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Paul Pierce: Isaiah Thomas is 'easily the best point guard' in the East

Paul Pierce: Isaiah Thomas is 'easily the best point guard' in the East

Former Wizards player Paul Pierce knows full well what John Wall is capable of. He was Wall's teammate during one of his four All-Star seasons and played with him on a Washington team that advanced a round in the NBA playoffs.

Yet, Pierce does not believe Wall is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Pierce instead thinks Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics is.

Here's what he told ESPN in his return to Boston with his current team, the L.A. Clippers:

Pierce's assertion is not that crazy, maybe if you exclude the "easily" part. Thomas in second in the NBA at 29.9 points per game. However, Wall is better at many other categories including assists (10.3/g), steals (2.1/g) and rebounds (4.5/g). 

It's a close debate between the two, both of them are All-Stars. But Pierce clearly feels strongly for one over the other.

[RELATED: Who is the 2nd best player in the East besides LeBron?]

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John Wall takes another step in rehab, facing teammates in practice

John Wall takes another step in rehab, facing teammates in practice

WASHINGTON -- The steady progress continues for John Wall in his rehab from a ruptured left Achilles tendon, as the Wizards point guard is now facing teammates in 4-on-4 drills at practice.

Head coach Scott Brooks described the games as "controlled," noting they were not full-speed or with contact and featured a 10-second shot clock. But that remains a notable step in his road back after he had previously been playing mostly against player development coaches.

"He practiced for the whole practice. He looked great," Brooks said. "There is still a ways to go. But his energy, his enthusiasm, his strength [looks good]. His shot looks better."

Wall, 29, hasn't played in a game since Dec. 26 of 2018. He had surgery on his Achilles on Feb. 12, 2019. He is currently over 11 months into what is typically an 11-to-15 month recovery.

Brooks, though, makes a point to couch positive updates about Wall with patience. The team has indicated he may not play at all this season.

"I don't know if he plays this year," Brooks said. "We can be patient and we're going to be patient because we need him to be right for a lot of years. This is his career and we know how serious that injury is. He's taking it serious."

Part of the equation is the financial commitment the Wizards have made in Wall. He is due roughly $131.5 million over the next three seasons. They want to make sure he is good to go not just for this year, but that he can be effective for the remainder of his contract.

According to Brooks, even having Wall back to this level has added some positive energy to the Wizards' organization.

"I know the excitement is around because he's around and he's looking [good]," Brooks said. "When he comes back, he's going to be the John Wall we all love."

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Wizards vs. Pistons: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Wizards vs. Pistons: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Detroit Pistons are coming in hot on MLK Day, looking for their third straight road win with Derrick Rose in action while Griffin and Kennard are sidelined.

However, the Wizards lead this series 2-1 and are eager to win this matinee after a a tough 140-111 loss in Toronto Thursday night.

After recent frustrations with losing "winnable games," Bradley Beal was held to just 14 points in 23 minutes. Can Beal and company come back strong in the district on Monday?

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons

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

When: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Pistons will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Pistons on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS TV SCHEDULE

1:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

1:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

2:00 PM: Wizards vs. Pistons (LIVE)

4:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

5:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

5:30 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles), Rui Hachimura (OUT, Groin), Jordan McRae (Day-to-day, ankle), Garrison Mathews (OUT, Ankle), Anzejs Tasecniks (Day-to-day, Ankle)

Pistons: Blake Griffin (OUT, Left Knee), Khyri Thomas (OUT, Foot), Luke Kennard (OUT, Knee), Reggie Jackson (OUT, Back) 

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards (27.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.4 apg): While he was stifled against the Raptors, Beal averages 24 points and 33.3% from 3 vs Detroit.

Derrick Rose, PG, Pistons (18.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 5.9 apg): Rose notched 27 points and nine assists in 136-103 victory over Atlanta Hawks. He averages 18.5 ppg and 50% from the field vs the Wizards. 

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