other team alive.

In a star-driven league based so much around player's brands and recognizability, there's something to be said for the guys that have the talent, but haven't been given the stage to show it yet. You get that combination of "chip on their shoulder" mentality with the star potential and work ethic biggy backing it. 

One of the best movie lines ever spoken was in Remember the Titans when Julius tells Gerry "attitude reflects leadership", and it's a mantra any successful team, business, volunteer group, club, or literally any collection of people should follow. 

If you want the right attitude in your locker room, you want leaders that can create it. 

Morant and Lillard share that same leadership, and the results are there to prove it.