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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…


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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John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has already made enough money during his basketball career to last a lifetime and his new supermax contract worth $170 million is just kicking in. When he is done playing in the NBA, he doesn't have to do anything at all if he doesn't want to.

But there is at least a small part of Wall that believes coaching could be in his future. He loves the game enough to not rule out the possibility.

This year will give him a taste of what being a coach is all about. While he rehabs his ruptured left Achilles, he will serve as an unofficial assistant to head coach Scott Brooks. Wall will be asked to break down film with players, advise on plays to run and help the team's young point guards in practice.

Wall isn't sure as of today whether he wants to coach when his playing days are over. But he may have an answer in just a few months.

"I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not," Wall told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. 

"I think you have to have a lot of patience and you've gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player's attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn't the guy to coach."

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard envisions Wall as an important part of the locker room, even when he isn't playing. Part of his role may include some tough conversations with players. As Sheppard says, Wall may be able to deliver some messages that resonate more from a peer than if they came from a coach. 

Wall knows he can help in that regard. He has long been a vocal presence for the Wizards and had to assume the role as a team leader at an early age. After coming in as the No. 1 overall pick, he was a franchise player from the time he was 19 years old.

Wall's personality may also lend itself to those duties. He is very honest, whether it be with teammates or the media. 

"I like to speak my mind," he said. "It's like my momma always told me, 'I'd rather you speak your mind and say what you want to say, but say it in a respectful manner and a respectful way.'"

Wall, in fact, has a detailed philosophy on being honest. He doesn't like to lie whether it's in a media setting, to teammates or in everyday life.

It's not quite a Jim Carrey in 'Liar, Liar' deal, but Wall sees no point in beating around the bush. If he has something to say to a teammate or the media, he will say it.

"I don't know how to not give you the truth," he said. "What I've learned is that when you lie, you've gotta remember that lie exactly the way you said it for the next 12 people you tell it to. So, why make it that tough?"

Wall is set to miss at least the first few months of the Wizards' 2019-20 season and he could be sidelined the entire year. He said he hopes to have a similar impact that Kristi Tolliver did with the Mystics this past season where she remained active as a veteran leader in the locker room despite not being able to help the team on the floor for weeks due to a knee injury.

Missing so much time due to injury is not the ideal situation for Wall, but he plans to make the most of it.

"It will make my game a lot smarter and better for when I come back," he said.


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After setbacks in rehab, John Wall is appreciating the little things in life

USA Today Sports Images

After setbacks in rehab, John Wall is appreciating the little things in life

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has been all smiles in public when discussing his rehab from Achilles surgery. He has even remarked how smoothly this recovery has gone compared to others he's underwent in the past.

But his road back from a ruptured left Achilles has not been entirely free of obstacles. He revealed to NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast recently that he dealt with an infection that delayed him getting out of his walking boot.

That was already weeks after he first had surgery to remove bone spurs from his heel in January. He had a series of infections following that procedure, one of which helped doctors discover his Achilles had torn during a fall in his home.

Wall can admit now after the fact it was a difficult time for him.

"I've just put in a lot of hard work," he said. "For me to be where I'm at right now, with all the setbacks and infections and then finding out my Achilles was ruptured and then going through another infection, it was like 'man, when can I ever get past that point of just getting out of the boot and walking?'"

What made that last part particularly frustrating was where Wall makes his offseason home. He summers in Miami, a place notorious for its humidity.

"I was in Miami during the summertime in a boot. Like, man, I don't want to be in hot Miami in a boot, sweating," he said.

Nowadays, things are much better for Wall. He is doing on-court work at the Wizards' practice facility. He can shoot jumpers and do individual ball-handling and passing drills. He can jog and lift weights.

After months of waiting to just have his walking boot come off, Wall is very appreciative to simply be able to do anything on the basketball court.

"Just to do the ball-handling and be able to shoot and do the weight-lifting, that's a great aspect [of my progress]. It makes it easier for me because I'm in a great space where it's fun," he said. 

"I'm able to do what I'm able to do, even if I'm not playing at a high speed and running up and down, I'm able to shoot and do ball-handling. That's what I love to do."

Wall continues to make progress, now nine months removed from the Achilles surgery he had on Feb. 12. He is likely to be out at least three more months, and he could miss all of the 2019-20 season.

At some point, Wall may get restless, but he continues to preach patience towards his return. When asked by Chris Miller if he will start bothering the coaches soon to play, he said he's just happy to be back on the court in practice.