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

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

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. BROOKLYN NETS

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...

Beal a gametime decision

The Wizards shared some great news on Bradley Beal's sprained right ankle at Thursday's practice, that his MRI came back clean and he is now considered day-to-day. Whether he will play on Friday night, though, is still up in the air. Beal will be a gametime decision.

If he can't go, that should mean more of Marcus Thornton and maybe Sheldon McClellan as well. Tomas Satoransky continues to see sparse playing time, but this could convince head coach Scott Brooks to use him more. The Wizards are 0-3 this season with Beal out of the lineup, so it won't be easy replacing his production especially on the offensive end.

Still streaking

The Wizards continue to find a good deal of success playing at the Verizon Center. They have won seven straight at home, a streak second only to the Warriors amond NBA teams. And at 12-6 in D.C., they have the second-most home wins of any team in the East. Couple that with the Nets' 1-15 road record, the worst mark in the NBA, and the odds appear good for the Wizards to keep it rolling.

If the Wizards were to pull out a win, they would reach the .500 mark for the first time this season. That would be a nice way to cap of the year 2016.

[RELATED: Wall reacts to Wiz game being bumped from national TV]

Defense early

The Wizards beat the Nets in their first meeting on Dec. 5 in Brooklyn, but it wasn't easy. The Nets (8-23) are among the NBA's worst teams, yet they shot out to a 66-51 lead at halftime. The Wizards then clamped down to hold the Nets to just 15 points in the third quarter to set up a 118-113 victory.

The two players that hurt the Wizards most were Brook Lopez and Sean Kilpatrick. Lopez killed them in the first half and ended up with 25 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three. Kilpatrick continues to enjoy a solid season and dropped 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, and also had six rebounds and four assists.

[RELATED: Wizards get MRI results on Beal's sprained ankle]

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Austin Rivers believes he can help the Wizards on defense as much as anything

Austin Rivers believes he can help the Wizards on defense as much as anything

When asked at his introductory press conference for how he will fit on the Wizards' roster from a basketball perspective, guard Austin Rivers didn't first cite his three-point shooting, his ability to affect games scoring off the bench or his speed to run the floor with John Wall and Bradley Beal. The first thing he point to was his defense.

That may have surprised some people out there as Rivers has long been known for his scoring ability and not so much his skills on the other end. It's not that he can't play defense, it's just that most of the highlights he's produced over the years have been due to his high-flying finishes at the rim and wicked pull-up jumper from three-point range.

Defense, though, is something Rivers takes pride in and he hopes to continue developing as a defender in Washington.

"With how much Brad and John have to do every night, for them to not have to always guard the best guard on the other team, that's something I can come in here and do. Try to bring that competitive spirit and be one of the defenders on the team," Rivers said.

Rivers' defensive ability has produced some controversy among Wizards fans and media members on social media. Some insist he does not bring value on that end of the floor, while some numbers suggest he does have some defensive potential.

Last season, Rivers averaged a career-high 1.2 steals per game. He was tied for fifth on the Clippers in defensive win shares.

However, his 113 defensive rating was his worst since 2013-14. It was an outlier on the Clippers and not in the good way. He also ranked nowhere near the top of the league in deflections or contested three-point shots, two hustle stats that guys like Wall and Beal fair well in.

Rivers points to two attributes that he believes make him a strong perimeter defender. One is his versatility and the other you could call scrappiness.

"On defense [the Wizards] can switch one through three or one through four. I think that gives us a lot of dangerous options," he said.

As for his scrappiness, Rivers says it comes from the early days of his career.

"I had to figure out ways to be effective without [a jumpshot] and that's how I became a defender. I guess everything happens for a reason, right? I'm happy I did have those early career struggles because it made me find a side of me that I didn't do [early on]. Because I promise you I didn't play any defense at Duke," he said.

The last line drew laughter from those gathered at his introductory press conference. Rivers insists that he now takes that end of the floor very seriously. The Wizards certainly hope he can back up his words.

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John Wall offers thoughts on Wizards' biggest offseason additions including Dwight Howard

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John Wall offers thoughts on Wizards' biggest offseason additions including Dwight Howard

At his final media availability of the 2017-18 season, John Wall highlighted specific types of players he wanted to see added to the Wizards roster this summer. Most notably, he pointed to an athletic big and bench scoring.

The Wizards ended up adding those things and more.

They signed Dwight Howard and Jeff Green to free agent deals, traded for Austin Rivers and drafted Troy Brown, Jr. in the first round. Howard is the athletic big and Rivers is the bench scorer Wall coveted.

Whether coincidental or not, Wall got his wish. And he's excited for the possibilities now that the Wizards appear to have shored up some weaknesses.

In his recent interview with Chris Miller on our Wizards Tipoff podcast, Wall offered thoughts on each key addition.

On Howard: "Even though he's older, he's still an athletic big and still has respect in this league. I mean, averaging [16.6 ppg and 12.5 rpg], he's a guy who can score in the low-post and block shots, a guy that gets a lot of rebounds and a guy that can catch lobs and do things that when teams switch against us or we're attacking the paint, if they help for a second then we're throwing lobs. Now, do you get more layups? Probably. Or, you get more wide open threes because guys are going to have to crack down on him. If you don't crack down on him, that's an automatic layup or a lob. I think that benefits us a lot. It's going to help. If you look at [Clint] Capela, DeAndre [Jordan] and those types of guys that are athletic, JaVale [McGee]. Even JaVale at times, being athletic and just getting to the paint. Guys are stepping up and you're throwing lobs to those guys. We have a person that can do that."

On Rivers: "I think it's going to be fun and interesting. Austin is someone who I've always watched since high school. He's a competitive guy. He definitely can score the ball. High volume shooter, once he gets it going, he's going. I think it just gives us that guy that we've never really had off the bench, that can create for himself and can create for his teammates at the two-guard position."

On Green: "Just being able to switch one through four, a guy that can post up if you put smaller guys on him. He can guard every position. He's athletic and can run the floor with us in transition. He does the little things that a lot of people don't notice."

On Brown: "He's very poised for his age. He doesn't try to force anything. The only thing I would tell him is just be more aggressive... and make mistakes. Try to make mistakes and improve your game to get better. It's going to be hard to find minutes and at practice at times with [Kelly Oubre, Jr.] and Otto [Porter, Jr.] and those guys being there."

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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