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Wizards predictions: Bradley Beal's bust out season?

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Wizards predictions: Bradley Beal's bust out season?

Some are bold, some are mild, some are straight to the point. Either way, I made lots of predictions about the Washington Wizards and the NBA for the about to tip-off 2015-16 season. So many predictions in fact that we split them into two parts.

Bradley Beal makes the 2016 All-Star team

Here's how the Wizards can make a leap this campaign: Regular season Bradley Beal starts playing like playoff Bradley Beal.

2014: Regular season (17.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 40.2 3-point FG%); Playoffs (19.2, 5.0., 4.5, 41.5%)     

2015: Regular season (15.3, 3.8, 3.1, 40.9%); Playoffs (23.4, 5.5., 4.6, 36.5%)

There are factors on both ends of the stats including various injuries and John Wall's busted hand during the 2015 postseason. Here's another factor heading into this season: Beal becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Here's one more: The 22-year-old -- yes, still just 22 -- now has three seasons of experience. Three seasons worth of understanding what it takes to make it night and night in the league. Shining in those playoff games as the primary ball handler without Wall certainly helps the confidence.

As for the East All-Star team, the practical matter is Kyrie Irving's injury opens a spot for someone. With stats in the 19-5-4-41% range plus some clutch shot highlights in the post-Paul Pierce world, Beal grabs it.

RELATED: Morning tip: Playing off the ball should benefit John Wall

DeJuan Blair records a double-double. Twice.

None who watched Blair watching from the bench throughout last season will mock that low bar. Heck, Blair averaged a mere 1.9 points,1.9 rebounds and 6.2 minutes over 29 games during an unforgettable first season in Chinatown. Don't expect consistent minutes for the 6-foot-5 "big man," but Blair is in MUCH better physical shape this season and he's always been a bull inside when motivated. Whether during times when Nene misses games or the Wizards are involved with a blowout game, Blair will get his.

Kris Humphries averages at least one made 3-pointer per game

For those just catching up with this transformation, the power forward last made a shot from beyond the arc during his rookie season. That was 2004. Now Humphries is stretching his range; he shot 35 percent on 3's during the preseason. The issue was never touch -- Humphries always had a quality mid-range game. It was just a matter of trying. For now he's the best bet to start at PF at least until Jared Dudley truly recovers from offseason back surgery. Minutes could get tricky at times with Drew Gooden also in the mix. As long as he can make at last 33-34 percent of his attempts and keep up rebounding prowess, playing time won't be an issue for Kris Hump-threes.

Most points scored in one game by a Wizard this season including exact number, opponent and date

1. John Wall - 38 (vs. Portland, Jan. 18)

2. Bradley Beal - 35 (at Dallas, Dec. 12)

3. John Wall - 34 (vs. Oklahoma City, Nov. 10; gets triple-double with 10 rebounds and 11 assists)

It's going to take most of the season for many casual fans and pundits to understand the Wizards are still good defensively even if they allow many more points.

More possessions equal more points. The Wizards' up-tempo plan means a quicker pace and more shots fired up. This also means more opportunities for the other team. This is why the "Points per 100 possessions" rating becomes the one to track. For example, the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors ranked 16th in points allowed last season (99.9), but were tops in defensive rating. Now, if the Wizards lose their defensive presence because of the small-and-speed approach, coach Randy Wittman's face will let you know. Speaking of more possessions...

John Wall leads the NBA in assists

Came in second (10.0) to Chris Paul (10.2) last season. With more plays and more shooters around him, look for Wall dropping more dimes. Let's go 10.8.

Part 2: Will KD2DC happen?

Check back this afternoon for the answer.

MORE WIZARDS: Blatche shares heartache, regret in wake of Flip Saunders' death

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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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