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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday 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…


Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m. (pregame coverage at 7 p.m. on CSN, postgame after)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wall's ankle

Every time the Wizards open their doors at practice to the media, reporters walk in and immediately take a headcount. Every once in a while someone will be missing. Sometimes it's because they hit the showers early, while other times it is due to injury. On Sunday, there was one very notable absence. In the corner, and in sweats and sandals, sat John Wall with a biowave machine hooked up to his left leg.

It turns out Wall sprained his ankle in Friday night's win over the Pacers and despite having Saturday off, the Wizards held him out of practice on Sunday to rest. Wall said he is fine and his coach Scott Brooks said the same. But it still bears watching, of course, as Wall is their best player and on Monday will have a tough matchup in Russell Westbrook, maybe the only guy in the NBA as fast and tough to stay in front of as him.

Wall, by the way, is just one 20-point and 10-assist performance from breaking a team record:

[RELATED: Markieff Morris taxes defenses that forget about him]

Looking for revenge

The first time these two teams squared off, on Nov. 30 in Oklahoma City, the Wizards let a winnable game slip away. Westbrook knocked down a three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime. The Thunder then blew the Wizards out in the extra period, 21-10. Now the Wizards will look to avenge that loss after since turning their season completely around. Washington has gone 26-10. They are 16-3 in their last 19 games.

When the Wizards first played the Thunder, Washington was a 6-10 team and Wall had yet to play himself into shape after two offseason knee surgeries. Wall was limited to 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting and the Wizards' 25-5 deficit in fastbreak points was unusual. The Wizards are sixth in the NBA in fastbreak points (15.2/g) and that has a lot to do with Wall. Certainly, the expect better results in that category this time around.

[RELATED: Brooks reacts to Durant being booed by Thunder fans]

100-point mark

I have been throwing around a stat in recent days involving the Wizards scoring 100 points or more. They currently hold a streak of 20 straight games where they have hit or surpassed the 100-point mark and that's the longest run for the franchise since 1989 when the Bullets did it in 26 straight games. No team in franchise history has gone past 27 since 1970. The longest streak in Wizards/Bullets history is 48. That was done twice, in 1965 and 1967.

Consider this: at 20 games the Wizards are just two short of the longest 100-point streak that Brooks ever had in Oklahoma City. The Thunder got to 22 in March of the 2014-15 season, just a month before he was fired. So, if the Wizards hit 100 in their next three games, they will do something Kevin Durant and Westbrook never did together and the same applies to their earlier years with superstar James Harden in the mix. Put it in that context, and it's no small feat. 

In case you were wondering: no, the Wizards aren't close to the NBA record whatsoever, nor are they close to this season's longest streak. The longest ever was 136 games by the Denver Nuggets in December of 1982. That streak began the previous January in 1981. The longest streak this season is the Houston Rockets, at 43 games and still counting. They are the only team to do it longer than 37 games this century. In fact, they are just one of three teams since 2000 to go beyond 30. The other two were the 2008 Warriors (37) and the current Warriors, whose 30-game streak is still alive. If the Wizards get to 100 on Monday, though, they will be one of just 10 teams since 2000 to score 100 or more in 21 straight.

[RELATED: Barkley and Shaq say John Wall is East's best point guard]

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NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division


NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Southeast Division...

Washington Wizards, B+

2017-18 finish: 43-39, 1st round of playoffs
In: C Dwight Howard, G Austin Rivers, G Troy Brown, Jr., F Jeff Green, C Thomas Bryant
Out: C Marcin Gortat, F Mike Scott, G Ty Lawson, G Tim Frazier, G Ramon Sessions, F Chris McCullough

Given the circumstances of their salary cap situation, the Wizards did quite well for themselves this summer. They shook things up by trading Gortat and actually got something solid back for him in Rivers. They then filled Gortat's spot with an eight-time All-Star in Howard and did so at a bargain price, the taxpayer mid-level exception. They also added Green at a nice price and Brown, who acquitted himself nicely in the Summer League. Whether the Wizards made a major leap forward is debatable, but the potential is there for them to re-install themselves as contenders in the East. The possibility things go wrong is also there, but all in all, a strong summer for the Wizards.

Atlanta Hawks, B

2017-18 finish: 24-58, missed playoffs
In: G Jeremy Lin, C Alex Len, G Trae Young, G Vince Carter, G Kevin Huerter, F Justin Anderson, F Omari Spellman
Out: G Dennis Schroeder, C Mike Muscala, C Dewayne Dedmon, G Malcolm Delaney, G Isaiah Tayor

The Hawks did a nice job with the draft by picking up an extra first round pick just to move back two spots (from third to fifth) in their trade with the Mavericks. They added Young with the fifth pick and then got Huerter later on at No. 18. The Len signing at two years and $8.5 million looks like a bargain and they added a nice mix of veteran free agents and young players to develop. It will probably be a few years before the Hawks are back in the playoffs, but they seemed to take a step forward this summer.

Miami Heat, D

2017-18 finish: 44-38, 1st round of playoffs
In: F Duncan Robinson
Out: G Dwyane Wade, G Wayne Ellington, F Luke Babbitt

The Heat had one of the least impactful summers of any team in the NBA. The biggest addition they have so far, and this is true, is Robinson. They didn't make any draft picks and struck out in free agency. What they did do is let go of Wade, Ellington and others. The only way the Heat improve year-over-year is if their young guys like Bam Adebayo or Justise Winslow take a big step forward. 

Charlotte Hornets, C+

2017-18 finish: 36-46, missed playoffs
In: C Bismack Biyombo, F Miles Bridges, G Devonte' Graham
Out: C Dwight Howard, G Michael Carter-Williams, G Treveon Graham

New Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak quickly turned the franchise into a different direction this offseason by trading Howard to the Nets. They then added Biyombo in a deal with the Magic and acquired Bridges through the draft. There isn't a lot to love or hate about the Hornets' offseason, so they fall in the middle of the grading scale. The real question now is what they do with Kemba Walker, who has just one year left on his contract.

Orlando Magic, B+

2017-18 finish: 25-57, missed playoffs
In: C Mohamed Bamba, C Timofey Mozgov, F Justin Jackson, F Jarell Martin, G Jerian Grant
Out: G Mario Hezonja, C Marreese Speights, G Arron Aflalo

The Magic had a strong summer. The re-signed forward Aaron Gordon, a rising young player, and drafted Bamba, who has the tools to become an All-Star and a dominant defensive force. They had some questionable moves, like trading for Mozgov, but the future looks a lot brighter for the Magic than it did just a few months ago.

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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