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NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards vs. Hawks Game 2: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards vs. Hawks Game 2: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of their first round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

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

GAME 2: WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. ATLANTA HAWKS

Series: Wizards lead 1-0
Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN+ (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Looking to go up 2-0

Hawks center Dwight Howard spoke from experience after Monday's practice that this series is far from being over. He has been on teams that erased series deficits, including the 2015 Rockets who came back from 3-1 to beat the Clippers and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Only 11 teams have accomplished the feat. Howard said "the sky is only falling for those who aren't actually in the series" and he's probably right.

But going down 2-0 to the Wizards would mean the Hawks would have to win four of six games to beat the Wizards and that seems like a sizable deficit to overcome. The Wizards have a chance to put a serious grip on this series in Game 2 before they head to Atlanta for Saturday's Game 3.

[RELATED: Wizards get good news on Jason Smith, Kelly Oubre for Game 2 vs. Hawks]

Hawks aim to match physical play

The Hawks have talked a lot since Game 1 about trying to match the physical tone the Wizards set in Game 1. Paul Millsap famously compared the Wizards' style to MMA. Now that the tone has been set, the Hawks will aim to properly respond. Point guard Dennis Schroder said on Monday that they will have to "give them the first punch and be ready." It will be interesting to see how they come out in the first quarter with that goal in mind.

The key matchups to watch will again be down low. Can Morris recreate the problems he gave Millsap in Game 1? The same should apply to Marcin Gortat and Dwight Howard, as Gortat got the best of Howard in their first meeting.

[RELATED: Paul Millsap thinks trash talking by Markieff Morris, Wizards a trap for Hawks]

Fastbreak defense

The biggest takeaway from Game 1 for the Hawks from a strategic standpoint was their defense on the fastbreak. Coach Mike Budenholzer, Schroder, Howard and others spoke at Monday's practice about how they didn't do a good job of stopping the Wizards in transition, particularly in the second half. They felt that was the biggest reason why John Wall and Bradley Beal broke out offensively.

Budenholzer and others were pretty vague about the changes they needed to make, but Schroder - who will be tasked with stopping Wall - offered some specifics:

"We have to make adjustments. The four-man can't go to the offensive glass. He has to run back on defense as soon as it is out of our hands. The four-man has to go back and the one, two and three, as well. I think that's the biggest adjustment we've gotta do. Just keep John Wall in front of us. He did a great job. I think they played their best game of the season probably and we still only lost by seven. When we take away their transition offense, then we'll be in good shape."

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

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Mystics star Kristi Toliver excited to officially join Wizards coaching staff

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USA Today Sports

Mystics star Kristi Toliver excited to officially join Wizards coaching staff

After months of serving a variety of roles for the organization, Kristi Toliver now has an official title with the Washington Wizards. The Mystics star has joined Scott Brooks' staff as an assistant coach and assistant for player development.

Toliver, 31, will remain a member of the Mystics, who play their season during the summer. The lack of overlap will allow her to focus much of her time on the Wizards and what she hopes becomes a long and successful coaching career.

She chose joining the Wizards over continuing to play professionally this year overseas, an option many WNBA players use in the offseason. But she has a coaching dream and happens to have caught on with the hometown team.

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime. When it came about, I wanted to be involved in any capacity that I could," Toliver said.

Toliver is the first active WNBA player to serve on an NBA bench and just the second woman after Becky Hammon, who is an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs. Toliver plans to reach out to Hammon after getting her phone number from Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird.

Toliver is honored to be in the same category with Hammon, whom she looked up to first as a player and now as a coach who has become a trailblazer in the profession.

"I know she's going to be somebody that I can ask questions to," Toliver said. "I will pick her brain about how she played and I will pick her brain about how she is coaching."

Hammon joined the Spurs' coaching staff in 2014 after years of helping the team out in other ways. Now that there are two female NBA assistants, the logical question is when one will become a head coach.

Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal can already attest to Toliver's impact and said there could be a female head coach "very soon."

"I wouldn't be surprised if it happened sooner rather than later," Beal said. "If you know the game, you know the game. Plain and simple."

Toliver has served as a coach in the Wizards' 5-on-5 scrimmages at practice. She has also been particularly helpful with ball-handling, which makes sense given she's the starting point guard for the Mystics. Toliver has helped a variety of Wizards players in dribbling drills including the big men like Jeff Green and Dwight Howard.

Coaching has required an adjustment for Toliver, who is used to having the ball in her hands running the offense. But just as being a player can help her as a coach, she expects to become a better player now seeing the game from a new perspective.

"I'd much rather be playing, I know that. But it's good to think the game in a different way and from a different point of view," she said.

Brooks has been effusive in his praise of Toliver ever since she began helping out in the Las Vegas Summer League in July. He invited her to join the staff over the phone shortly before the Summer League began and will admit he did not know at the time the relationship would get this far.

But over the summer, Brooks lost two assistants to other teams in Chad Iske and Sidney Lowe, paving the way for some movement on his staff. He promoted several positions from within and an opening was created for Toliver to come on board.

"She's a special talent. She's going to be moving through the ranks pretty quick," Brooks said.

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Mystics' Kristi Toliver joins Wizards coaching staff for 2018-19 season

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@WashMystics

Mystics' Kristi Toliver joins Wizards coaching staff for 2018-19 season

It's certainly not uncommon for professional athletes to make the transition into coaching following their playing days. We have seen more and more of this in recent years throughout sports, especially with younger coaches getting the chance to lead teams. 

What is uncommon is when a professional athlete begins their quest for life after playing while they're still playing. 

Washington Mystics veteran guard Kristi Toliver is joining the Wizards' coaching staff, the team announced Tuesday. 

The news comes after the 10-year WNBA pro got her feet wet on the Wizards' bench during Vegas Summer League play in July. 

Along with Elena Delle Donne, Toliver helped lead the Mystics to the 2018 WNBA Finals, before ultimately falling to the Seattle Storm. 

The 31-year-old was drafted third overall by Chicago in 2009 after leading her Maryland Terrapins to a national championship in 2006. 

Toliver will serve as an assistant coach and focus on player development for head coach Scott Brooks. 

Coach Brooks also welcomes Robert Pack and Ryan Richman to the front of the bench. Pack served as assistant coach under Brooks for two seasons during their Oklahoma City Thunder days while Richman led the team during summer leage play and is entering his fifth year in Washington. 

The Wizards open their 2018-19 regular season Thursday against the Miami Heat inside Capital One Arena. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

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