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Grading the Southeast division: point guards


Grading the Southeast division: point guards

We've talked about all the various changes made by the Wizards this offseason - or really since they made the move for Nene last season.Now we look at how the local NBA team stacks up with its Southeast Division rivals, position by position, starting with the point guard (2011-12 stats listed)...Atlanta - Devin Harris...11.3 points and 5.0 assists in 63 games for Utah...What the Hawks lack in backcourt size they make up for in speed, thoughthe eight-year veteranis no longer the get to the rim dynamo he was back in the day. Atlanta could startHarris alongside incumbent point guard Jeff Teague, though one likely comes off the bench. Best bet now is that somebody won't be Harris.Charlotte - Ramon Sessions...11.3 points, 5.5 assists, 44.3 percent on 3's...Charlotte handed the penetrating Sessions a two-year, 10 million deal after the Lakers passed. Assuming the 26-year-old gets the starting nod over rising second-year guard Kemba Walker because the woeful Bobcats need an experienced hand at the wheel. That's not the same as saying Sessions is the long-term answer because he's not. For now he and the other newly added vets make the Bobcats less comical than last season's seven-win team.Miami - Mario Chalmers...9.8 points, 3.5 assists, 39 percent from beyond the arc...On another team, Chalmers might just bea nice rotational optionstill best known as being theguy who nailed the big 3-pointer in the NCAA title game for Kansas. On the Heat, he's the starting guard (LeBron James is the true floor general) for the NBA champs who isn't afraid to take big shots even with uber stars all around him. Averaged 12 points in conference finals against the Celtics and tallied 25 points in a Game 4 win over Oklahoma City inthe NBA Finals.Orlando - Jameer Nelson...11.9 points and 5.7 assists in 57 games last season...Always decent, but not much more than that - and now the former Saint Joe's star won't have those easy tosses inside to Dwight Howard with which to pad those assist totals. Will need to step up his scoring and, well, everything for this rebuildingMagic squad.Washington - John Wall...16.3 points, 8.0 assists, 1.4 assists...We know the deal: the Wizards swapped out knuckleheads for veteran levelheaded types, then drafted poised off-guard and perimeter shooting threat BradleyBeal. The moves are both about a playoff push and giving the 2010 No. 1 overall pick a greater opportunity to reach his massive potential. Wall cutting down on the turnovers and hitting anything from distance would help. Playing against Team USA this summer likely did.And the winner is...Based on potential and actual play, the Wizards win, the Wizards win. Even though this current NBA era is loaded with a dizzying array of point guards, outside of Wall the SE division is not where they live (though Teague is a riser and Walker remains an upside play). Harris and Nelson are solid options who have played for rings while Chalmers loves crunch time. From a take over the game standpoint, the Wizards have the best of the lot. If they are going to reach the postseason, this category needs to be even more decisive in the Wizards favor come the spring.Rank: 1) Wall 2) Chalmers 3) Harris 4) Nelson 5) Sessions

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Bradley Beal snubbed in NBA 2K20 ratings

Bradley Beal snubbed in NBA 2K20 ratings

Bradley Beal has been snubbed yet again.

First All-NBA, now Beal was not even included in the NBA 2K20 top 20 rankings, which were released on a livestream on Monday.

LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard topped the rankings, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and James Harden. 

In what we're sure was a completely scientific poll, SLAM Gaming asked its followers if NBA2K got the rankings right. And, at least as of post time, nearly two-thirds of participants said no. 

Ahead of Beal in the rankings included Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Jimmy Butler. Zion Williamson was the top rookie in the ratings. 

Beal averaged 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game last season. That's clear above Mitchell (23.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists per game) and Butler (18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists per game).

The ratings are reportedly determined by a statistically based formula, though that hasn't ever stopped fans from expressing their ire at the game's rating gurus. 

Including John Wall in 2017. 


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Wizards Summer League superlatives: Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr. were the stars

Wizards Summer League superlatives: Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr. were the stars

The 2019 Las Vegas Summer League is in the books and this one was much more interesting for the Wizards than they have been in recent years. This year, they had a host of first and second-round picks play for them, as well as some players they recently acquired in their trade with the Lakers.

