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Point guard rivalry: John Wall has had tough time with Russell Westbrook over the years

Point guard rivalry: John Wall has had tough time with Russell Westbrook over the years

The comparisons between John Wall and Russell Westbrook often center around their speed. For instance, the annual NBA general manager survey released by NBA.com usually has one or the other voted fastest player in the entire league. They are each 6-foot-4, insanely athletic point guards and have played under head coach Scott Brooks.

On Friday night, the two superstars will square off once more as the Wizards host the Thunder at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Each player is off to a solid statistical start this year, but both are aiming to lead their team out of a disappointing record to start this season.

This will be the 13th time Wall and Westbrook go against each other. So far, the matchup has been slanted in Westbrook's favor.

Through 12 meetings between them, Westbrook's Thunder are 10-2. Here is a look at their head-to-head numbers:

Westbrook: 26.2 ppg, 8.1 apg, 7.4 rpg, 1.4 spg, 0.2 bpg, 4.1 tpg, 44.7 FG%, 23.1 3PT%

Wall: 15.8 ppg, 10.2 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1.6 spg, 0.8 bpg, 3.3 tpg, 33.0 FG%, 29.2 3PT%

Though Wall has impressive assist and rebounding numbers, clearly Westbrook has outclassed him from a scoring perspective. Wall hasn't lived up to his career average for points (18.9) or his career field goal percentage (43.2).

Westbrook has that effect on his opponents. He is one of the most physically-demanding matchups on defense. He combines size, strength and speed with a relentless motor. Guarding him is naturally going to wear a player down and only leave so much energy for the offensive end.

Westbrook, of course, also played for years on teams that were much more talented than Wall's. He had Kevin Durant, an NBA MVP, and Serge Ibaka in his prime. Those Thunder, then coached by Brooks, made several deep playoff runs and reached the NBA Finals in 2012.

The Wizards have been a bit better against the Thunder since Durant left. Wall went 1-8 against Westbrook during the Durant days, but has gone 1-2 in the post-Durant era. One of those losses was last season and right before Wall went out with a knee injury. 

Westbrook scored 46 points that night, on Jan. 25, as Wall could barely move laterally. It was clear that night there was something wrong with him.

Now healthy, Wall should have an opportunity to rebound from that matchup. Like any professional athlete, he sees showdowns like Friday's as measuring stick games. He will go up against a former MVP and one of the best at his position. 

Wall likely knows his history against Westbrook. On Friday, he can change the narrative.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey makes huge donation to John Wall's coronavirus charity

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey makes huge donation to John Wall's coronavirus charity

John Wall is getting some major help in reaching his fundraising goal to provide rent assistance to residents of Ward 8 amid the coronavirus, as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has pledged $200,000 to the cause.

Dorsey, who has the handle @Jack, tweeted his plans Wednesday evening. His donation is two-thirds of Wall's goal to raise $300,000.

It is a very generous donation and also a testament to the work Wall is doing to help others during this time. He picked a cause, used his platform to get the information out there and has caught the attention of someone with the money to help.

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Wall's intention is to help those in the D.C. area who have been affected most by the coronavirus and the toll it has taken on the economy. Wall said residents in need will receive rental assistance for as long as possible and necessary as the country works to eradicate the virus.

For more information, go to the website for Wall's foundation called '202 Assist.'

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Brian Windhorst: 'The vote tomorrow is not going to decide whether or not there is NBA basketball'

Brian Windhorst: 'The vote tomorrow is not going to decide whether or not there is NBA basketball'

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the next news to come out of the NBA world will not be if there's basketball - it will be if it's safe to play basketball.

“We’ve had a very long run of dark days, and this is a good moment. I don’t want to rain on that moment," he told Mike Tirico on NBC Sports' Lunch Talk Live. "The vote of owners tomorrow is not going to decide whether or not there is NBA basketball. I know that’s what it’s going to seem like. What is going to decide NBA basketball is if the virus continues to recede…I’m already sensing that people are forgetting the whole reason it is going on this way, and that is safety.”

While global riots in response to the murder of George Floyd have one-upped the coronavirus pandemic in major news cycles, Florida, where the NBA is reportedly planning to resume play, saw it's largest daily number of new COVID-19 cases since mid-April. 

Another health concern that has risen in return to play conversations is that of physical shape -- not all players have had access to personal basketball courts and training facilities during this time of nationwide quarantine. 

“Everybody that you talk to in the NBA on the training side are worried about these players who went cold turkey or vastly reduced their normal workout loads and haven’t been able to play any five-on-five basketball," Windhorst said.  

"They all have said you have to have time to build back up.”

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After reports with more details on the timeline surfaced, the next order of business will be to figure out how the eight-game schedule, prior to the play-in games/playoffs, would be assorted. Windhorst had a very strong opinion on the proposed idea of teams just finishing out the remainder of their schedule with the 21 teams eligible to play. 

"This schedule is going to be unfair," Windhorst said. "There’s 13 teams in the West playing eight games. Guess what? Not everyone is going to play the same schedule."

"There’s going to be an inherent unfairness and fans and teams are going to complain about it and they’re all going to be right, but they’re all going to have deal with it," he continued. "My expectation is that there will be five or six games per day…I think you could have afternoon playoff basketball."

Possibly the biggest takeaway from Windhort's appearance on Lunch Talk Live was the fact that Thursday's vote should go fairly seamlessly and unanimously. 

“Adam Silver has kept (President of NBAPA Chris Paul and Executive Director of NBAPA Michele Roberts) alongside the entire way here," Windhorst reported.

"Michele Roberts is so confident in the working relationship with Adam Silver that she said she doesn’t even think they’ll take a vote."

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