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NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards vs. Hawks Game 3: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards vs. Hawks Game 3: 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 3 of their first round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Saturday night.

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

GAME 3: WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. ATLANTA HAWKS

Series: Wizards lead 2-0
Where: Philips Arena
Tip-off: 5:30 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 4:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Hawks in desperation mode

The Wizards have had little trouble with the Hawks so far in this series, now holding a commanding 2-0 lead as they shift to Atlanta for Game 3. Though the Hawks made it interesting with second-half runs in both games, the Wizards looked like a far superior team down the stretch of each of them. Now the Hawks are fighting for their playoff lives, whether Paul Millsap wants to admit it or not. One more loss and they will go down 0-3 and be effectively done.

The Wizards will now try to make sure there is no letup and keep the momentum going on the road. John Wall and Bradley Beal are 10-1 in their careers in first round playoff games, so they have been here before and know how to close out a series. They should expect the Hawks' best effort knowing it is do-or-die at this point.

[RELATED: Millsap on Hawks vs. Wizards: 'Our small-ball is better than theirs]

Gortat remains key

One of the stars of the series so far has been Marcin Gortat, as the Wizards center has made a big impact on both ends of the floor. He's had 14 points and 10 rebounds in each game so far, including five blocks in Game 2. With Ian Mahinmi out, Gortat has stepped up and been a force down low.

Gortat's biggest accomplishment so far has been limiting Dwight Howard, his former teammate with the Magic. Howard has just 13 points in the two games and played just 20 minutes in part due to foul trouble in Game 2. Gortat had several blocks on Howard in Game 2 and has been giving him fits. If the Wizards can continue to limit Howard, the Hawks have no chance.

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

Bench defense

The Wizards won Game 2, but they did have some scares mainly because of their second unit's porous defense. Game 2 saw several breakdowns, particularly with Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder being able to get to the rim at will. Schroder had 23 points and six assists. Stopping him will come down mainly to Wall, but also Brandon Jennings. Jennings has to find a way to stop Schroder from getting around him.

Staying out of foul trouble will also be an important factor for the Wizards. Game 2 was greatly affected by Markieff Morris, Otto Porter, Jr., Jason Smith and Kelly Oubre, Jr. picking up early fouls. Coach Scott Brooks did a masterful job of working around that, but it was not ideal.

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

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Three things to watch for Wizards at Nets, including if Otto Porter will play

Three things to watch for Wizards at Nets, including if Otto Porter will play

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr. and the Washington Wizards take on Spencer Dinwiddie, D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen and the Brooklyn Nets. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington Plus. 

Here are three things to watch...

1. Will Porter play?: The Wizards may be getting a key player back on Friday with Otto Porter Jr. on the road back from a right knee contusion. He left Monday's game against the Pacers after suffering the injury, then missed Wednesday's game against the Celtics. The Wizards lost both of those games.

Porter, 25, was close to playing on Wednesday as a gametime decision, so it seems likely he will be available on Friday. If he does play, he will look for better success against the Nets than he has in their other match-ups this season. Through two games against Brooklyn, Porter is averaging only 7.5 points while shooting 35.3 percent from the field. He is 0-for-6 from three.

Porter, though, had been playing very well before the injury. In his previous three games, he was averaging 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and a block. He shot 55.3 percent overall and 47.1 percent from three.

2. Wiz need a win: The Wizards head to a Brooklyn in the middle of a slump. They have lost three straight games following a three-game win streak that happened to begin against this same Nets team on Dec. 1. 

The Wizards have found some balance recently, having gone 9-8 in their last 17 games after going 2-9 to begin the year. But real, sustained momentum has been elusive. 

The Nets are a team that they should beat. This game begins a manageable stretch that includes some good teams like the Lakers and Pacers, but plenty of potential cupcakes like the Hawks, Suns and Bulls.

3. Nets are playing well: Though the Nets (11-18) have an even worse record than the Wizards (11-17), they are on a bit of a roll. They have won three straight games, including an overtime victory over the Raptors and one on the road against the Sixers.

They held Toronto to only 105 points, including the extra period. And against the Sixers, they scored 127 points in regulation.

Spencer Dinwiddie has been leading the way, averaging 27 points and 6.3 assists during this three-game stretch. Allen Crabbe has also stepped up with 16 points and 4.3 boards per game.

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Drew Gooden describes playing with LeBron James: It was 'like a traveling rock band'

Drew Gooden describes playing with LeBron James: It was 'like a traveling rock band'

LeBron James and the media circus that comes along with him is coming to Washington, D.C., as the Lakers will face off with the Wizards at Capital One Arena.

Drew Gooden played with James for the better part of four seasons in Cleveland from 2004-08, and so he knows exactly what it's like when one of the NBA's greatest players comes to town. 

"It's only real until you actually see it," Gooden said during Thursday's edition of the Wizards Talk podcast. "We used to joke and call ourselves not the Beatles, but the 'Cleatles,' because it was almost like a traveling rock band. And everybody played their part."

Gooden recounted one particular incident during a day off in Detroit in 2006, when he, James and a couple of their teammates went to a shopping mall to buy some watches.

"When we walked into the shopping mall in Detroit, it was like Michael Jackson had entered the shopping mall," Gooden explained. "Kids were running up, grownups were running up, everybody ran into the store we were in. They had to shut it down with mall security, and wouldn't let anybody in."

"The only thing I was thinking of is like, 'How are we gonna get out of here?' Because we came on our own with no security, so we were just thinking of how we were gonna get out of the mall now. And when I saw that star power of LeBron James back in 2006, this was before he won a championship, I couldn't imagine how it is now, and what he's become in today's game."

James' star power has only grown since then, and many have already declared him the greatest basketball player of all-time.

This label in reference to James is nothing new to Drew Gooden: he heard it when they were both teenagers playing AAU baskeball. 

"Calvin Andrews, who was a sports agent of Carmelo Anthony, Calvin Andrews told me when LeBron was 15 years of age, he said, 'You see that guy right there?'" Gooden recalled. "I said, 'Yeah, what about him?'"

"'He's gonna be the best basketball player ever.'"

"So it's no surprise to me, and this is not new to me, it's just I'm more amazed that it actually happened," Gooden concluded. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, he's gonna be the best ever or he has an opportunity of being the best ever.' But I literally heard a man tell me that in Calvin Andrews, and that guy actually becoming one of the best ever, or the best ever." 

For more on LeBron James and the Lakers' upcoming visit to D.C. to take on the Wizards, listen to the full Wizards Talk podcast below.

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