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Wizards vs. T'Wolves: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. T'Wolves: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The Washington Wizards host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Home streak

It's a contrast that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The Wizards are just 3-12 on the road, with only the Brooklyn Nets behind them in road wins among NBA teams. Yet, at home they are 13-6, with the third-most home wins of any team in the Eastern Conference. They have to figure out what's going on when they play away from the Verizon Center, but when it comes to playing at home they appear to have it down.

The Wizards on Friday night will host the Timberwolves as they aim for their ninth straight home victory. Their eight-game winning streak at home is tied for the second-longest in the NBA with the Spurs. Only the Warriors, who have won nine straight at home, have a longer streak.

[RELATED: Beal on Wall's All-Star votes: 'No way he should be that low']

Bench play

The Wizards' bench has been much maligned this season, but on Friday night they will meet their match. The Timberwolves have been even worse in many key categories. The Wizards are 29th and the T'Wolves are 30th in the NBA, respectively, in average minutes from their bench and points. The Wizards are worse in plus-minus (28th), free throw attempts (30th), rebounding (30th) and three point percentage (27th), while Minnesota is worse in overall field goal percentage (27th).

Basically, we're talking about two teams that do not get much from their second units. That could provide an opportunity for guys like Marcus Thornton, Trey Burke and Kelly Oubre, Jr. to shine against a very young T'Wolves bench including 24-year-old Shabazz Muhammad (17.7 mpg, 7.7 ppg) and 22-year-old rookie Kris Dunn (17.1 mpg, 6.1 ppg).

Big three

The Timberwolves have become an intriguing team to many basketball fans because of their impressive collection of lottery picks in recent years. They have drafted many blue chip guys and three in particular seem to be really panning out. Those would be Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. All three are just 21 years old and each is scoring at least 21 points per game.

The Timberwolves, in fact, are one of just three teams in the NBA (Warriors and Cavs) to have three 20-point scorers. Wiggins leads the way slightly at 21.7 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting to go along with 4.3 rebounds. Towns is right behind him at 21.6 points on 47.6 percent shooting. He's also grabbing 11.6 rebounds and blocking 1.4 shots per night. LaVine is at 21.1 points, also on 47.6 percent shooting from the field. He's the best of the three from three-point range at 41.7 percent on 7.3 attempts per game.

Those three are among the most talented young players in the league, but it has yet to translate into wins. Minnesota is a half-game out of last in the West at just 11-24 on the year.

[RELATED: Jenks and Rob Carlin explain 'Wizards in 30' with their hands]

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Don't expect Bradley Beal to request a trade from the Wizards

Don't expect Bradley Beal to request a trade from the Wizards

Bradley Beal made headlines on Friday afternoon when he said in an All-Star Q&A that he wants to stay with the Wizards for many years to come, that he hopes to “retire in this jersey” and that he is “all about loyalty.” 

That suggested he will not become the next NBA star to request a trade. But the topic of a trade request was never actually discussed.

So, a few hours later, NBC Sports Washington caught up with Beal for a 1-on-1 interview at the All-Star Celebrity Game to expand on those thoughts.

Beal explained in detail why he has no plans to ask the Wizards for a trade, and how he doesn’t envision a scenario where that could happen.

“I mean, look where that’s gotten a lot of guys now. It doesn’t always play out in your favor,” he told NBC Sports Washington.

“So, I’m thinking like what good could that bring me? In my head, that’s just more turmoil for the team. It’s another distraction."

Beal, 25, has two years left on his contract with the Wizards. He is due $27.1 million next season and $28.8 million for the 2020-21 campaign.

Beal was picked third overall by the Wizards in the 2012 NBA Draft. He has since developed into a two-time All-Star and has helped lead the Wizards to the playoffs four times in the past five years.

This season, however, things have gone south for the team. John Wall was lost for the year due to a torn Achilles and Dwight Howard has appeared in only nine games due to back surgery. 

The Wizards have made five trades since training camp, including ones to ship mainstays Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris out of the organization.

They are currently 10 games under .500 at the All-Star break, which has put the spotlight on Beal’s future. The formula for a blockbuster trade usually includes a star on a losing team, and Beal fits the bill.

Beal, though, can already imagine the drawbacks of requesting a trade. He sees the mess that Anthony Davis and the Pelicans are dealing with in New Orleans and doesn't want that for himself.

"I always feel like if I requested a trade, and I didn’t get traded, there’s no way in hell I’m gonna be able to go and play with my teammates who know I don’t want to be here. That’s mind-boggling to me," he said.

People change their minds, and Beal very well could. But he insists he has no thoughts of leaving the Wizards and says the speculation can effectively end.

“Until the team doesn’t want me anymore, I’m gonna be here,” he said. “I’m here. I’m a Wizard, day in and day out. They pay me and I have to show up and do my work. Until that changes, that’s who I’m loyal to.”

 

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Loyal through trade rumors, Bradley Beal definitive for first time about future with Wizards

Loyal through trade rumors, Bradley Beal definitive for first time about future with Wizards

CHARLOTTE -- Bradley Beal made the most definitive comments yet about his future on Friday afternoon and it came in an All-Star question-and-answer fan event in downtown Charlotte.

In a forum hosted by ESPN's Molly Qerim, one fan first thanked Beal for all he has done for the Wizards, then followed it up with a pointed question about whether it’s time to “blow the team up.”

Beal first laughed as the crowd reacted with a collective ‘ooh.’ He joked “there’s a lot of tampering going on these days.”

Then, he delivered a clear picture of what he hopes is a long-term future in Washington.

“I hate change. If I can retire in this jersey, I will. I’m all about loyalty,” Beal said.

Beal has said the right things before, but the timing is interesting. With the Wizards outside of the playoff race, he has become the subject of trade rumors. Many fans and media members have wondered if he could be the next All-Star to want a change of scenery.

Beal, though, insists that isn’t in his nature.

“Granted, it goes both ways,” Beal said of wanting to stay with one team. “They can say they won’t trade you and [then they do.] It’s a business at the end of the day, but believe me... my parents [raised] me on loyalty and just constantly even keel no matter what. Tough time last not always, but tough people do.”

Beal, 25, is making his second All-Star appearance. He is averaging career-highs this season in points (25.1), assists (5.4) and rebounds (5.1).

He has two years left on his contract, due about $56 million through the 2020-21 season. Most stars who have left their original teams have done so with one year left on their deals, so all of this will have to be revisited down the road.

But Beal has already thought about the years ahead and has no intention of leaving D.C.

“When you first get [to the NBA], you don’t get control over where you’re drafted. But once you get there, you develop relationships with people. You develop family, businesses, foundations; everything. You create a life there and it’s tough to just up and move after,” he said.

There you go, Wizards fans. You can rest assured, Beal is not plotting his exit, at least not anytime soon.

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