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NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards at Hawks Game 6: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards at Hawks Game 6: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of their first round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

GAME 6: WASHINGTON WIZARDS at ATLANTA HAWKS

Series: Wizards lead 3-2
Where: Philips Arena
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Chance to clinch

Game 5 was a close one, decided by just four points, and now the Wizards hold a chance to clinch a spot in the second round. They have two opportunities, technically, but would obviously prefer to get this over quickly and move on.

The Wizards haven't been able to win in Atlanta so far this series, as each team has held serve at home. Washington was much better in Game 4 than in Game 3 at Philips Arena, but now they face a team playing to keep their season alive. It won't be easy knocking them out. Atlanta played well when desperate once they went down 0-2 and will hope to catch the Wizards complacent now after taking a series lead.

[RELATED: Hawks' player got away with a blatant travel against Wizards in Game 3]

Can Porter keep it going?

Otto Porter emerged as a much-needed third scorer to help out John Wall and Bradley Beal in Wednesday's Game 5 win for the Wizards. Porter added 17 points and got them the hard way, needing career-highs in both free throw attempts (10) and makes (9). Porter took just four official shots on the night, as Porter made the Hawks pay for their physical approach to guarding him.

The question now is whether Porter can continue making an impact on the offensive end. Consistency has eluded him for months now, but he's hit double figures in two straight games. This is just the second time he's done that since March 18. If the Wizards can get Porter into a rhythm, particularly from three-point range, it will change their outlook dramatically.

[RELATED: Foul trouble continues to haunt Morris vs. Hawks]

Frontcourt depth

Both of the Wizards' backup centers are now banged up with left calf strains. Ian Mahinmi has yet to play in the postseason and is likely to miss Game 6, as well. Head coach Scott Brooks said on Tuesday he doubts Mahinmi will be ready to go Friday night despite Mahinmi saying he plans to return by the end of the series. Mahinmi seems close, he just isn't quite ready yet.

Jason Smith is the other injured big man and as of Thursday morning he was considered a gametime decision. If the Wizards have to go without Smith, they will be in major trouble at the center position with both of their backups out of commission. That would leave Marcin Gortat to play a lot of minutes and hope to stay out of foul trouble. The same applies to Markieff Morris, who would have to play some at center in smallball lineups. It would not be ideal whatsoever and it could force Scott Brooks to turn to undrafted rookie Daniel Ochefu in an emergency scenario.

[RELATED: How does trash talking in the NBA compare to other sports?]

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After recent progress, Wizards' defense is getting worse as they get healthier

After recent progress, Wizards' defense is getting worse as they get healthier

The 2019-20 Washington Wizards continue to stand out in the context of NBA history, and not in a good way.

We knew going into this season their defense would likely be a weakness, but to this extent? After allowing 151 points in a loss to the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks on Tuesday, the Wizards became just the fourth team ever to give up 150-plus in two straight games. The Hawks dropped 152 on them on Sunday.

Tuesday was the sixth time the Wizards have given up 140 points or more already this season. That's the most such games for any team since the 1990-91 Nuggets. Reminder that this was Game 46 of the Wizards' season.

There have been six total 150-point games this season in the NBA and four of them have been against the Wizards. They allow the most points of any team on the year (121.3/g) and have the worst defensive rating (116.6). 

The latter is on pace to be the second-worst in league history only to the 2018-19 Cavaliers, who posted a 117.6. Those Cavs, though, only gave up 114.1 points per game.

The Wizards' defensive ineptitude peaked, though, in the first half of Tuesday's defeat when they allowed a shocking 88 points to the Bucks. That was a franchise-record for Milwaukee for points in a half and the most ever scored by a Wizards/Bullets opponent in a half. It was the seventh-most points scored in a first half in NBA history.

The real shame is that the Wizards had made some progress defensively not that long ago. From Dec. 28 through Jan. 15, a span of 10 games, the Wizards held opponents to 113 points a night. That would rank 20th among NBA teams if held over the whole season to this point.

That's not exactly the 90s Bulls, but combined with their high-powered offense, that gave the Wizards a winning formula. It was during that stretch that they beat three of the NBA's top teams; the Heat, Nuggets and Celtics. And they won all three games without Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant.

Those three, by the way, might be the Wizards' best players. But as the Wizards have gotten healthy, they have also taken a step backward defensively.

Defensive rating, which measures points allowed per 100 possessions, is a team stat that is tracked and charted for individual players. The number assigned to each player indicates how the team plays defensively when they are on the floor. And because it is a team-wide stat, it isn't a perfect representation of how a player performs on the defensive end.