Here are some superlatives to put a bow on the Wizards' time in Vegas...

Best player: Troy Brown Jr.

Though he only played one game and one quarter before he was shut down with a left knee contusion, Brown was quite clearly the best player on the Wizards' Summer League roster. In his only full game, he put up 18 points and 15 rebounds. Though he only shot 40.6 percent in his brief time in Vegas, he looked like a guy who was advanced beyond the league's level of competition.

For Brown, the question is how much it matters because he essentially did what he should do as a second-year player. It is encouraging and he should draw confidence from the experience. But now he has to show he can produce like that in real NBA games.

Best newcomer: Rui Hachimura

Hachimura only played three of the Wizards' five games and in his first two outings produced uneven results. But his third game was pure dominance, as he posted 25 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He proved a quick learner by adjusting and improving game-by-game.

All in all, it was a solid start to Hachimura's career. He displayed versatility and smarts both on offense and defense. It should give Wizards fan hope he can contribute as a rookie.

Most improved: Isaac Bonga

Many of the players on the Wizards' roster were not returning from last summer, but Bonga showed a nice leap year-over-year from what he did for the Lakers in 2018. Though he wasn't one of the Wizards' best players, he ended up with solid numbers of 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He shot 45.5 percent from the field in 20.2 minutes of action.

The best thing Bonga showed for the Wizards is his athleticism. He is a full 6-foot-9, yet has the mobility of a guard. He is a long ways away from being NBA-ready, but at 19 years old gives the Wizards an intriguing prospect to stash in the G-League.

Needs improvement: Issuf Sanon, Moe Wagner, Admiral Schofield

It wasn't the best Summer League showing for Sanon, the Wizards' 2018 second-round pick. He only played a total of 48 minutes in four games and shot 18.2 percent with 1.5 points per game. The Wizards were experimenting with his position, playing him both at point and off the ball, and he didn't look comfortable doing either.

Granted, Sanon's biggest strength at this point is his defense, but he doesn't seem to have any NBA-ready offensive skills. Unless he gets up to speed quickly, he will have to become really, really good on defense to make the leap overseas.

Like Bonga, Wagner debuted after coming over in the Lakers trade. But Wagner didn't have the best time in Las Vegas, as he shot just 31 percent from the field and 7.1 percent from three. It was a small sample size of just four games, but Wagner is known as a shooter and didn't look like one in the Summer League. He also had trouble on defense against quicker match-ups.

Schofield, the Wizards' 2019 second-round pick, shot poorly (38.5 FG%, 22.2 3PT%) and struggled to find his role on defense. He has some intriguing qualities, but it might take him some time to figure out how to compete against NBA athletes while lacking height and quickness to play the way he did in college.

Biggest surprise: Jemerrio Jones

Perhaps this should not be surprising because it is what Jones is known for, but his rebounding really stood out. He played only about 27 minutes in three games, yet pulled in 13 boards. That breaks out to 4.3 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game, or about one rebound every other minute. He averaged 17.4 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Keep in mind he is only 6-foot-5. Based on efficiency, Jones was the Wizards' best rebounder and he is the size of a shooting guard. He has a lot to improve on before he can stick around in the NBA, but it will be fun watching him grab 15-plus boards on the regular this season with the Go-Go. 

Biggest disappointment: Wizards' opponents

If there was one prevailing theme in the 2019 Summer League it was teams holding out their top draft picks either due to actual injuries or the fear they will suffer one. The Wizards saw this firsthand. They even did it themselves by keeping Hachimura out of two of their games.

The Wizards played the Pelicans without first overall pick Zion Williamson or Jaxson Hayes, the eighth pick, or even Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the 17th pick. They played the Hawks without De'Andre Hunter (fourth pick) or Cam Reddish (10th pick). And the Nets and Clippers didn't have any top draft picks of note.

The Wizards did get to see third overall pick R.J. Barrett and the Knicks in their final game. New York also had Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox, as well as Iggy Brazdeikis, who was a Summer League standout. But neither Hachimura or Brown played in that game for Washington.