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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The Washington Wizards host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…


Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Can Otto get back on track?

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 5, Otto Porter looked like had found his way as a consistent threat on the offensive end of the floor. Through six games during that stretch he averaged 15.3 points on 63.3% shooting, including 52.2% from three, and brought in 7.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. There was even talk about a max contract next summer when he hits free agency.

But in the four games since, Porter has fallen off. He's still shooting at a high clip - 51.7% from the field and 38.5% from three - but he's averaged just 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 33.2 minutes per night.

The Wizards need to find a way to get Porter more involved on offense. For example, he took just four shots on Dec. 6 vs. Orlando. And Porter needs to get himself more involved on the boards. In those minutes, and at his position, he wants more than 3.3 rebounds per night.

[RELATED: Basic principles of defense elude Wizards in loss]

Beal and Wall continue to thrive

John Wall and Bradley Beal are the Wizards' best players and lately they have been in peak form. In the 13 games since he returned from hamstring tightness, Beal is averaging 25.4 points on 48.5% percent shooting, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He's shooting 44.7 percent from three on 7.9 attempts per night. The Wizards are 7-6 during that stretch.

Wall has caught fire lately, too. With his 30 points on Monday night against the Heat, Wall is averaging 29.2 points on 48.2 percent shooting, nine assists and 2.4 steals over his last four games. He's getting to the free throw line 7.6 times a game and hitting 84.2 percent of them. The Wizards right now have their two most important players performing at a superstar level.

Zeller starting to emerge

Cody Zeller has a long way to go to justify his selection as the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, just one slot behind Porter. But the Hornets big man is starting to make a significant impact on one of the Eastern Conference's best teams. Zeller, 24, is averaging 10.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 25.2 minutes a night. He's shooting an even 60 percent from the field.

Along with Zeller, the Hornets also play 23-year-old Frank Kaminsky (7'), Roy Hibbert (7' 2") and Spencer Hawes (7' 1") in their rotation. That's a lot of big men to matchup against for a Wizards team that remains without Ian Mahinmi.

Kemba's on a roll

Kemba Walker is off to a terrific start through 25 games this season. The six-year pro is averaging a career-high 22.8 points per game to go along with 4.9 assists and 1.5 steals. He's shooting a career-best 46.6 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from three. The Wizards did, however, beat the Hornets both times they played at the Verizon Center last year and Walker was held to just 10-of-29 (.345) shooting in those games.

[RELATED: State of the Wizards: McClellan has breakout game in D-League]

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Texas A&M big man Robert Williams likes potential fit with Wizards, John Wall

Texas A&M big man Robert Williams likes potential fit with Wizards, John Wall

In terms of the needs on their roster and the guys most likely to be available when they are on the clock at No. 15 in the first round, few players in this draft class seem as obvious a fit with the Washington Wizards more than Robert Williams of Texas A&M. So, it was no surprise that he not only visited them in Washington on Monday, but received the only individual public workout they have held during this year's predraft process.

Williams could be the answer to their longstanding quest for an athletic big man. No need to bring in five other guys for the usual six-player workout when Williams deserves a longer and more extensive look than most prospects they are considering.

The 20-year-old was put through a variety of drills Monday afternoon, just days before the 2018 NBA Draft. He likes the fit with Washington, if that's how things end up sorting out.

"I definitely feel like they could use a big like me, a defensive-style athletic big like me. I definitely see myself fitting here," he said.

Williams is one of the best big men in this year's draft. He is 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds with a 7-5 wingspan. He used that length to dominate in the paint at the college level.

Williams averaged a modest 10.4 points for the Aggies in 2017-18, but also 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. That was his sophomore year. He averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a freshman.

He was a shot-blocking force the day he stepped on campus and believes those skills will translate to the professional ranks. In the NBA, Williams believes he can thrive because his defensive versatility will be even more valuable in a day and age where switching is paramount.

"I feel like I can guard all positions. That’s one of my biggest attributes," he said. "It’s just about embracing it, having fun stopping a guard. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can do it."

Williams may adapt to the NBA quickly on the defensive end and that's where the Wizards need help the most. They haven't had a consistent rim-protector in years. Last season, point guard John Wall led the team in blocks per game.

Offense is where the questions lie with Williams. He wasn't a big scorer in college and does not have much of an outside shot. The fact he shot just 47.1 percent from the free throw line this past season suggests he has a lot of work to do before he can stretch the floor.

Williams will need to find a niche offensively, likely as a rim-runner off pick-and-rolls. He sees a lot of potential in a possible pick-and-roll pairing with Wall.

"He’s an elite passer and an elite guard. Coming off a pick-and-roll, you have to pay attention to him as well as have to pay attention to me as well. It’s a win-win situation," Williams said.

Williams believes his offensive game will open up with more space at the NBA level. The Wizards have Wall surrounded by three-point shooters in Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Toss Williams into the middle and he could go to work in the paint doing the rest.

If Williams were drafted by the Wizards, he could look at Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets as a model to follow. Like Houston, the Wizards have two All-Star guards. An athletic big man who doesn't need plays run for him could be the perfect complement.

No one needs to tell Williams that, he is well-aware. He said that at nearly every stop during the predraft process Capela's name has come up.

"I knew that’s what you were going to say," Williams said to a reporter (raises hand) who asked about the Capela comparison.

Williams continued to say they are different players and it's not entirely fair to compare them. That exchange showed Williams has an edge to him, sort of like Morris. He's clearly not afraid to be honest when some players would not.

Despite downplaying the comparison, Williams can see what makes Capela successful.

"I’ve watched him. He’s a great player," Williams said. "He is around the right people. He just plays his role. He runs off a lot of screens. He gets up there and does what he has to do."

Williams is gearing up for Thursday's draft and trying to decide who he will walk the stage with, as the NBA has introduced a new tradition of each player walking with two people. He said it will likely be his mother and sister. Perhaps by the end of the night he will also walk that stage wearing a Washington Wizards hat.

For more on Williams, check out our extensive draft profile on him.

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Former Wizards forward arrested on armed robbery charges after stealing $100,000

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Former Wizards forward arrested on armed robbery charges after stealing $100,000

Former NBA player J.J. Hickson faces charges of armed robbery after breaking into a home near Atlanta, stealing $100,000 from the house, and physically assaulting a teenager who was inside, authorities said Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Hickson, who played eight seasons in the NBA with four teams before his brief appearance in Washington, is currently being held in Coweta County Jail without bond. 

He is currently affiliated with the Lebanese Basketball League but played 15 games with the Wizards during the 2015-16 season. Hickson averaged 4.6 ppg and scored a season-high 15 points against the Nets in the penultimate game of the regular season. He has not played professionally in the United States since.  Hickson played just one season at North Carolina State before being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 19 pick of the 2008 NBA Draft.

Jimmy Yarbrough, the sheriff's spokesperson in Coweta, said that while at least two people were involved in the invasion, only Hickson is being held and charged.

According to authorities, Hickson entered through a side door, armed with a knife and his face and head covered. He was initially apprehended by another department and later transferred into the custody of Coweta County law enforcement. 

At this time in the investigation, very little detail is publicly available.

The teenage victim, whose name remains private, received medical treatment for several broken bones and is fortunately in good condition.