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James Harden, Rockets offer ultimate test for Trevor Ariza, Wizards' three-point defense

James Harden, Rockets offer ultimate test for Trevor Ariza, Wizards' three-point defense

Much of the reasoning for why the Wizards traded for veteran forward Trevor Ariza this past weekend was to plug the holes in their three-point defense. After 31 games this season, Washington ranks 26th among NBA teams in three-pointers allowed per game and 27th in opponents three-point percentage.

On Wednesday, the Wizards will receive the ultimate test for their revamped perimeter defense in the Houston Rockets. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

The Rockets are not simply a good three-point shooting team in the context of this era, they rival some of the best outside shooting teams of all-time. Their 14 threes made per game are top in the NBA and are tied for the third-most in league history. 

The top two teams ever in made threes were also the Rockets. They set the all-time record in 2016-17 with 14.4, then beat their own mark last season with 15.3 threes per game.

It's a similar story for threes attempted. Houston leads the league with 41.1 three-point shots per game. That would rank second all-time behind only last season's Rockets (42.3/g) and ahead of the third-most ever (40.3) set by Houston the year before.

The difference this season has been their percentage. After ranking 13th in the NBA last year at 36.2 percent, this time they are shooting just 33.9 percent, good for 24th. Still, no team takes or makes more threes, and the Wizards will be charged with stopping them.

The Wizards know the Rockets' three-point shooting prowess well. Houston has made at least 12 threes in the last seven meetings between the teams. Four times in that span, they have hit 15 threes or more. No team has done that more often against the Wizards since the start of the 2015-16 season. Considering they play each other only twice a year as members of different conferences, that is telling.

Ariza is also familiar with what the Rockets are capable of. After leaving Washington in free agency in the summer of 2014, he signed with Houston and spent four seasons there before joining the Suns this past summer. He was a key cog in the Rockets' 65-win team last season, as they fell one win short of the NBA Finals.

The Wizards and Rockets also saw each other less than a month ago in Washington. The Wizards pulled off a 135-131 victory in overtime, one of their best wins of the season, even with Houston off to a disappointing start. 

Chris Paul didn't play in that game, but James Harden dropped 54 points and Eric Gordon and Clint Capela were a handful. John Wall had 36 points and 11 assists and Bradley Beal put in 32 points, as well as some timely defense down the stretch on Harden. He helped force several of Harden's 11 turnovers.

Now comes the rematch, this time with the Rockets fresh off four straight wins and with Paul set to play. It won't be easy beating Houston twice in one season, something they haven't done as a franchise since 1988-89. Perhaps Ariza can help make the difference.

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Rui Hachimura opens up about his love for Japanese reality show 'Terrace House'

Rui Hachimura opens up about his love for Japanese reality show 'Terrace House'

For Rui Hachimura, the first Japanese born player to be drafted in the first round of the NBA, finding ways to stay comfortable during the challenges not only as a rookie in the NBA, but during these weird times, can be a challenge. Luckily, a hit Japanese television show has allowed Hachimura to "relieve stress" and "forget about everything," according to a new article in the New York Times.

Hachimura sat down with Scott Cacciola of the New York Times recently to discuss how he finds comfort and meaning in the reality show, "Terrace House".  

There have been five seasons of "Terrace House," and Hachimura said he has watched every single one, multiple times. The premise of the show is as follows, according to the Netflix description: "Six strangers share a fabulous house in Tokyo, looking for love while living under the same roof. With no script, what happens next is up to them."

“It’s so different than other reality shows,” Hachimura told Cacciola. “It’s the one reality show where everything is actually real.”

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Hachimura, according to the story, began watching the show when he was a student at Gonzaga. He's far from the only fan of the show - it has its own subreddit, has been celebrated for the food content shown on it and dubbed by more than one publication as the perfect reality show to watch to relax.

After being drafted last June, Hachimura had the opportunity to take his fandom to another level and be a part of the show, when he filled in as a guest commentator for two episodes - 13 and 14 of “Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020 (you can watch those on Netflix now). 

"I've been a longtime fan of Terrace House," he told the enthusiastic cast members during his appearance. "I've watched it from the beginning. I got many offers from other shows on this trip, but I declined all of them."

He went on to break down his favorite moments in past "Terrace House" seasons. "I've always wanted to be on this show," he said.

The moral of the story is if you've run out of things to watch during this quarantine, be like your favorite rookie and watch "Terrace House." You've got nothing but time. 

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Isaiah Thomas shows off impressive collection of signed jerseys

Isaiah Thomas shows off impressive collection of signed jerseys

Like most sports fanatics, Isaiah Thomas has accumulated quite the jersey collection. The difference between him and the rest of us? He met all the people who's signed jerseys are hanging on his wall. 

Thomas showed off his collection to Chris Miller (watch above) as a part of his interview on the Wizards Talk Podcast, and we're going to go through it with him. 

First, he showed off his non-basketball collection, featuring Ken Griffey Jr., David Ortiz Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby. It's anyone's guess how he came across a dreaded Crosby jersey, but it's safe to assume he got the Brady and Ortiz jerseys from his time in Boston and his Griffey from his roots in Seattle. 

Continuing with the Seattle theme, Thomas turned to two Sonics legends in Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Kevin Durant. Thomas has been one of the biggest advocates for the NBA returning to Seattle, and bringing up the days of Payton and Kemp would make anyone miss the Sonics. 

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Next up, former Wizards teammate John Wall, Derrick Rose, Vince Carter, Muggsy Bogues, one of the best small guards to ever play, Brandon Roy and Jamal Crawford. 

Then, Thomas moved to his "Hitter List." It's a wall consisting of Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Damon Stoudemire and James Harden. 

"Those are killers right there," Thomas said.

So, the main takeaway here? Thomas has a jersey collection that would make anyone jealous and he still has plenty of time to add to it before his career is over. That's when we might need a follow-up video to see the complete collection. 

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