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Wizards-Celtics preview: Who's on point?

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Wizards-Celtics preview: Who's on point?

Matchup: Washington Wizards (6-6) at Boston Celtics (8-7)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. (TV: CSN, CSNMidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra) 

When last we met: Twice this season Wizards point guard John Wall committed a season-high eight turnovers. The first time occurred Nov. 6 in Boston as the Celtics hammered the Wizards 118-98 despite 24 points from Bradley Beal.

Streaks: Washington lost its last two games by at least 14 points. Considering the Wizards led by nine points with nine minutes, it's stunning they lost 101-87 to Charlotte Wednesday night. Scoring six points in the final quarter will swing a result. ...The Celtics' last game also involved a fourth-quarter comeback as they went from 11 points down to defeating the winless Philadelphia 76ers 84-80. Boston had lost three of four.

Three things to watch

Get a grip: The Celtics might not be the best team for John Wall to face in the midst of turnover woes. Including the first meeting this season, Wall is averaging 7.0 over his last four games against Boston. This season, his 4.5 turnovers per game represents a career-worst while his current average of 7.9 assists is clearly off from last season's career-best of 7.9. The season is early, but the frustration may be building. Contending with Avery Bradley, one of the top defensive guards in the league, won't make life any easier.

The IT guy: Boston's roster, while deep an versatile, lacks a superstar, a transcendent talent along the lines of Larry Bird or Paul Pierce. What they may have this season is an All-Star guard in Isaiah Thomas, who has flourished with the Celtics since coming over from in a trade with the Suns last season. In 15 games this season, the former second-round pick is averaging a career-best 21.2 points with 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals. The 5-foot-9 sparkplug is also finding his rhythm from distance. Over his last four games, Thomas is shooting 41.3 percent (12 of 29) on 3-point tries.

The Real Neal: Whatever is going on with the Wizards, Gary Neal's offense isn't too blame. Over the last two games, the veteran wing guard is averaging 20.5 points on 55.5% shooting (15 of 27) from the field including 7 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc. 

MORE: Morning tip: Wizards' stars unraveling after just 12 games?

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Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

On Thursday the NBA revealed the All-NBA teams for the 2017-18 season.

Not surprisingly, Bradley Beal and John Wall did not make it to one of the three five-player teams. Of the two superstars, only Wall has been recognized once in his career.

What is surprising is that neither Beal nor Wall received a single vote in the whole process, especially Beal.

The 2017-18 season was without question the best in Beal’s career. He played in all 82 games, coming right off of the heals of his All-Star recognition. Beal seems to agree in his snubbing, tweeting this minutes after the teams were announced:

Looking at the list of players who made the top three teams, it shouldn’t be an issue, but these three guys got more votes than the Wizards' duo combined: Steven Adams, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. It is not surprising that Beal and Wall did not make an All-NBA team. It is odd that Beal didn’t receive a vote.

Here is a list of the full All-NBA Teams:

ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM: 

LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kevin Durant (Warriors)

ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM:

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Joel Embiid (76ers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)

ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM:

Stephen Curry (Warriors), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Paul George (Thunder)

MORE WIZARDS’ NEWS:

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Ty Lawson

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Ty Lawson

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Ty Lawson's season...

Player: Ty Lawson

Position: Point guard

Age: 30

2017-18 salary: $11.9K

2017-18 stats: 6 G, 19.2 mpg, 5.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.5 bpg, 34.6 FG%, 62.5 3P%, 1.000 FT%, 44.2 eFG%, 114 ORtg, 115 DRtg (all in playoffs)

Best game: 4/17 at Raptors (Game 2) - 14 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 4-for-10 FG, 4-for-5 3PT

Season review: The Wizards made a surprise move the day after the regular season finished by signing Ty Lawson, giving them a fifth point guard for the playoffs. Not only did Lawson join the team last-minute, he actually got minutes in the postseason, immediately slotting in as their primary backup point guard.

Very quickly Lawson showed what the Wizards saw in him. He added a spark off the bench, particularly on offense. He showed no restraint in looking for his own shot and in Game 2 against the Raptors hit 4-of-5 from long range.

Lawson proved he still has the quickness that made him an above average NBA point guard in his prime. There were questions about his athleticism given he is 30 years old and spent most of the season in China, but Lawson was still noticeably faster than his contemporaries on the Wizards' bench.

Whether Lawson proved enough to stick around in the NBA is the real question. He only played six games for the Wizards and, though he impressed to a certain degree, teams had given up on him just a year before. 

The Wizards have five open roster spots entering this offseason and have only two point guards in the mix. They will be in the market for more backup help, though it is unclear at this point if they are interested in bringing Lawson back. They have two draft picks and the ability to add players via trades, as they have several times in recent years to address backup point guard.

Working in Lawson's favor to potentially stick around is that the Wizards do not have much money to spend. They are in the luxury tax and will likely need some cheap options to fill out the final spots on their roster.

Lawson certainly would not cost much.

Potential to improve: Shooting, scoring, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

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