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Dwight Howard had never heard of Knicks' Mitchell Robinson, but came away impressed

Dwight Howard had never heard of Knicks' Mitchell Robinson, but came away impressed

Dwight Howard is one of the best big men of his generation with eight All-Star appearances and three defensive player of the year awards. So, when he compliments a young NBA big man, it registers as high praise.

In the Wizards' victory over the Knicks on Sunday night, New York rookie Mitchell Robinson did enough to draw Howard's attention despite Howard having never heard of him before the game.

Howard found out quickly just how long and athletic Robinson is. The 2018 second round pick blocked one of Howard's shots in the first quarter that caught the Wizards center by surprise.

Howard thought he was open and fired off a shot from about 20 feet out, but Robinson used his 7-foot-4 wingspan to close the distance get a piece of the ball.

"My first shot, he blocked it and I was like 'oh man, okay.' After that, it was like 'oh, I kind of like this guy,'" Howard said.

Robinson, 20, was one of the hardest prospects to evaluate in the 2018 NBA Draft. At 7-foot-1 with speed and an impressive vertical leap, he has physical attributes of a future NBA All-Star. 

But he is very raw and entered the draft with questions about his attitude and mental makeup. Robinson never played in college despite committing to Western Kentucky University. He then backed out of the NBA Combine in May.

If it weren't for those question marks, Robinson would have been a first-round pick. But so far, he has looked like a potential draft steal for the Knicks.

Robinson had 10 points and six rebounds on the night. It was his third time reaching double-digit scoring in his last four games.

It isn't the numbers that draw everyone's eyes to Robinson, it's his athleticism. Howard knows a thing or two about being an athletic big man and sees a bright future for Robinson.

"He's got a lot of potential," Howard said. "I wish I had my legs tonight to jump up there with him. A couple times when he was jumping, I was like 'yeah, I'm not there yet.' Let him have it."

Howard made reference to his piriformis muscle strain, an injury that kept him sidelined to begin the season and still affects his leaping ability. 

Robinson caught him by surprise on Sunday night. Next time, he will know what to expect.

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Rui Hachmiura takes water break, uses real waterboy in NBA 2K20 Player Tournament victory

Rui Hachmiura takes water break, uses real waterboy in NBA 2K20 Player Tournament victory

He may have not been on an actual basketball court, but Rui Hachimura must have still broken a sweat during his NBA 2K matchup with Donovan Mitchell on Sunday.

He needed a real-life water break - and even had some help from a waterboy.

Hachimura, the 13 seed, took on four-seed Mitchell in the NBA 2K20 Player Tournament, and came out with a 74-71 victory. 

The winner of the tournament receives $100,000 to go to a charity in support of coronavirus relief efforts.

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Wizards continue win streak, beat Pacers in 2K simulation

Wizards continue win streak, beat Pacers in 2K simulation

The Wizards picked up their sixth-straight win in eight games in Sunday night’s NBA 2K simulation, beating the Indiana Pacers 67-51 on the road.  

Bradley Beal wasted no time getting things started, knocking down an early three to put the Wizards on the board.   

Later in the second, Beal proved just how difficult he is to guard. With an assist from Davis Bertans, Beal finished with a huge slam to lift the Wizards over the Pacers 30-28, closing out the half.

Beal finished the game with 23 points in 21 minutes. 

Here’s how the Wizards won: 

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Rui Hachimura shows off

The rookie set the tone with a big alley-oop dunk in the first quarter, extending Washington’s lead by seven. He had 12 points at the end of the first half with 10 in the paint. 

Hachimura came back fueled up in the third, knocking the ball loose from T.J. Warren with a steal and dunk. 

 

Hachimura finished with 20 points, four rebounds and three steals. 

Game of runs 

Washington took advantage of a set pace to take an early lead over Indiana. The Wizards started the game with both a 7-0 and 13-2 run in the first quarter. 

The Pacers used their defense to answer in the second, taking the lead on a 22-6 run before the Wizards followed with a 16-6 run to end the quarter 35-30 at the half.

It got pretty close early in the third when Indiana went on a 9-4 run to cut the lead to 39-38 but the Wizards were able to fully reload going on a 13-2 run.

The Wizards would go on to continue the run to 29-9 later in the fourth to extend the lead to 19 with 35 seconds left.  

Washington had 11 offensive rebounds, nine steals (eight of which came in the second half alone) and 21 assists on 27 made field goals. 

Big man in the paint

Thomas Bryant controlled the boards with 15 rebounds.

The 2K Wizards look to continue their winning streak as they return home to virtually host the Toronto Raptors, the reigning NBA champions on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. 

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