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John Wall makes strong case for Player of the Month honor for December -- again

John Wall makes strong case for Player of the Month honor for December -- again

The start wasn't ideal, but John Wall put together another special December in attempt to rescue the Wizards' season. Friday's blowout of the Brooklyn Nets complete a 10-5 month. 

“It was a great month that we had and it needs to translate over into the new year," said Wall, who had 19 points and a game-high 14 assists in a 118-95 vcitory. "We have a good road trip coming up going up against Houston. They like to shoot a lot of threes. It was something to end the year the way we wanted to: to get 10 wins in the month, and getting back to where we thought we could be.”

Wall produced 11 double-doubles (10 of them points/assists), averaging 24.5 points on 49 percent shooting, 10.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals, as the Wizards are back to .500 at 16-16 to end the calendar year. He already has 20 double-doubles in 30 appearances.

The hot streak mirrors what Wall did exactly one year ago with the Wizards struggling then, too. He was named the NBA’s Player of the Month for the first time in his career. Then he had 22.6 points, 11.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals but the Wizards went 8-8. It started with an upset of the Cleveland Cavaliers on their home floor — their first such loss in 2015 — with 34 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and four rebounds. 

This time, he has a stronger case though the competition will determine if he succeeds. Wall had a career-high 52 points in a loss to the Orlando Magic and 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in a win over the Indiana Pacers. Wall has yet to get a Player of the Week honor, which also is determined by the league.

“This was a big month for us. I think if we didn’t get to the point where we’re at now, we’d be in a lot of trouble and it would have put a lot of pressure on us," Wall said of the 16-16 Wizards who began 2-8. "It was great for us to have a lot of home games. We started getting a little more, our fans started coming out a little bit and it was amazing for us. Hopefully we can keep this going into the new year.”

MORE WIZARDS: A December to remember for Washington

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Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

If you were a fan of the NBA's new format for the All-Star game, which featured a target score to decide the winner instead of a clock, you might be in luck. 

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the NBA is likely to use the target score format again in next year's All-Star game. The NBA's president of league operations Byron Spruell told Lowe it's a 'good assumption' we see this format again. 

In its maiden voyage, the target score was a smashing success. The NBA has struggled to make the All-Star game entertaining and intense enough for the best players in the world to try. By adding 24 points onto the leading team's score at the end of the third and saying, "First one to this number wins," it sparked the competitive fire in the league's biggest stars and made for an unforgettable basketball moment. 

The target score is very similar to the "Elam Ending," created by Ball State University professor Nick Elam. The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all event held over the summer, has used the Elam Ending for the last two years.

Chris Paul suggested using the format in the All-Star game to commissioner Adam Silver, and now the target score ending has a chance at making it to the G-League. 

Lowe also includes in the story that the NBA will discuss using the target score system in the G-League, the league's developmental league. However, concerns about making G-League play too different from play in the NBA make it unlikely for a full adaptation of the target score system. 

Spruell did say a possible first step would be using the system at the annual G-League Showcase, which usually takes place in December. 

To go even further down the rabbit hole of hypothetical changes to NBA games, the NBA will also reportedly discuss using target scores in the elimination rounds of a midseason tournament. In late December, the NBA propose massive schedule changes to the league's owners including shortening the regular season to 78 games and introducing a midseason tournament. 

The owners still have to approve the changes before any target scoring system can be implemented. 

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Wizards congratulate Marcin Gortat on retirement with tribute video

Wizards congratulate Marcin Gortat on retirement with tribute video

Following Marcin Gortat's retirement from basketball, the Wizards and Capitals made sure to congratulate him on wrapping up a 12-year career. 

Gortat spent five seasons with the Wizards from 2013-2018, averaging 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds during his time in D.C. He was a reliable roll man f next to John Wall and helped lead the team to four straight playoff appearances. 

After spending a short time with the Clippers last season, The "Polish Hammer" decided to retire earlier this week. He did not play in the NBA this year. 

Could there be a Gortat appreciation night at Capital One Arena sometime soon? Wizards fans probably wouldn't oppose. 

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