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Morning tip: Breaking down Bradley Beal's chances to sneak onto All-Star team

Morning tip: Breaking down Bradley Beal's chances to sneak onto All-Star team

The injury to Kevin Love has created an opening for the All-Star Game in the East, and Bradley Beal is likely on the short list that commissioner Adam Silver will choose from for a replacement for the Feb. 19 showcase in New Orleans.

Beal is on the third-place team in the conference that has only one All-Star in John Wall. He's averaging career highs in points (22.3), assists (3.7) and overall field-goal shooting (47.2%). A recent surge in three-point shooting has Beal at 40%, just one full point shy of another career-high. 

"He's well-deserving to be an All-Star," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "It's definitely going to happen soon. But how knows? ... I don't like to politick for him but I think his game basically  says he's right there and the way we've been playing the last two-and-a-half months says he's right  there. But if he's not he will be there soon."

Beal turned down an invitation to participate in the three-point shootout on Saturday because he didn't make the cut for the team, preferring to rest instead.

When the reserves were announced, the coaches selected four point guards: Wall, Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker. The only shooting  guard on the team is DeMar DeRozan.

Love, however, is a post player and if Silver wants to balance the guard-heavy roster that would knock Beal out of the running. 

A case can be made for Boston Celtics center/forward Al Horford though his numbers don't compare (14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds). He's the second-best player on the second-best team in the East. Andre Drummond has the stats with 14.7 points and 13.9 rebounds as a center but the Detroit Pistons are four games under .500. Hassan Whiteside even has better digits for the Miami Heat (16.7 points, 14.7 rebounds) but the center's team is eight games under .500.

Although Carmelo Anthony hasn't had an All-Star season and is on the putrid New York Knicks, there's a respect factor that goes into the decision by a commissioner. Anthony, who is a nine-time All-Star, has 23.2 points and 6.1 rebounds on a team 10 games under .500.

Love's first All-Star selection came as a then-commisioner David Stern's pick in 2011 when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves to replace the injured Yao Ming in the West.

In 2012, Rajon Rondo was named as the replacement for an injured Joe Johnson while still a member of the Boston Celtics..

In 2013, Stern picked Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez to replace the injured Rondo.

In 2014, Anthony Davis, who plays for the host New Orleans Pelicans, made his first All-Star Game when Stern chose him to fill in for the injured Kobe Bryant. 

There were four replacement players in 2015 in Silver's first year at the helm: DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings replaced Bryant (injured) for his first selection; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard replaced the injured Blake Griffin; Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks made his only appearance in place of Dwyane Wade; and Davis couldn't play so Dirk Nowtizki of the Dallas Mavericks was chosen.

Last year, Al Horford, then of the Hawks, subbed in for Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol, then with the Chicago Bulls, was Jimmy Butler's replacement.

So what does all of this mean for Beal? Sometimes veterans get the nod out of respect (see Nowtizki in 2015) over a younger player who has had a better season. And just because a post player can't compete, it doesn't mean another post player will be selected instead (see Davis for Bryant, Cousisn for Bryant, Lillard for Griffin or Lopez for Rondo).

The Wizards (33-21) have one more game Thursday before the All-Star break and a decision should be made by, or before, then. 

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Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Rui Hachimura continued his dominance in international friendlies Saturday as he put up 31 points and five rebounds in a winning effort over Germany.

After a highlight-reel performance in Thursday's loss to Argentina, Hachimura was back at it two days later.

That block at the 37-second mark is just filthy. It would also be goaltending in the NBA, but FIBA rules allow players to touch the ball at pretty much any time once it's made contact with some part of the hoop. Nevertheless, the athleticism to make this play is what stands out.

But Hachimura wasn't finished.

He looks more like Steph Curry leading that breakaway, dribbling behind his back and finishing at the rim himself than a 6-foot-8 forward.

With the international friendly schedule at its end, Japan will tip off the 2020 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Turkey. After a matchup with the Czech Republic, Hachimura and Japan will take on his future NBA opponents when they face the United States on Sept. 5.


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Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a blockbuster summer that saw them land Anthony Davis, before he won the NBA Finals as a role player with the Golden State Warriors, and before he averaged double-digit scoring and won the NCAA tournament at Duke, Quinn Cook was a star point guard at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.

Cook was in town this week for his fourth annual youth basketball camp at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover. NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller sat down with the former Stag, who he’s known since the now-Lakers guard was 14 years old, on the Wizards Talk podcast.

Miller talked with Cook about why he feels connected to kids in the local community and what it was like losing his father as a teenager. One of his closest friends is fellow DeMatha product Victor Oladipo, who helped him get through the loss of his father Ted when he died suddenly in 2008 after going into a coma following a colon procedure.

“My best friend Norman and Victor, their parents took them out of school, and they were with me for two weeks,” Cook said. “At the funeral, [head coach Mike] Jones had the entire DeMatha basketball program…come to the funeral and all sit together [with] their uniforms on.”

Cook also went on to talk about his time at Duke, the viral video in which he convinced some people at the mall he was J Cole and his obsession with winning before going into how he landed in Los Angeles this offseason.

“When Golden State withdrew their qualifying offer, I became unrestricted and had some teams call me and the Lakers thing, it just happened quick,” Cook said. “I had talks with them, AD called me, [LeBron James] called Rob Palinka for me, and Coach K called them, talked to Bron and stuff and we got it done.”

Check out the full podcast below and listen to Miller talk hoops every week on the Wizards Talk podcast.