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Morning tip: John Wall's turnover problem explained

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Morning tip: John Wall's turnover problem explained

The NBA leader in touches per game is Wizards point guard John Wall, and that's for good reason. They can't win without him, especially with Bradley Beal out injured, and he has to do even more than usual. That means more scoring, assisting, ball-handling and turnovers.

Wall has posted three consecutive games of seven turnovers, but they were able to overcome them in Saturday's 105-99 win at the Orlando Magic when he also had 24 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and four steals. 

Wall averages 98.4 touches per game, according to the NBA's player tracking data from SVU, far more than Chris Paul (85.6), Stephen Curry (84.8) and even the ball-dominant James Harden (83.1). But how long does Wall possess the ball per touch? It's 4.19 seconds, which is 46th longest. That means Wall, who is second in the league with 9.6 assists, moves it. A lot.

After a deflating, 97-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday, coach Randy Wittman wasn't about to put the blame at the feet of his point guard who was named December player of the month in the East by the league. Garrett Temple has had a career season already with four games of 20 points or more in place of Beal. Jared Dudley is shooting 45.1% from three-point range, the best of his career since 2009-10 with the Phoenix Suns when he shot 45.8% with Steve Nash.

Wittman saw the issue in that game as bigger than Wall who didn't have anyone running the floor with him consistently. 

"We weren’t really committed to running," Wittman said. "It’s hard to run for 48 minutes. If you’re not committed your going to take jogs down the court rather than sprints to the corner like you’re supposed to to spread to floor to create driving angles. There’s a lot of times I thought we changed our style of play to walk the ball up rather than run."

Even when Beal was playing he had miscommunication with Wall over running to the right spots on the floor. At times, the ball would be delivered anticipating a teammate would run into a certain spot in the way a quarterback throws a receiver open in football. Other times, like Wall did in the fourth quarter in Orlando, he'll try a risky, behind-the-back pass in traffic to Marcin Gortat that would arrive at the big man's ankles.

"Some of them will be right there, backdoor, it hits their hands, they go out of bounds," Wall said. "I think I'm making the right reads. Sometimes we drop them. A couple of them are my fault. Give credit to the defense, I try to make a skip pass (to the weak side), they got their hands up. ... I try to make the right play if it's there and I feel like we can score off it. Sometimes we lose the ball. Sometimes it's a bad pass by me.

"If it's turnovers like that I can deal with it. It's the ones when I'm just trying to do too much and put myself in bad situations are the more frustrating ones." 

Wall has fewer weapons to work with than Harden, who is No. 1 in the league with 4.6 turnovers per game, and Russell Westbrook is third at 4.3. Wall is No. 2 at 4.5.

The rest of the top five are Rajon Rondo and Paul George (3.9), players who are offensive initiators for their teams. So while Wall's turnovers can be alarming at times, he's at least in elite company.

 

MORE WIZARDS: Bradley Beal is close to returning to Wizards

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2018-19 NBA power rankings: John Wall has Wizards rising, same with LeBron James and the Lakers

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2018-19 NBA power rankings: John Wall has Wizards rising, same with LeBron James and the Lakers

The start to the 2018-19 NBA season did not go smoothly for a handful of teams. The Wizards started 2-9, but have since won three straight. The Lakers, with LeBron James leading the way, started 2-5 but have won six of their last seven games.

Even the Rockets, considered one of the top contenders for the 2018-19 NBA championship, started slow, losing five of their first six games. But since the calendar switched from October to November, the Rockets turned things around, having won six of eight.

Click here to view the latest 2018-19 NBA Power Rankings

What about the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry and company lost just once in their first 11 games, but have dropped three of their last five games amid turmoil between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. The Warriors are still clearly the favorites to win the NBA title again, but are they still perched atop our power rankings?

Here is a look at all 30 teams...

Click here to view the latest 2018-19 NBA Power Rankings

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Wizards vs. Nets: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Nets: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards (5-9) look to extend their win streak to four games when they host the Brooklyn Nets (6-9) at Capital One Arena Friday night (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

A brutal west coast trip to start, along with the absence of Dwight Howard, provided an early-season setback for the Wizards. But thanks to consecutive wins over the Heat, Magic and Cavaliers, a 2-9 start is now quickly trending upward.

The Nets enter the Friday night game with a 3-6 road record and have lost their three previous games. Brooklyn will also be without the services of leading scorer Caris LeVert, who suffered a gruesome leg injury in the team's 120-113 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday night.  Brooklyn's start big man, Jarrett Allen, is questionable for the game having missed the Nets' previous two games with an illness.

Tune into NBC Sports Washington for pregame, postgame and live game coverage of Wizards vs. Nets. 

WIZARDS VS. NETS HOW TO WATCH:

What: Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2018 NBA Regular Season, Game 15

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Friday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards-Nets will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can stream Wizards vs. Nets live on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and the MyTeams by NBC Sports App. After the game tonight, Wizards Postgame Live and Wizards Outsiders are streaming exclusively on the MyTeams app. Download MyTeams now for full postgame coverage and 24/7 Wizards news.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. NETS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders 
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Wizards vs. Nets
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (MyTeams App Exclusive)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (MyTeams App Exclusive)

WIZARDS vs. NETS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: NONE

Nets: Caris LeVert (OUT, leg), Jarrett Allen (Questionable, Illness), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Questionable, ankle)

WIZARDS vs. NETS SERIES HISTORY: 

Number of all-time Meetings: 187 games (2 playoff games)

Regular Season Record: Wizards lead series 99-86

Playoff Record: Wizards lead series 2-0

Last Meeting: Wizards beat Nets 119-113 (OT) on 1/13/2018

Last 10: Wizards lead 8-2

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