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NBA's annual GMs survey snubs John Wall and Bradley Beal from best PG and SG categories

NBA's annual GMs survey snubs John Wall and Bradley Beal from best PG and SG categories

NBA.com released their annual general managers survey on Wednesday, giving fans a unique snapshot of the state of the league entering the 2018-19 season. The 17th annual questionnaire once again asked front office bosses which players are best at certain parts of the game and for their predictions of how this season will transpire. 

This year, there weren't a ton of Wizards mentions beyond the usual of John Wall being very fast and good at passing the ball. But sometimes the most telling results involve players being snubbed from a category.

Here are some thoughts on the results, both Wizards and non-Wizards related.

  • GMs see Kelly Oubre Jr. as solid candidate to have a breakout year. He received some votes in a category that included 14 total names. Jamal Murray of the Nuggets was first and by a good margin. Oubre is entering a contract year and has improved in each of his first three seasons in the NBA. The Wizards would love for the GMs' prediction to become true.
     
  • The Wizards are projected to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference. That would technically be an improvement from last year, but would amount to a disappointment given the talent they have and the money they have committed. Boston, Toronto and Philly are ahead of them, which is understandable. But Milwaukee and Indiana are teams the Wizards should feel confident they can beat out for a higher playoff seed.
     
  • Wall isn't listed among the top five point guards in the NBA and Bradley Beal isn't included in the top six shooting guards. For Wall, it's a product of an insane amount of talent at his position. For Beal, he is a casualty of GMs apparently not agreeing on positions for some players.

    James Harden and Stephen Curry are in both guard categories. Though Curry is a bit of a combo guard, he is the point guard on Golden State and, if he were listed as such, maybe Beal would have earned a spot. For what it's worth, DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs didn't even land in 'also receiving votes' for shooting guards and he was All-NBA last season.
     
  • Wall again leads the way for the Wizards by placing second in the 'fastest with the ball' category behind Russell Westbrook and finishing tied for third among the best passers. Last year, Wall was voted fastest overall. All of that sounds about right. When healthy, Wall is probably the quickest of anyone up and down the court, but he wasn't healthy last season and these things are always going to feature some recency bias.
     
  • Dwight Howard still gets respect as a rim protector. He was in the 'also receiving votes' section of best interior defender, lumped in with Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan. Rudy Gobert was first overall and Anthony Davis was second.
     
  • There was a major change in the question of which player to start a franchise with. Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns was No. 1 last year, but this time didn't even make the list. Giannis Antetokounmpo got the nod with Anthony Davis right behind him. And despite their age, LeBron James and Curry were both ahead of Philly's Joel Embiid.

    Towns dropping so far is fascinating to read into because he is one of the NBA's best young players at only 22 years old. What did he do to fall completely off the list? There is a lot of turmoil in Minnesota and perhaps that is affecting how Towns is viewed around the league.
     

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Wizards vs. Knicks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Knicks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards have traveled across the pond and will take on the New York Knicks in London, England Thursday (3 pm, NBC Sports Washington) as part of the NBA Global Games slate. 

Washington has brought some momentum with it on its journey to the United Kingdom, the Wizards winning five of their last eight. 

The Knicks, meanwhile, have lost three straight, and are just a game and a half above the basement-dwelling Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings.

Here's is what you need to know for Thursday's game.

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks, Game 45 of the 2018-19 NBA season
Where: The 02 Arena, London, England
When: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Knicks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Knicks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS TV SCHEDULE

2:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
2:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
3:00 PM: New York Knicks @ Wizards (LIVE)
5:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
6:00 PM:Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard (Back, Out), Markieff Morris (Neck, Out), John Wall (Heel, Out)
Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Hamstring, Day-to-day), Mitchell Robinson (Ankle, Day-to-day), Enes Kanter (Personal reasons, Out), Kristaps Porzingis (Knee, Out)

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: With John Wall out for the season, Beal has played like a true superstar, averaging almost 30 points per contest in his last eight games. Can he put on a show for the London crowd Thursday? 
Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks: Mudiay has been a bright spot for the Knicks during a troublesome season. The 22-year old is scoring a career-high 14.5 points per game, second on the team only to Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 19.8.

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 335 games (36 playoff games)
Regular Season Record: Knicks lead 169-130
Playoff Record: Knicks lead 23-13
Last Meeting: Wizards win 110-107 on 12/3/18
Last 10: Wizards lead 9-1

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Wizards set to represent NBA on global stage, hope to keep momentum rolling in London vs. Knicks

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USA TODAY SPORTS

Wizards set to represent NBA on global stage, hope to keep momentum rolling in London vs. Knicks

The Wizards enter Thursday's matchup with the New York Knicks, set for 3 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington, with several factors working in their favor. For one, they have been playing quite well lately and have some momentum. Also, they are facing the Knicks, whom they have dominated for years, winning 17 of 19 meetings going back to 2013.

It's also technically a home game and the Wizards have been much better in those (13-8) than they have in road games. The problem is that this game is not actually at home, it's in London, England where many of the advantages the Wizards would otherwise hold are out the window.

The Wizards' recent upswing of five wins in eight games, all since it was revealed John Wall will miss the rest of the season due to left heel surgery, will be put to the test due to an unorthodox schedule. They last played on Sunday, a two-overtime loss to the Raptors, meaning they will have three off-days in between games.

They have only had three days off in between games one other time this season and that wasn't disrupted by a 3,700-mile flight across the world. They will also be dealing with a five-hour time change that was compounded by a seven-hour flight.

This game will be the only one for the Wizards across a stretch of seven days. After playing the Knicks on Thursday, they return home to see the Pistons on Monday, Jan. 21. They then have two more off-days before hosting the Warriors on Thursday. Staying sharp through all of this could be a challenge.

The fact the Wizards have to burn a home game is not ideal, given they are so much better in Washington than elsewhere. The same factors road games provide like travel and hotel rooms will still apply. The crowd could also be neutral or even pro-Knicks, removing what is usually a benefit of playing at Capital One Arena.

Several things should still work in the Wizards' favor, however. Not only have they owned the Knicks in recent years, but they won't have to face Enes Kanter, who did not travel with the team due to a dispute with the Turkish government. He has been particularly good against the Wizards this season with averages of 14.0 points and 15.5 rebounds per game.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (hamstring) and Mitchel Robinson (groin) are also banged up and did not play in the Knicks' last game on Sunday, a loss to the Sixers.

The Wizards also have a host of guys playing their best basketball of the season. Bradley Beal is looking like an All-Star with averages of 29.8 points (41.4 3PT%), 6.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds during the Wizards' eight-game surge.

Otto Porter Jr. has averaged 16.0 points while shooting 45.7 percent from three during that stretch and Trevor Ariza hasn't been far behind with 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. 

The Wizards are fifth in the NBA in scoring (119.8), eighth in offensive rating (113.9) and 11th in defensive rating (109.4) in their past eight games. They are third in threes made per game (13.5) and seventh in three-point percentage (39.3).

Washington has reached a new level in recent weeks. Now they just have to keep it going despite all the unusual factors at play. They have a unique opportunity to represent the NBA on the global stage. Getting a win would make it all that much better.

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