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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

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Spectrum 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...

Morris' status

The Wizards made a late scratch to their lineup about an hour before tip-off against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, as power forward Markieff Morris dealt with an illness. The Wizards were fine without him for a night, as Jason Smith and Ian Mahinmi each stepped up with season-highs in points: 17 and 16 points, respectively.

But Washington surely wants to get Morris back to 100 percent and soon. John Wall said Morris has been battling sickness for several games and that's why his production has dipped. They need to get him back and playing well before their schedule heats up. We'll see if he can go on Saturday night.

[RELATED: Wall hits circus shot from the ground vs. Wolves]

Last tuneup before Boston

Saturday night may represent a bit of a trap game for the Wizards, who know they have a matchup with much higher stakes set for Monday in Boston. The Hornets have had a disappointing year at 29-39 and currently sit 11th in the East. It would be easy to overlook them at this point of the season.

If the Wizards can take care of business, they will roll into Boston with a two-game winning streak. Getting Morris back into the mix would be a nice bonus, as well. Right now the Celtics are second in the East and just 1 1/2 games ahead of Washington. The Wizards lead the season series 2-1, so one more win and they secure an all-important tiebreaker.

The Wizards, by the way, are inching closer to securing a playoff spot. Their magic number to clinch is now just five and their magic number for the Southeast Division is 10. Washington hasn't won a division since 1978-79, a span of 37 seasons. That's the longest drought in the NBA.

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

Charlotte is bottoming out

Not only are the Hornets underperforming this season, lately it has gotten even worse. They have lost three straight and 11 of their last 16 games. Injuries have hurt the Hornets all season and right now they are without star guard Nic Batum, who has a serious bout with migraine headaches.

The Hornets are a vulnerable team and there is certainly an opportunity for the Wizards, who have had trouble closing out games recently against lesser teams. Working in the Wizards' favor is their streak of 11 straight wins in games that are part of a back-to-back, as Saturday night's matchup will be.

[RELATED: Wall on Cousins: 'He said he would come to D.C.']

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Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

As the NBA regular season approaches, the Washington Wizards seek to finalize their roster.

The Wizards announced on Wednesday that they have waived Phil Booth, Justin Anderson and Jemerrio Jones. The team also signed 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks and small forward Jalen Jones, the team announced.

Pasecniks and Jones were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, meaning that if they are waived, they will have the opportunity to play for the Go-Go, the Wizards' G-League affiliate. Booth was on an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will report to the Go-Go after being waived.

Pasecniks, a 7-foot center from Latvia, was the 25th overall selection from the 2017 draft. The Orlando Magic drafted him and moved him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for draft picks. The 76ers renounced his rights in June.

Pasecniks played on the Wizards summer league team, averaging 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. Jalen Jones has averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc in 32 games over two seasons with three teams.

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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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