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

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

The Washington Wizards host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday 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. DENVER NUGGETS

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m.
TV: CSN (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Can they rebound defensively?

The Wizards put in an ugly defensive performance on Tuesday night in their loss to the Orlando Magic, one that saw the worst scoring team in the East blow up for a season-high 124 points. The Magic shot 51.8 percent and got 73 points from their bench alone. It was a night that the Wizards will want to put behind them as quickly as possible.

They get their first chance for a rebound on Thursday night against the Nuggets, a team happens to be very good on offense. They are eighth in points per game (106.5) and boast five players averaging double-figures, and nine players averaging at least 8.9 points per game. They are deep with scorers and play a fast-paced style, getting up the fifth-most shots per game of any team. Last year the Wizards lost both matchups against the Nuggets and allowed 116 and 117 points in those games.

[RELATED: State of the Wizards: Brooks on how Beal can be like Klay]

Can Wall keep it going?

John Wall is coming off the game of his life, a 52-point explosion on Tuesday night against the Magic that was unfortunately soured by a disappointing loss. On Thursday night he has the chance for an encore against a team not known for their defense. The Nuggets give up 109.3 points per game which ranks 26th among 30 NBA teams.

Wall has actually been shooting very well going back three games. In his last three outings, Wall is averaging 31.3 points on 54.5 percent shooting, including 50 percent from three on 4.7 attempts per night. That's to go along with 12 assists and three steals per game during this stretch. Not bad.

Rebounding margin

Thursday night will present a stark contrast between two teams on the opposite end of the NBA rebounding spectrum. The Nuggets are the best team in basketball at cleaning the glass, averaging a league-high 49.8 boards per game. The Wizards, on the other hand, are among the league's worst teams at rebounding, averaging 42.9 boards per game which is the second-fewest of anyone.

For the Wizards, that is despite having Marcin Gortat, who is fifth in the NBA with 12.1 rebounds per game. The Nuggets, meanwhile, get it done by committee. They have seven players pulling in four boards or more per game. Their leaders are Kenneth Faried (8.5/g), Wilson Chandler (7.6), Jusuf Nurkic (7.3) and Nikola Jokic (6.9).

[RELATED: Wizards send rookie McClellan to D-League]

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Mike Scott is wearing your rival's hockey jersey, explained

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NBA.com

Mike Scott is wearing your rival's hockey jersey, explained

Former Wizards forward Mike Scott loves an NHL jersey. It's a pretty well-known thing on the internet. But with the NHL Playoffs heating up, fans are getting really mad that Scott is wading into "The Drake Curse" waters.

And they're taking it personally.

But the reality of it all: the dude just really likes hockey jerseys. 

Scott told reporters that he owns approximately 170 (!!!) custom made NHL jerseys. The NBA star ditched the classic suit and now exclusively wears a hockey jersey as part of his pre-game regimen. 

Scott even goes as far to paint them with his own creativity, adding funny catchphrases, made up words or song lyrics in place of a last name on the back.

And the list goes on.

So is your anger at Scott justified? Absolutely not.

And neither is referring to him as "worse than The Drake Curse" (as many Twitter users so graciously have). Because unlike Scott, bandwagoner Drake is actually cursed.

The Canadian-born music artist flew home after the Maple Leafs entered playoff territory. And what happened? The rapper brought bad luck to his own people, and Toronto fell 6-4 to the Boston Bruins. 

But Scott is different: he isn't pledging his allegiance to any team or even being a bandwagon fan for that matter. This guy's version of a sweater collection just lays in NHL jerseys. And he doesn't care who knows it. 

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Wizards 2018-19 end of season grades: Bradley Beal

Wizards 2018-19 end of season grades: Bradley Beal

Now that the dust has settled for the 2018-19 Wizards season, it's time to review the roster and hand out individual grades...

Who: Bradley Beal, shooting guard

2018-19 stats: 36.9 mpg, 25.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.7 tov, 47.5 FG%, 35.1 3P% (2.5/7.3), 54.0 eFG%, 80.8 FT% (4.4/5.5), 113 ortg, 114 drtg

Best game: 1/13 vs. Raptors - 43 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks, 6-12 3PT

Grade: A+

Season review: One could argue that nobody deserves a higher grade in the Wizards organization for their 2018-19 season than Bradley Beal, who had by far the best individual year of any player on the team. He had high expectations coming into the season and exceeded them, taking the next step from an All-Star to a legitimate All-NBA candidate.

Beal also continued to represent the organization well in public. He spoke for the team after many difficult losses with poise and maturity. And he brought positive attention to the franchise for his charitable efforts, recently being named as a finalist for the league's community assist award.

Beal's on-court performance was a shining light amid a disastrous season overall for the team. He set career-highs in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and free throw attempts. He played in all 82 games for the second straight season and never complained despite leading the NBA in minutes.

The most impressive part of Beal's season may be how he responded when John Wall went down due to injury. Wall last played on Dec. 26 and in the next 47 games, Beal averaged 27.2 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals. 

Beal's final numbers put him in elite company. He became the first 25-5-5 player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. He was one of only six players to reach that mark this season, a list that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

Even as the season was winding down and the Wizards were well out of playoff contention, Beal gave an honest and consistent effort. That stood out in a year in which some of his teammates did not play hard and were called out by head coach Scott Brooks and team leaders for doing so. 

Now Beal, of course, had many reasons to keep giving 100 percent. With the numbers he has put up, he could make All-NBA in late May and, if he does, will qualify for a supermax contract. That could mean tens of millions more on his next deal, if he chooses to sign back with the Wizards.

As Beal looks ahead to this summer and next season, another question is how much better he can become. He took a significant step from the All-Star year he had in 2017-18. What if he makes another, similar leap?

Beal upped his scoring average by three points year-over-year. Another jump like that could put him in the MVP conversation, depending on how the Wizards finish in the standings.

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