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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…


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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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jaxson Hayes

School: Texas
Position: Center
Age: 19
Height: 7-0
Weight: 219
Wingspan: 7-4
Max vertical: 34.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 2.2 bpg, 72.8 FG% (3.8/5.3), 00.0 3PT% (0.0/0.0), 74.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jarrett Allen, John Henson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 10th, NBADraft.net 9th, Bleacher Report 10th, Sports Illustrated 9th, Ringer 10th

5 things to know:

*Hayes is considered the best center prospect in this year's class. He is athletic, plays with energy and measured in at the combine at about 7-feet in shoes with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He can run the floor and play above the rim.

*The skill that stands out most for Hayes is rim protection. He averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. That extrapulates to 5.7 blocks over 100 possessions. He has long arms and appears to have good instincts tracking the ball in the lane. He is following in the footsteps of fellow Texas shot-blockers before him like Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. The latter may be the best player comparison for Hayes in today's NBA.

*Hayes is not considered a very good rebounder. He averaged 5.0 per game and only once reached double figures. It could be that he just needs to add some weight, an issue that is correctable but would hurt him even more at the NBA level initially. The worst-case concern is that he is soft and won't do the necessary dirty work.

*At this point, Hayes offers nothing in the way of an outside shot. He didn't attempt a single three-pointer in college and didn't do much on offense outside of dunks and putbacks. In order to justify being taken with a high draft pick, he will either need to develop a post game, an outside shot or be extremely good on defense. His lack of an all-round game will certainly give some teams pause in evaluating him.

*Hayes comes from a family of impressive athletes. His father played 12 seasons in the NFL and recently served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. His mother played basketball at Drake University and later coached in college, including a stint as an assistant at Oklahoma. Hayes followed his father's footsteps by playing wide receiver in high school before a growth spurt made it clear basketball was the path to go.

Fit with Wizards: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.

The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.

Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.

Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Nassir Little

School: North Carolina
Position: Forward
Age: 19
Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
Wingspan: 7-1
Max vertical: 38.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.8 FG% (3.6/7.6), 26.9 3PT% (0.4/1.4), 77.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, Justise Winslow

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 11th, NBADraft.net 11th, Bleacher Report 16th, Sports Illustrated 11th, Ringer 14th

5 things to know:

*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.

*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length. 

*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.

*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.

*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.

Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.

But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.

That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.

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