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Takeaways from Wizards' blowout win over Sixers

Takeaways from Wizards' blowout win over Sixers

Playing with his right pinky finger taped, John Wall went for 11 points in a game-changing third quarter for the Wizards as they drew even in their season series with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday with a 109-93 win, giving them their 11th triumph in a row at Verizon Center. They’re 16-6 at home.

The franchise’s last 11-game home win streak came in 1989 by the then-Bullets. 

Wall drained three three-pointers in a 30-15 third quarter and came within range of a triple-double (25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) but didn’t play in the fourth quarter as the Wizards (20-19) went back above .500.

He entered this game after a terrible performance in the Wizards’ loss in Boston, when he shot 4-for-21 with a swollen left wrist and a pinkie that was out of place.

Wall shot 9-for-17 in this one and was followed by Bradley Beal (20 points, four rebounds), Markieff Morris (14 points, nine rebounds), Marcin Gortat (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Otto Porter (10 points, six rebounds).

Jahlil Okafor (22 points) led Philadelphia (12-26) and Ersan Ilysavoa (18 points, seven rebounds) was a difficult cover early. Ilyasova, however, didn’t score in the second half. No other starter scored more than Robert Covington (seven points).

--When the Wizards made their run to start the third quarter, they suffocated Philadelphia’s offense by forcing the non-three-point shooters, T.J. McConnell, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Gerald Henderson, into launching low-percentage shots.

--Ilyasova is a matchup problem because he’s too big and strong for the likes of Porter and too good of a three-point shooter to leave uncovered which knocks Morris and Gortat outside of their comfort zone. But Ilyasova didn’t score in the second half when he shot 0-for-4.

--The Wizards only had six assists on their first 23 made shots. It was an indication of Wall and Beal having to get points on their own to keep them in it. They combined for 32 in the first half on 12-for-23 shooting.

--Nik Stauskas (two points) was caught vs. Gortat on switches on two occasions and the Wizards couldn’t get a bucket out of it. But they made the Sixers pay for such gambles in the second half when Gortat had eight points and six rebounds in the pivotal third. Stauskas scored 15 in their Nov. 16 meeting, won 109-102 by Philadelphia. He shot 1-for-8.

-- Foul trouble reared its head for Morris yet again. He only had one in the first half, but he had two within a 120-second span of the third quarter to put him in foul trouble. He’d dropped in a corner three that helped the Wizards get out to a 7-0 run to start the third and force a timeout by the Sixers.

-- Nerlens Noel picked up two fouls in the last 35 seconds to give him five in 13 minutesplayed. But he also had six points and 12 rebounds. 

[RELATED: Brooks will be involved in any Wizards roster moves]

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is one of the best players in the WNBA, and thus is always in the discussion for MVP honors. 

And heading into the 2019 season, league GMs give her the best chance of anyone to actually hoist the trophy when it's all said and done. 

In a WNBA.com survey of general managers, 42 percent picked Delle Donne to win MVP in 2019. Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury had the second-most votes at 25 percent, followed by A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas Aces at 17 percent then Las Vegas' Liz Cambage and Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun at eight percent. 

Delle Donne won her first and only WNBA MVP award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky when she averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game. And with the Mystics set to make another run at the WNBA title (58 percent of GMs predicted Washington to have the most regular season wins in the Eastern Conference), she has a great opportunity to get her second this season. 

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Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

As All-NBA teams are announced and franchises have to make decisions about contract extensions, fans will see the term "supermax contract" thrown around a lot. 

Here's a quick primer with everything you need to know about the NBA's most lucrative player deals. 

What is a supermax contract?

Officially known as the "Designated Veteran Player Extension," this rule allows teams to re-sign qualified players to maximum five-year contracts worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap with eight percent escalation in each subsequent year.

The length of the supermax deal depends on the player's years of NBA experience and years remaining on his current contract. 

  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has two years left on his contract is eligible for a four-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has one year left on his contract is eligible for a five-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified free agent who has completed eight or nine years of service is eligible for a five-year supermax 

Furthermore, teams cannot trade a supermax player for the first year after he signs the contract.  

How much is a supermax contract worth?

Valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each subsequent year, these deals are mammoth money.

For example, the Wizards signed John Wall to a four-year supermax in the summer of 2017 when he had two years left on his contract. The supermax money begins in 2019-20 and pays Wall $38.15 million that year. With annual escalations, his supermax is worth $170.912 million over the four-year lifetime of the deal. 

According to a report by Yahoo's Chris Haynes, Damian Lillard—who has two years remaining on his current deal with the Trail Blazers and is expected to be named to an All-NBA team—will be offered a four-year supermax extension worth roughly $191 million this summer. 

Who is eligible to sign a supermax contract?

Very few players qualify for a supermax contract. First, only a player that has (or will have) completed eight years of NBA service by the end of his current contract is eligible to sign a supermax deal, which can only be offered by the team that drafted him or traded for his rookie contract. 

Then, a player must meet one of the following three criteria.

  • Be named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA MVP in any of the three previous seasons

Which players have received supermax contracts?

  • Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden - Houston Rockets
  • Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
  • John Wall - Washington Wizards

Who could receive a supermax contract this summer?

Anthony Davis is already eligible for a supermax offer from the Pelicans. And depending on the All-NBA, DPOY and MVP selections, the following players also could receive supermax offers:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
  • Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
  • Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
  • Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
  • Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
  • Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards 

What are the drawbacks to supermax deals?

The supermax contract was designed to help teams retain their players by allowing them to offer significantly more money than the competition; however, teams that offer such contracts are squeezing themselves in terms of salary cap room to fill out their rosters. 

No franchise can carry more than two supermax players at 35 percent of the cap each. Functionally, though, it's difficult for a team to have more than one.

Two supermax players would account for 70 percent of a team's salary in any given year, leaving the club virtually unable to sign a competitive supporting cast. 

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