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John Wall says he's shooting jumpers, another milestone in his recovery from Achilles surgery

John Wall says he's shooting jumpers, another milestone in his recovery from Achilles surgery

WASHINGTON -- The Mystics' Game 1 win vs. the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night brought nearly the entire Wizards roster out to St. Elizabeth's to sit courtside and cheer on their Monumental Basketball comrades. That included an appearance from John Wall, who caught up with NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller to give the latest update on his long recovery from a ruptured left Achilles tendon.

Wall says the latest milestone has been shooting jumpers.

"I'm great, man. Just rehabbing, working out and lifting weights. I'm shooting some jumpshots, doing some ball-handling and stuff like that," he said.

Wall didn't go into detail about how strenuous those jumpshots are. Given he still has months to go before he returns to game action, it's probably very light on-court work. He's likely not shooting stepbacks and runners in the lane.

But still, that's a significant step in the right direction for Wall, who had surgery on Feb. 12, just over seven months ago. He is considered likely to be out at least 12 months and could miss all of next season. Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis said in July that Wall would "probably" be sidelined for all of the 2019-20 campaign.

Wall reiterated to NBC Sports Washington that he won't rush back, even if that means sitting out the entire year when the usual rehab timeline for his injury would have him back on the floor sometime between mid-January and the end of the season.

"I understand because I've played through injuries before that if I try to come back too soon or too fast, I could be hurt and have to start all over again. I'm not trying to go through that process again, so I'm finally taking my baby steps," he said.

Some other highlights of Wall's check-in included his plans to mentor rookie Rui Hachimura and his detailed thoughts on the Mystics' title hopes. On Hachimura, he said he wants to take the ninth overall pick under his wing.

"I'm gonna help him a lot. I just kind of got a flow going with him because he got back yesterday. He was over [in China] playing in the World Cup. It was great to see him get that experience and have some fun. Now, I'm here so I can be around him a lot and be in the locker room with him and talk to him. I'm gonna take him to a couple of dinner spots he doesn't know about yet. Just try to pick his brain and help him along the way as much as possible," Wall said.

When discussing the Mystics, Wall showed he has been following their success closely over the past calendar year.

"I think they have the best chance to win [the WNBA title]," he said.

"You've gotta give a lot of credit to players like Natasha Cloud and [Ariel] Atkins. I think those two girls really developed their game and improved from last year, being in the position that they were in. Then, I think they added Emma [Meesseman]. She is a big key of their team with all the other pieces they already had. [Elena] Delle Donne, the MVP, and [LaToya] Sanders and those other [players] do their roles, but I think having Emma will really be able to help."

Wall said Meesseman would be an X-factor midway through the game. She ended up with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.

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Bradley Beal's recent scoring surge has him in the company of all-timers

Bradley Beal's recent scoring surge has him in the company of all-timers

The wins haven't been there for the Wizards, but over the last 15 games, Bradley Beal has played the best basketball of his career. 

He has the second-longest streak of 25-point games (15) this season, recently set a new career-high for 30-point games in a season (25) and just dropped 50 points on back-to-back nights. The last player to do that? Kobe Bryant

Beal is averaging 36.7 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.8 rebounds to go along with 49.5/36.4/86.2 shooting splits. He didn't make the All-Star game, but Beal is making a serious push for an All-NBA selection at the end of the season. 

But just how impressive is it? How does Beal's recent surge stack up against the best players in the NBA this season and former greats of the game?

At this point in the season, only two players have averaged as many points as Beal in a 15-game stretch: James Harden and Damian Lillard, two of the best high-usage scorers in the league. 

Let's forget about averages for a moment. Over the 15-game span in question, Beal has scored a total of 550 points, the highest total in franchise history since Walt Bellamy in 1963-64. Bellamy owns the top four totals in Wizards history, so Beal's stretch comes in at fifth. To be in the same sentence as a Hall-of-Famer, though? Huge accomplishment.

Changing gears, it's time to talk about these 50-pieces Beal is growing accustomed to lately. Entering Wednesday night's game with Brooklyn, Beal's coming off two straight 50-point games. If he were to get 50 again, he'd be in the company of some all-timers. 

Last five players to score 50 points in three straight games

Kobe Bryant: 4 (2007)
Michael Jordan: 3 (1987)
Wilt Chamberlain: 3 (1963)
Elgin Baylor: 3 (1962)
Wilt Chamberlain: 3 (1962)

If Beal is going to get to three-straight games of 50-plus points, he'll probably have to have a few more monster fourth quarters. He already put up a 22-point fourth quarter on Monday against Milwaukee and a 21-point fourth against Chicago on Sunday.

His explosion against the Bucks marks the fourth-highest scoring fourth quarter in the NBA this season. Zach LaVine, Jordan Clarkson and Coby White are the only players with more believe it or not. 

To put it in context with Wizards history, the 22-point fourth ranks as the fourth-highest scoring quarter for a Wizard since 1998, and if we're talking about the highest-scoring fourth quarters in Wizards history, Beal would own the top three. 

Beal has shown no signs of slowing down in this ruthless revenge tour he's putting opposing defenses through since he was snubbed from the All-Star game. It'd be nice for the Wizards to get a few more wins as they push for the last playoff spot in the East, but for now, Washington fans can sit back and enjoy the show. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Real Marquee Matchup: Bradley Beal looks to keep historic streak going vs. Nets

Real Marquee Matchup: Bradley Beal looks to keep historic streak going vs. Nets

It is only natural when a player has a big game, like scoring 50 points, to wonder if they can do it again. Bradley Beal actually did that this week, scoring 55 points against the Bucks just one night after dropping 53 on the Bulls.

Now he goes into Wednesday night with a chance to do something no one has done since Kobe Bryant in 2007: score 50 points in three consecutive games. Only four players have ever gone for 50-plus in three straight: Bryant, Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.

Beal, of course, has technically scored 53-plus in two straight games. If he were to somehow do that a third time, he would be only the second player to accomplish the feat. Chamberlain is the other.

Basically, if Beal were to go off for 50 or more again, it would put him in extremely rare company, even rarer than the group he joined on Monday night. So, expectations should definitely be set accordingly.

That said, Beal happens to have some recent success against the team he will face on Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets. Beal has scored 30-plus in his last three meetings with them, shooting 53.7 percent from the field along the way. The Wizards won two of those three games. 

Earlier this month, Beal went off for 34 points with six rebounds, three steals and three blocks against Brooklyn. He has their number.

The Nets, though, are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They boast the seventh-best defensive rating (107.9), are fourth in opponent field goal percentage (44.1) and ninth in three-point percentage (34.5).

And those numbers are while playing a lot of games with Kyrie Irving. Though Irving is one of the most gifted offensive players in the league, there is reason to believe Brooklyn could get better defensively now that he is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Can Beal keep it rolling? Watch at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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