But it can tell you who is on the floor when the team is at their best or worst and Beal and Bryant happen to have two of the three highest defensive ratings on the team. Beal is at 121 and Bryant is at 120.9. The only player worse is Rui Hachimura (123.8), who should be returning soon himself from injury.

Isaiah Thomas has the fourth-highest defensive rating on the team at 120.7, which added to the equation further illustrates how bad the Wizards' starting lineup is at preventing points. Part of it, of course, could be the simple fact that as starters they face the best players on the opposing teams.

But also many of the Wizards' best defensively rated players were logging heavy minutes when the aforementioned guys were out. Garrison Mathews (103.8), Anzejs Pasecniks (109.5), Isaac Bonga (110.2), Jordan McRae (111.9), Troy Brown Jr. (114.3), Gary Payton II (115.4), Ish Smith (115.4) and Ian Mahinmi (115.8) were leading the charge when the Wizards were missing most of their regulars.

This, of course, by no means suggests the Wizards are better without Beal, Bertans, Bryant and others. But with them back in the lineup, the Wizards are trending in the wrong direction defensively.

It's a confusing problem and one head coach Scott Brooks will need to figure out if this team plans to turn things around this season.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Middleton outduels Beal as Bucks bury Wizards

Middleton outduels Beal as Bucks bury Wizards

The Washington Wizards lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 151-131 on the road on Tuesday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. The Milwaukee Bucks may appear from afar like a one-man show; Giannis Antetokounmpo and a supporting cast of good, but nowhere near great players. On Tuesday night, the Wizards got to see the Bucks without their MVP, as he sat with a shoulder injury. Turns out they are still very, very good.

Milwaukee led by as many as 32 points and won by 20 as they demolished the Wizards for much of the night with the exception of some isolated second-half runs.The Wizards would end up cutting the lead to seven midway through the third quarter, but overall they were no match for the league's best team.

The Wizards fell to 15-31 on the season, while the Bucks improved to 41-6. That puts them on pace for 72 wins, which would tie the 1995-96 Bulls for the second-best regular season record of all-time.

2. We know the Wizards aren't a good defensive team. In fact, they might be the worst defense in today's game and are arguably one of the worst in league history.

But it was still shocking to see what the Bucks did to them in the first half of this game. Milwaukee made history in several ways by scoring 88 points by the break.

Those 88 points were the most ever allowed by a Wizards/Bullets team in any half. They were the seventh-most scored in a first half in NBA history. And they were the 20th-most scored by any team in any half.

The Bucks actually broke their own record against the Wizards. Last February, they scored 85 points in the first half against Washington, which at the time was the most ever scored against the franchise in a first half. At least that time they had Antetokounmpo.

This, by the way, was the sixth time this season the Wizards have allowed 140 points or more. That is the most 140-point games allowed by a team in a single season since the 1990-91 Nuggets. 

That Denver team had 24 such games, so well ahead of the Wizards' pace. But this is only Game 46 of 82 for Washington, so don't sell them short.

3. The reason why the Bucks were able do that without Antetokounmpo was because their second- and third-best players, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, stepped up and played like All-Stars. Middleton may very well be in the annual showcase next month.

Middleton had a career-high 51 points, 28 of which came in the first half. He went 7-for-10 from three.

Bledsoe added 32 points, including 22 in the first half. He was 11-for-20 from the field. He also had 10 assists and six rebounds, as he bullied the Wizards - even their big men - on the boards.

4. The Wizards were able to stick around and make it interesting because Bradley Beal also put in an All-Star performance. He dropped a season-high 47 points with six assists in 38 minutes.

It was Beal's sixth 40-point game of the season. Only James Harden (16) and Trae Young (8) have more. Beal now has 18 career 40-point games, third in franchise history behind Gilbert Arenas (28) and Walt Bellamy (23). 

5. It wasn't of the Antetokounmpo caliber, but there was a pregame injury update for the Wizards that is worth noting. Backup guard Jordan McRae wasn't able to go due to a sprained right ankle.

McRae rolled his ankle on Sunday against the Hawks and it is apparently more serious than his previous ankle injury, the one to his left ankle, that he suffered on Jan. 17 against the Raptors. That one appeared to be very severe at the time, yet he was able to play in their next game.

It is unclear how long McRae will be out, but the Wizards are expected to get rookie Rui Hachimura back, perhaps within the next week.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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