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Bradley Beal thinks Wizards could have given the Cavs a run for their money

Bradley Beal thinks Wizards could have given the Cavs a run for their money

Losing in the playoffs is tough, especially when you think you could have done some damage in the next round. That's how Bradley Beal feels about the Wizards losing in Game 7 to the Boston Celtics on Monday night. If they won, they would have met the Cleveland Cavaliers and Beal would have liked their chances.

Beal expressed those thoughts in a 1-on-1 interview with CSN's Chris Miller. The full interview will air during the 6 p.m. SportsNet Central on Thursday night on CSN.

Here is what Beal said about the Cavs:

"Cleveland didn’t want to see us. I always said that. I felt like that’s the reason they didn’t play us in the second round. They didn’t want to see us in the second round," he said. "If they were going to go down, they were going to go down in the conference finals. They didn’t want to go down in the second round."

Watch Beal's full comments on the Cavs and why he thinks they would have given them issues in the video above.

[RELATED: Bogdanovic has specific goals for free agency this summer]

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Smacking some sense into the Michael Jordan, LeBron James and MVP debates

Smacking some sense into the Michael Jordan, LeBron James and MVP debates

It took about 48 hours for LeBron James to go from being allegedly "snubbed" in MVP balloting to the he's-not-as-good-as-Michael-Jordan insults after the Cavs lost a 21-point lead in a Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics.

The Cavs aren't losing the East finals series. If that does happen, then we can revisit the LeBron-Jordan debate but comparing greats who played in different eras is difficult and oftentimes pointless.

Different rules. Different style of play. Different NBA. Everything else is speculation, guesswork and a reciting of numbers and stats as if they prove everything and anything is flawed, too. 

But the bigger issue is every time James isn't voted the league MVP that it's some type of snub. It's about as ridiculous as the narrative that James, 32, was better than ever in the postseason as Cleveland won 10 games in a row. This, of course, was before Sunday's loss to Boston. Funny how that dissipated quickly. 

Anyone remember the four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round? The Cavs hardly looked unbeatable vs. Paul George and a cast of mostly nobodies. 

When Cleveland is on, they have more shotmakers than anyone in the East. But defensively they're hit or miss (mostly miss).

[RELATED: Cavs fire back at Beal for saying they didn't want to play the Wizards]

No, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard -- the MVP finalists based on 100 media voters (myself included) -- had better 82-game seasons. All three are worthy. If one of them were unworthy, then that would be a snub.

And for those of you who quickly recite numbers as exclusive proof: Leonard and Harden had teams with more wins. Westbrook's had just four fewer. And the best record in the league, 67-win Golden State, didn't have anyone finish in the top three.

There's no player anyone would rather have than LeBron James in the playoffs. But why is it so hard to grasp that MVP is a regular-season award? What happens after the middle of April doesn't apply.

James' offensive numbers are great, but he hasn't been a reliable one-on-one defender for several seasons now. Chasedown blocks don't count. Neither do plus-minus ratings.

If James wants to feel snubbed -- "Fourth? I haven't been fourth in a long time," he told reporters -- so be it. He's entitled to feel that way. But after four MVPs already, where James ranks compared to the all-time greats won't be determined by how many more regular-season accolades he accrues.

[RELATED: Wall should have been All-NBA 2nd team over Isaiah Thomas]

He's wise to dial it down during the regular season to save himself. James has appeared in 1,061 regular-season games. He has played in more than 200 playoff games. 

It's about what happens in the postseason. He wasn't snubbed for MVP. It's not unreasonable to mention James in the same sentence as Jordan. 

Compare that to 2011 when he appeared in the NBA Finals for the first time with the Miami Heat, where he eloped for what would be a four-year stretch before returning home. He underperformed in getting schooled by the Dallas Mavericks in losing that series. He led Cleveland from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to beat a 73-win team in Golden State that was being compared to Jordan's 72-win Bulls.

James has come a long way. Maybe he continues to make steps to add to his dossier. Maybe he doesn't win another ring. But only when his career is complete can his place actually be fairly determined.

All the rest of the chatter is just for page views. 

Guilty. 

[RELATED: Wizards hope to sign Wall to contract extension]

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Hawks All-Star Paul Millsap to opt out and enter NBA free agency, report says

Hawks All-Star Paul Millsap to opt out and enter NBA free agency, report says

What ESPN reported during the season will in fact come true, as Paul Millsap signaled his intentions to opt out of his contract with the Atlanta Hawks and become a free agent.

The newest report comes from Yahoo! Sports, who confirmed Millsap's plans. The 32-year-old will opt out of a deal worth roughly $21 million for the 2017-18 season as he aims for longer terms either with the Hawks or a new team.

Millsap, according to Pro Basketball Talk, could be in line for a contract that starts at $35 million per season. If he stays in Atlanta, that could be a five-year deal worth about $205 million. If he leaves to sign elsewhere, he could earn $152 million over four years.

It makes perfect sense for Millsap to opt out at this point given his age, the increase in the NBA's salary cap and the fact he's coming off another All-Star season. The 11-year pro averaged a career-high 18.1 points to go along with 7.7 rebounds per game this year in 69 games.

Millsap was the best player on a Hawks team that earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. He can do just about everything well as a mobile big man who can shoot from the outside and work in the post. Last season he was named to the All-Defensive team, as well.

At this point odds are good he stays in Atlanta given their interest and the fact they can pay him more. But he will be one of the most highly sought after players in free agency. Either way, it's something to watch for Wizards fans as the Hawks are their biggest competitors in the Southeast Division. If anything, him leaving could mean less Millsap vs. Markieff Morris and we can all agree that is not a good thing.

[RELATED: Wizards hope to sign Wall to contract extension]