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Wizards roll into Brooklyn where Nets, Blatche await

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Wizards roll into Brooklyn where Nets, Blatche await

The Wizards take to the court Monday night in Brooklyn for their fourth preseason game of the season. You can watch the game on our air (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). When you do, take note of these three points...

*Healthy bodies: We already know the Wizards (1-2) will be up against a bit at the point guard spot between now and likely Thanksgiving without John Wall in the lineup. The timeline for Nene's return from his plantar fasciitis remains unclear. Back before the start of the regular season or by opening night, shrugs. Starting with media day, these two absences, baked into the preseason cake. Neither Emeka Okafor nor Trevor Booker not playing a second during the opening three games, not so much. Chris Singleton sitting out every second of Saturday's win at Cleveland or Kevin Seraphin leaving after five minutes with a calf injury, the same. Randy Wittman already had a tough enough task figuring out how best to blend in the many  new pieces with the existing youthful options already here. No Wall or Nene certainly slows the process. Not having a legitimate NBA rotation especially in the frontcourt takes the job to another level.

*The lineup: Wittman promised changes in the starting five for the third preseason game after consecutive offensively challenged and slow starts. Out went Jordan Crawford, Trevor Ariza and A.J. Price, in went Bradley Beal, Martell Webster and Jannero Pargo. The Wizards trailed by eight points after the first quarter, but the game never got out of hand from there and ended with a winning result. In roles both ultimately figure to find themselves in, the rookie Beal maintained his poised and aggressive play as a starter while Crawford continued with his usual scoring knack off the bench.

The other spots, harder to gauge. Ariza's shooting touch yet to make an appearance in a Wizards uniform, making his appearance in the regular season opening starting lineup at Cleveland iffy than one might have imagined following the trade with New Orleans. At the point, Shelvin Mack has zero starts to date. He also has committed zero turnovers while Jannero Pargo is credited with 12 over the last two games.

*The captain: The Wizards will receive an early look at the new-look Nets, a franchise in a new city (Brooklyn) with a new star player (Joe Johnson) playing in a brand new arena (Barclays Center). All angles, legitimate headlines - just not the one on the minds of folks living in or rooting for the team representing the DMV. Andray Blatche now dons a Nets jersey, having joined up with Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez after receiving his walking papers (and a fat check) from the Wizards this summer after seven largely chaotic seasons. Coming off the bench for Brooklyn, Blatche has reportedly been a positive presence for the Nets, coming up with 12 points, five rebounds and the game-winning basket in the team's preseason opening 108-105 overtime win against the 76ers.

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Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

The connection between athletes and their fans is a powerful thing in sports. The NBA is one of the trendiest, fashion-forward leagues in the world. From shoe design to overall wardrobe to eccentric personalities...the Association has it all on display for fans across the globe to consume. 

Lloyd Ferguson, a fan himself and native of Silver Spring, Md., is bursting onto the customized sneakers scene as an up-and-coming artist. 

His Instagram (@SwaggyPicasso) serves as his personal laboratory and a platform to share his creations. 

Prior to the start of Thursday night's Wizards-Heat game, NBC Sports Washington invited Ferguson to Capital One Arena for what would become a memorable night for the 23-year-old. 

Chris Miller and Drew Gooden featured Swaggy Picasso on the pregame show for an interview and sneaker showcase.

"The inside of my body was jiggling and moving. I was like 'I gotta keep composed and stay cool. You're on national televison, Lloyd.'" 

You would have never known it. 

Ferguson, who was a basketball player himself locally, grew up a Wizards and D.C. sports fan all around. 

Little did he know several Wizards would take notice of his artwork. 

Kelly Oubre, Devin Robinson and John Wall - each known for their wardrobes and respective styles - stopped by to take a peek at Ferguson's kicks. 

"Their reactions to my art was all I needed, honestly. They see the potential and growth. It's very overwhelming." 

It was a groundbreaking night for a young talent with lofty dreams and aspirations. 

Swaggy Picasso has no plans of stopping anytime soon. 

"I've been busting out these shoes day and night. I don't sleep. My desire to paint shoes is ridiculous." 

 

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Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards take to the court Saturday night looking for their first win of the season against the Toronto Raptors. 

In their first game of the season the Wizards laid an egg after the Miami Heat were missing three rotation players on the second end of a back-to-back. Similar problems emerged even with new offseason additions Jeff Green and Austin Rivers having stellar debuts. Dwight Howard did not play in the contest, still dealing with a butt injury. 

Now, the Wizards will go up against one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference, the Raptors. They also acquired a former All-Star in Kwahi Leonard this offseason, trading away DeMar DeRozan. Besides the switch, this is pretty much the same squad that knocked the Wizards out of the First Round of the playoffs last season.

On Saturday the Raptors will be coming off a back-to-back after hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Once again, another big opportunity for the Wizards against an Eastern Conference foe early in the season.

The Wizards-Raptors will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors, 2018 NBA regular season Game 2
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Raptors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS TV SCHEDULE
6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Toronto Raptors @ Wizards (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
10:30 PM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard (questionable)
Raptors: Delon Wright (day-to-day), OG Anunoby (probable)

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS PLAYERS TO WATCH

John Wall, Wizards: After speculation on if Wall would return to his peak form, he showed out on Thursday night. With 26 points, nine assists, and four blocks, the point guard was all around the court for the Wizards. 

Otto Porter Jr./ Jeff Green, Wizards: Covering Leonard is going to be a tall task. It is anticipated that the taller Otto Porter Jr. and Jeff Green to be the duo that will be covering the lengthy guard.  Neither guy are going to light-up the stat sheet on the offensive end, but after a nice showing by Green on Thursday look for them to split time defensively. 

Khawi Leonard: Leonard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his debut with the Raptors, picking up right where he left off before his injury. Will a back-to-back affect the star that hasn't played consistently since 2016? 

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 95 games
Regular Season Record: Raptors lead 48-37
Postseason Record: Wizards lead 6-4
Last Meeting: Raptors won 102-92
Last 10: Raptors lead 6-4

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