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Ex-Wizard Jared Dudley says 'politics' gave Carmelo Anthony All-Star nod over Bradley Beal

Ex-Wizard Jared Dudley says 'politics' gave Carmelo Anthony All-Star nod over Bradley Beal

Former Wizard Jared Dudley is crying foul after news broke that Carmelo Anthony would replace the injured Kevin Love in the All-Star Game this weekend.

Dudley, now with Phoenix, believes that Bradley Beal deserves the nod over Melo, but that "politics" played an unfair role in denying Beal. 

He unleashed a tweet storm last night over the matter, arguing that the Wizards' superior record (33-21) should put Beal ahead of Anthony, who plays for (and is in some measure responsible for) the sputtering Knicks (23-34). 

Dudley finished by speculating that the NBA has an interest in promoting players that will attract more media attention. Anthony certainly has done that this season, whether intentionally or not is another question.

You see, he and the Knicks are in a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Both the team and Anthony were flint for controversy prior to uniting in 2011. So when there's drama involving the 10-time All-Star, it's tough to know who's most responsible. 

One of the NBA's big stories this year has been Anthony's contentious relationship with Knicks team president Phil Jackson. It's a well-reported open secret that Jackson wants to trade Anthony and isn't a fan of his game; however, that can't happen unless Anthony waives his no-trade clause.

When Jackson tweeted a veiled shot at his star player, press speculated that he was trying to make Anthony want to waive the clause. 

Then, the Charles Oakley debacle happened at Madison Square Garden, dominating the recent NBA news cycles. That brush fire burns on with the latest reports that Oakley is still "hurt" over the Knicks insinuating that he has an alcohol problem. 

There's also the fact that Anthony is one of the league's most recognizable players and happens to be close friend with LeBron James, arguably its biggest and most influential star. 

So yeah, it's probably an understatement to say reporters would love to trail Anthony with cameras and ask him prying questions for a whole weekend.

But is directing the media glare at a dysfunctional franchise actually in the NBA's interest? Commissioner Adam Silver tried to broker a truce between Knicks owner James Dolan and Oakley earlier this week, so maybe not. 

Dudley is of the opinion that instead of chatter, the All-Star Weekend should celebrate winners. It's hard to argue.

MORE WIZARDS: Bradley Beal not chosen for East's final All-Star spot

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John Wall, Bradley Beal play like NBA's best backcourt in sizzling 4th quarter for Wizards

John Wall, Bradley Beal play like NBA's best backcourt in sizzling 4th quarter for Wizards

ATLANTA -- The emphatic way in which the door was slammed on the Atlanta Hawks made Friday's closeout for John Wall and Bradley Beal that much sweeter. 

They celebrated a Game 6 victory on their floor at Verizon Center two years ago, when Paul Pierce's game-tying three-point shot was waved off. The Wizards almost squandered a 22-point lead until Wall scored 19 of his career-playoff-high 42 points in the fourth quarter to silence Phillips Arena. Beal had 31 points as the duo combine to shoot 27-for-42 from the field, or 64.2%.

"He carreied us with his leadership as a player," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "We have a lot of good players who help wi us games, but his leadership and Brad's leadership have been great for our young players. In this league, I couldn't ask for two better guys to lead our team."

Dennis Schroder played the best basketball of his career for the Hawks and had 26 points and 10 assists, but he ended up on the wrong end of a pivotal play with 8:27 left in the fourth quarter. After Beal's turnover, Wall chased him down for a block at the rim and then broke down multiple Hawks defenders off the dribble to deliver a bank shot through contact to flip the momentum.

What would follow after that was a pull-up jumper from Wall, an assist to Markieff Morris for a layup, three consecutive made jumpers from Wall and another layup and foul for the and-1. The Wizards were leading by double digits again and the building began to empty.

"Listen, they're bad boys. Both of them," center Marcin Gortat said of Wall and Beal. "They both bring different things to the table and when they're locked in and when they're playing team basketball, they are ridiculously good. That's enough. ... They're both the head of the snake."

[RELATED: Things get emotional after Chenier's last game in the booth]

In between that spurt to put the game away, Wall took time to jaw courtside with fans and celebrities such as Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Joines. He was turning the lights out for their season just as they did the Wizards' in 2015, when Wall was undercut and broke his hand and wrist here as they lost in six games, too. 

"I told him I was going to get 35 or more and we were going to win," Wall said.

After four consecutive games with foul trouble, Morris came through with 17 points and eight rebounds as he kept his hands to himself. His war of words with Paul Millsap ended with the Wizards' big man being respectful now that his first playoff experience is in the books. 

"Both teams gave it their all. I give credit to Atlanta," Morris said. "They played as well as possible."

But they didn't have an answer to stop the Wizards' dynamic backcourt. 

"Wall and Beal have been the best combo all year in the league in my opinion," Morris said. "Every time you need them to step up, they step up."

Next up is the Boston Celtics, a nemesis for various reasons. The Wizards went 2-2 vs. them in the regular season but Wall and Beal have a lot of uneasy history with them.

In January, Jae Crowder and Wall were fined for an altercation that got physical after lots of postgame chatter. Both teams won on their own home courts. Game 1 is Monday at TD Garden vs. the East's No. 1 seed.

"We can win on the road," Beal said of the Wizards' first victory away from Verizon Center in the playoffs. "We've shown that we can fight through adversity. We were up (22) points and they ended up cutting it back down to three. ... We've won in Boston before so it's going to be a challenge. But I think we're up for it."

[RELATED: Wizards vs. Celtics second round playoff series schedule]

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Wizards vs. Celtics 2017 NBA Playoffs schedule

Wizards vs. Celtics 2017 NBA Playoffs schedule

The Washington Wizards advanced to the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs after beating a scrappy Atlanta Hawks team in six games. 

With a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line, the Wizards will face the top seed in the East, the Boston Celtics. Game 1 will take place on Sunday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET at the TD Garden.

 

It was an intense regular season series between the two teams and that is sure to continue in the post-season. The full Wizards-Celtics 2017 playoff series schedule has yet to be announced besides Game 1.

WIZARDS VS. CELTICS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 1: Wizards at Celtics. Sunday, April 30. 1:00 p.m. (ABC)

Game 2: Wizards at Celtics. TBD. (TBD)

Game 3: Celtics at Wizards. TBD. (TBD)

Game 4: Celtics at Wizards. TBD. (TBD)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Wizards at Celtics. TBD. (TBD)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Celtics at Wizards. TBD. (TBD)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Wizards at Celtics. TBD. (TBD)

[RELATED: Takeaways from the Wizards series win over the Hawks]