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Wizards at Rockets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Rockets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The Washington Wizards play at the Houston Rockets on Monday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at HOUSTON ROCKETS

Where: Toyota Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wizards aim for four straight, winning record

The Wizards can accomplish two things for the first time this season on Monday night against the Rockets. With a win they would earn their first four-game winning streak and their first record above the .500 mark. They reached .500 for the first time on Friday night with their win over the Nets.

The Wizards play at the Rockets on Monday to begin a stretch of four road games out of their next six overall. If the Wizards are to continue their recent winning ways, they will need to overcome their troubles on the road. Only one NBA team, the Nets, has less road wins this season. The Wizards are an ugly 3-10 away from the Verizon Center, the same road record as the Philadelphia 76ers.

[RELATED: Did John Wall do enough in December?]

Harden's encore

In the Rockets' most recent game, on New Year's Eve against the Knicks, James Harden put in one of the more impressive box score lines you will ever see. He dropped 53 points as part of a triple-double that also included 17 assists and 16 rebounds. He got those points on 14-of-26 (53.8%) shooting, as Houston closed the month of December with an enviable 15-2 record. 

For Harden, that was his second triple-double in a row and his fourth in his last nine games. He's playing the best basketball of his career as the Rockets return home to host the Wizards, a team he has enjoyed plenty of success against recently. Earlier this season, on Nov. 7, Harden scored 32 points to go along with 15 assists in a Rockets win. And last year he scored at least 40 points in both meetings between the teams. 

Can the bench do it again?

The Wizards won without Bradley Beal on Friday against the Nets in large part due to a huge night from their bench. Trey Burke stepped up to score 27 points in 30 minutes on 10-of-12 shooting. He was 5-for-5 from three-point range. Jason Smith had 10 points in 18 minutes on 5-of-7 shooting. It was his second time reaching double-figures this season. Matt Thornton chipped in with eight points, as the Wizards' bench collectively scored 50 of their 118 points as a team.

The Wizards could be without Beal again on Monday night as he continues to rest his sprained right ankle. Even if he does play, he may be held back to an extent by the injury. The Wizards will definitely need their bench to come through again if they are to take out the Rockets, one of the NBA's best and hottest teams.

[RELATED: Wizards' bench better than first thought?]

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Where does a healthy John Wall rank among NBA's top 10 point guards?

Where does a healthy John Wall rank among NBA's top 10 point guards?

John Wall last played in an NBA game on December 26, 2018. He's expected to come back at the beginning of the 2020-21 season, and once he makes his long-awaited return to the Wizards' starting lineup, he'll find himself in a much different point guard landscape than the one he left. 

The position has changed, traditional point guards are mostly a thing of the past. NBA offenses are either run through multiple ball-handlers who can score and facilitate, or they're one-man shows centered around highly skilled individuals such as James Harden and Luka Doncic. 

Wall has consistently been one of the best in the league at his position, but after missing a year to an Achilles injury, it's hard to forecast where his game will be come next season. With that in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 point guards in the game (all presumed healthy), and see where Wall falls on the list. 

1. James Harden
2. Luka Doncic
3. Damian Lillard
4. Steph Curry
5. Chris Paul
6. Kyrie Irving
7. John Wall
8. Russell Westbrook
9. Kemba Walker
10. Kyle Lowry

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Wall has the talent to be in the top three of this list for sure, though it's difficult to put him anywhere but No. 7 right now. He's probably a tier above Walker and Lowry, while Wall and Westbrook are more comparable players. 

Irving, Curry and Lillard are too good and have been consistently great enough to where you can't put them below Wall, while Paul might be a great inspiration for players like Wall. Paul keeps getting older and keeps getting hurt but he's still so, so good. 

Then you have the two walking offensive systems in Doncic and Harden. Their production and what they do for their teams as primary ball-handlers is mostly unmatched across the eight players listed below them. 

Wall could rise all the way to the top of this list if he plays to his full abilities. The speed, perimeter defense, passing and dribble penetration made him an All-NBA level player. If Wall can improve his accuracy from beyond the arc, take more threes and fewer mid-range jumpers, I don't see why he can't see an uptick in efficiency even if his athleticism isn't what it used to be.

It's not a reach to say the Wizards' contention hopes depend heavily on whether Wall plays back to All-Star form or not. An Achilles injury is incredibly challenging to bounce back from, especially for a player like Wall whose game has had so much to do with speed and explosion in the past. 

The good news is he's had a chance to digest the game from a different perspective and time to fine-tune his jumper, while his Wizards teammates, especially Bradley Beal, are better than when he last suited up. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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2020 NBA Draft: Robert Woodard II could be one of the best prospects no one is talking about

2020 NBA Draft: Robert Woodard II could be one of the best prospects no one is talking about

The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Robert Woodard II

Team: Mississippi State
Position: SF
Age: 20 (turns 21 in September)
Height: 6-7
Weight: 230
Wingspan: 7-1

2019/20 stats: 31 G, 33.1 mpg, 11.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg, 49.5 FG% (4.4/8.9), 42.9 3PT% (1.0/2.3), 64.1 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, Chandler Parsons

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 25th, Sports Illustrated 43rd, Ringer 28th, NBADraft.net N/A, Bleacher Report N/A

5 things to know:

*Few players in college basketball took as big of a jump as Woodard from his freshman year to his sophomore season. He transitioned from a bench role player that could do a little bit of everything, into an able-bodied scorer off the ball that could take advantage of multiple size matchups. His scoring improved by a six-point average and had a key role in the Bulldogs' offense.

*Most impressive for Woodard was the development of an outside shot. His growth included a 15% jump from long-range with an added confidence to score at all three levels. Mind you, his 42.9% shooting was only on 70 attempts and an area of his game that was not previously highlighted. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

*How Woodard fits on an NBA roster is what has mock draft experts split on where he will be selected. Some don't even have him being drafted. It seems he's most natural on the floor playing as a guard, however, he has a high dribble and commits two turnovers a game for someone that typically does not run the point. He has the accuracy to be a wing scorer, but lacks the consistent shot selection of a 3-point threat. Some evaluators see him as an undersized four, for his rebounding and presence around the rim, but his post-moves are really nonexistent. 

*Woodard is built well and has an NBA-ready frame. It led him to be an effective rebounder 6.5 boards per game as a nontraditional post player and a good defender with the agility to block shots. He also has a high basketball IQ which makes him a high-level defender off the ball.

*Woodard's father, Robert Woodard is Mississippi's all-time high school scorer with 4,274 points. He also continued his playing days at Mississippi State. 

Fit with Wizards: Positional flexibility with a knack for hitting 3-pointers would be why the Wizards would take a chance on Woodard. Many of the fundamentals of his game are already set which wouldn't mean Washington would need to spend time on development. 

He has a similar offensive game to Rui Hachimura: Nice size and build, that occasionally also steps out behind the arc. He can also rotate to multiple positions.

How the Wizards would utilize Woodard remains to be seen though. Backing up Hachimura, who was drafted just the year prior is not a long-term sustainable plan. Having Woodard even be a bigger wing (ie. Davis Bertans if re-signed) would be another back-up role. Yet, Woodard does not nearly jack up as many threes as Bertans. Playing Woodard as a guard isn't really in the cards either.

A depth piece that can fit in multiple spots is Woodard's biggest asset for the Wizards. And from there they could develop him into the role they see fit. His one season of a robust 3-point shooter is not enough to see that being his future.

There's not much to justify him going in the lottery. However, if Tommy Sheppard wants to add a young, NBA ready-built player in the second round or even as an undrafted free agent, Woodard could provide value in those spots. The athleticism and ability are there.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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