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

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

Now the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards continue their west coast road trip in Portland on Saturday night. John Wall and Bradley Beal will face a test in another talented backcourt: Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Wizards are coming off an overtime gams the previous evening, so fatigue will be a factor. 

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

Where: Moda Center
Tip-off: 10:00 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 9:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

John Wall and Bradley Beal vs. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum

The big story of Saturday night will be about the backcourts. John Wall and Bradley Beal are both having career years, forcing their way into the conversation of the best backcourt tandems in the NBA. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were in a similar position last season when Lillard made the All-Star Team and McCollum received the Most Improved Player award. Both are still playing at a very high level, but the Blazers find themselves outside of playoff position looking in, while the Wizards are sitting pretty at No. 2 in the East. A year ago the Portland duo would have been considered the clear favorite between the two. Wall and Beal have a chance to change that tonight. 

[RELATED: Beal continuing to be offensive machine]

Jusuf Nurkic is a man on fire

The Blazers big man put up a dizzying 28 points, 20 rebounds and 8 assists in an overtime defeat of the Sixers. He's been Portland's most exciting player since the All-Star break, not to mention hitting 75-percent of his free throws in that span. At 7-feet and 280 pounds, he'll be a handful for Wizards big men tonight. 

[RELATED: 5 must-see moments from the Wizards overtime win over the Kings]

Need more from Brandon Jennings

On the second night of a back-to-back on the road, John Wall could really use some solid minutes – scoring and playmaking – from Brandon Jennings. Jennings hasn't found his groove with Wizards yet. He played 13 minutes of the overtime win in Sacramento and scored zero points. Since signing with Washington, he's averaging 1.6 points on 19-percent shooting. He still contributes with more than four assists off the bench, but if he was going to pick a time to start scoring, now would be it. A fifth consecutive win is on the line. 

[RELATED: NBA Power Rankings: Movement in the East]

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Moe Wagner had to get creative to train during quarantine with a hoop in his driveway

Moe Wagner had to get creative to train during quarantine with a hoop in his driveway

Playing basketball in your driveway, that is relatable. Doing so to prepare for NBA games while in the middle of a league shutdown due to a worldwide pandemic; well, that is unusual.

But for Wizards center Moe Wagner, training during quarantine required some creativity before the team reopened their practice facility in early June. First, he rented out the townhouse below his to set up a workout space. It was vacant, allowing Wagner to use training equipment with enough space for a 7-footer to move around.

"We set up a little gym," Wagner said.

Wagner's schedule was regimented by Zoom workouts hosted by the Wizards trainers and coaching staff. But eventually, that wasn't enough.

Wagner had his brother, Franz, with him. Franz plays for the University of Michigan, where Wagner starred before becoming a first round draft pick in 2018.

"Eventually my brother and I got a little eager to shoot a ball, so my agent had us sent a basketball hoop for outside which we built. It took us like three days," Wagner explained.

"We played a little bit in the garage in the middle of the city. It was kind of an absurd situation, but you will take what you can get, I guess."

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The garage Wagner and his brother played in was without a roof. They are common in Washington, D.C., especially in Northeast. So, it was technically a garage but more like a walled off driveway.

"[We] set it up in my back alley. Every time a car drives by, you have to wait. Obviously, it's very old school. You're going back to the roots a little bit. But after six weeks of not touching a ball, you're like 'we've gotta do something, man.' I'm a professional basketball player and I haven't touched a basketball in six weeks. That ain't right," Wagner said.

RELATED: WIZARDS WILL FACE LAKERS, CLIPPERS IN SCRIMMAGES

Waiting when cars drive by makes sense. Driveways are big enough for kids to shoot around in. But Wagner requires a bit more range to spread out and practice NBA threes.

Wagner indicated he did not shoot a ball for roughly six weeks. That would mean he set the hoop up around the end of April. If that is the case, he was likely more fortunate than many other young players who went longer without being able to shoot.

That's the big variable with the league's hiatus; who had the resources to train, either to just stay sharp or potentially even improve. Wagner was able to keep working on his game, it just took a good deal of creativity. 

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Wizards will face Lakers, Clippers in Orlando's NBA exhibition schedule

Wizards will face Lakers, Clippers in Orlando's NBA exhibition schedule

Before the Wizards begin their eight-game schedule to close out the regular season on July 31, they will have three exhibition games to get warmed up in Orlando.

They will start July 22 against the Denver Nuggets and also play the Lakers and Clippers. Those are the three top seeds in the Western Conference.

Here is a look at their three-game set:

7/22: Nuggets, 3:30 pm ET
7/25: Clippers, 8 pm ET
7/27: Lakers, 3 pm ET

The question here, of course, is whether the stars will play given these games won't count. In a usual preseason, the answer would probably be 'no.' But in this case, with each team only having three games to find their rhythm before games start, and after months off, it is anyone's guess.

RELATED: NO OLADIPO FOR PACERS IN ORLANDO

It wouldn't be surprising if the Wizards did see some combination of Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The biggest question mark would be that Lakers game since it is the last exhibition game for both teams. Maybe James and/or Davis sit with two games already under their belt and an opening night meeting with the Clippers awaiting.

Either way, the Wizards will get a look at some of the NBA's best teams before they kick things off for real. And this also means they will be playing games nine days ahead of their regular season. There are now just under three weeks to go until the Wizards return to the court.

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

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