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Wall becomes first Wizard to win NBA Player of Month since 2006

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Wall becomes first Wizard to win NBA Player of Month since 2006

The injury-depleted Wizards had a mediocre December at 8-8, but it could've been a lot worse without point guard John Wall who posted 13 double-doubles to win NBA's Player of the Month in the Eastern Conference for the first time in his sixth season.

Wall averaged 22.6 points, 11.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals. He also shot 46% from the field, including 37.7% from three-point range, and set a career-high with 19 assists on Dec. 21 vs. the Sacramento Kings.

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The Wizards have been without Bradley Beal (leg), Gary Neal (quad), Nene (calf), Drew Gooden (calf) and have yet to see Alan Anderson (ankle) play this season.

Wall became the first player to average at least 22 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals in a month since Chris Paul in April 2009. He also scored 20 or more points 11 times, his career high for a month, and recorded 10 games with at least 20 points and 10 assists, the most in team history for a month.  

The last Wizards player to win Player of the Month came in 2006 (Gilbert Arenas).

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Otto Porter, Jr. wants to be more like Klay Thompson on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense

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USA Today Sports Images

Otto Porter, Jr. wants to be more like Klay Thompson on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense

Otto Porter, Jr. has heard it from coaches and teammates for over a year now, that they want him to shoot the ball more often.

He is the team's most efficient player and the more he shoots, many believe the better off the Wizards will be.

Porter took that idea, and his general quest to be a better player, in a new direction this offseason.

He specifically wants to take after Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors.

If Thompson can get his while playing with Curry and Durant, Porter should be able to do the same with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Thompson has averaged 16 field goal attempts or more in the past four years while running with other superstars, while Porter topped out at a career-high 11.5 shots per game last season.

"That's definitely going to be a goal of mine, just to be ultra-aggressive. I think it's best for the team and best for me to put out that effort and be more involved and kind of be like Klay Thompson and take my shots. I'm very confident in that. I'm going to instill that in every game," Porter said.

As for Leonard, Porter hopes to take after him on the defensive end. Leonard, who was traded from the Spurs to the Raptors in July, has won two defensive player of the year awards and he's only 27 years old.

Also a small forward, Porter believes he can model parts of his defensive game after Leonard.

"I watched tons of film," Porter said of his regimen this summer. "I'm learning how to guard on-ball; take my angles and be able to master that. I studied Kawhi Leonard a lot, and the angles he takes. He's very strategic with how his movements are. He never seems tired. I was able to get in [better] shape this summer. There are a lot of games, so I wanted to be in the best shape possible."

Porter has proven he can shoot at a high percentage. Now, he wants to put up volume numbers like Thompson.

Porter has proven a solid team defender. Now, he wants to become a dominant on-ball force like Leonard.

Both of those things should be good news to the Wizards.

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Wizards' rookie Troy Brown Jr. handled his first media day like a veteran

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NBC Sports Washington

Wizards' rookie Troy Brown Jr. handled his first media day like a veteran

Washington Wizards first-round draft pick Troy Brown Jr. is as mild-mannered as it comes. 

The 19-year-old did and said all the right things Monday at his first NBA media day inside the brand new Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights. 

He made his way through a jam-packed media day with a certain charisma, swagger and composure as if he'd been doing it for years. 

The Las Vegas, Nev. native, who left the University of Oregon basketball program after a year, was drafted No. 15 overall by the Wizards in June. 

Brown Jr. was candid as far as what these last few months have been like for him personally. 

"It was overwhelming at one point but then I kind of brushed over it quick and knew I had more work to do." 

The rookie joins a team that underperformed a season ago finishing with a record of 43-39 and fell to the top-seeded Toronto Raptors in the First Round of the playoffs. But this year's squad has a new supporting cast. 

Dwight Howard, Austin Rivers and Jeff Green each bring something different to the Wizards. Elite rim protecting, rebounding, second-unit scoring, defending and most importantly...the depth this team so desperately needs. 

Brown Jr. was no stranger to last year's results and clearly did his homework. 

"I feel like guys are a little more locked in [this year] and everybody is just here with one goal. I feel like this season should go pretty well." 

Summer League proved just how 'locked in' Brown Jr. himself seems to be. In three of the five games from Vegas, the versatile forward notched 20 points or more including one double-double. 

He understands he's competing for minutes on a team that is already stacked offensively. 

"I've always had to kind of pick my role depending on whether it's USA basketball or if I was playing up when I was younger, so I kind of knew what to do in those aspects and that's where my versatility comes in for me personally," said Brown Jr. "For me, whatever I can do to get on that court and show that we're a 50-win team will personally make me feel good." 

His versatility was on full display in the fifth and final Summer League contest where he lit up the box score notching 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting with six rebounds and three steals. 

When the five-time 'Wall-Star' and team floor general sings your praises at media day, you have to feel good heading into your rookie season. 

Brown Jr. and the Wizards open preseason play Oct. 1 against the Knicks at 7 p.m. 

 

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