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John Wall, James Harden named Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Week

John Wall, James Harden named Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Week

Talk about perfect timing. John Wall was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week today. James Harden won the same award in the West. Their teams face off on the court tonight.

The Wizards (16-16) travel to Houston for a showdown with the Rockets (26-9) Monday. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on CSN.

Wall has averaged 24.3 points and 13 assists in the Wizards' three wins this week. Harden averaged 37.3 points and 12.5 assists in four wins this week. 

Wall and Harden are two of only three NBA guards that average a double-double in points and assists. The third is Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.

The contest tonight will give Wall, a three-time All-Star, his chance to prove he can keep up with a bonafide MVP candidate in Harden. 

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards at Rockets: How and what to watch

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Bucks light up Wizards with historic first half, all without Giannis

Bucks light up Wizards with historic first half, all without Giannis

The Bucks did not have Giannis Antetokounmpo on Tuesday night, yet they still had no problem getting out to a hot start against the Wizards. In fact, they set records in a historic scoring barrage.

Milwaukee had 88 points at the half, the seventh-most points ever scored in a first half in the NBA. That also tied them for the 20th-most points ever scored by any team in any half.

Those 88 points were also the most ever allowed by a Wizards/Bullets team in a single half. And it broke the previous record of points against them in a first half, 85, which was set by the Bucks last February.

Antetokounmpo might be the MVP of the league this season. He's averaging 30 points per game, which leads his team. Without him, Khris Middleton stepped up to score 28 points and teammate Eric Bledsoe had 22.

The Bucks as a team shot 14-for-24 from three. Only three teams are averaging more threes per game this season.

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Scott Brooks says Bradley Beal has handled tough season 'pretty good'

Scott Brooks says Bradley Beal has handled tough season 'pretty good'

While the Wizards haven't played winning basketball consistently this season, the poor results haven't seemingly hurt the locker room the way they might have last season. 

The Wizards have been fun to watch, they appear to like playing for each other and genuinely enjoy it when their teammates do well. 

But when Bradley Beal questioned the team's culture after Washington lost an ugly game to the Bulls two weeks ago, it raised some eyebrows.

Since then, Beal's been playing at an All-NBA level. Entering Tuesday, Beal was averaging 30 points, 5.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds, shooting 57 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three. He called everyone out and responded in a big way. 

Ahead of Washington's matchup with the Bucks, Scott Brooks referenced a conversation they had following the Chicago loss that could have helped spark Beal on this run. 

"[Beal]just has to continue to lead," Brooks said. "It’s tough. It’s tough when you don’t have all your buddies competing with you and you’re fighting and you don’t know who’s going to be on the court night in and night out.

"He’s handled it pretty good," he continued. "There are times where he hasn’t but for the most part he’s handled it well. He’s competing and he keeps us relevant when we have a lot of guys that probably wouldn’t have played many minutes going into the season.”

The Wizards may be in a rebuild this season, but once John Wall returns from injury, it'll be time to make a playoff push. If this season produces a good draft pick and Beal helps foster a healthy locker room culture that helps young players develop and build on their strengths, it'd be difficult to view this season as anything but a success. 

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