Five players to look out for at NBA London 2019

The New York Knicks will take on the Washington Wizards at NBA London 2019. Here are five of the biggest names who could feature at the showpiece event in January.

John Wall

John Wall (Photo: Keith Allison)

John Wall (Photo: Keith Allison)

One of the league’s elite point guards, John Wall is undoubtedly the biggest name on the Washington Wizards roster, and rightly so.

Averaging just under 19ppg over the course of his career so far, Wall will be the highlight player for most to look out for to fans with a persuasion toward the US capital. His speed is by far his biggest asset, allowing him to break down defenders with ease, and his shooting has improved (he shot just under 38% from the three point line last season).

Always a sure bet for a highlight reel dunk or two, expect to see him put on a special display when he heads to London in January.

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis (Photo: Ed/AIMG_1464)

Kristaps Porzingis (Photo: Ed/AIMG_1464)

Whilst Wall is certainly the biggest name on the Wizards’ roster, Porzingis probably steals the title as the biggest name heading to London in the New Year – although there’s no guarantee he’ll be taking to the court.

There’s sure to be countless Latvian’s in attendance in the British capital in January, but due to a torn ACL in the seven-footer’s knee he could well sit out the encounter.

Porzingis sustained the injury in February 2018, and the Knicks are still unsure when he’ll return (he could well sit out the entirity of the 18/19 season as of yet). But the good news is, the injury is a ‘clean’ one – meaning only the ACL is injured, not the surrounding cartilage or other ligaments.

If he’s healthy, he’ll be one to watch our for at NBA London 2019. If not, he may skip the trip altogether. Time to start crossing those fingers…

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal (Photo: Keith Allison)

Bradley Beal (Photo: Keith Allison)

The second lieutenant for the Washington Wizards, and John Wall’s partner in crime in the backcourt.

Developing from a spot-up shooter of sorts into a genuine NBA offensive powerhouse, Bradley Beal can fill things up in a hurry. If scoring gets you excited then you’ll be well advised to have one eye on him through the NBA London show.

A superb shooter, he’s not a guy you want to leave open. If you do, you’ll almost certainly end up paying a hefty price.

His name doesn’t carry quite as much weight as Wall’s, thanks in part to his unfair status as a ‘sidekick’ to the point guard. Truth be told, Beal is more than happy to carry the load for Washington if his teammate is on the bench or failing to find his scoring touch. A man to keep an eye on for sure.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo: Keith Allison)

Knicks at Wizards 3/25/18

Like the unexpected? If that’s the case then Tim Hardaway Jr is the man for you.

Known for his ability to heat up for quarters at a time, Hardaway Jr won’t be the most consistent player over the course of a season it’s fair to say. But in a single game scenario he could be good for a 40 point display to really get the crowds bouncing.

He’s had previous against the Wizards too. Last February for example he went for a game-high 37, with 32 coming in the first half. A game which this writer was fortunate enough to attend.

Did the Knicks win that day? No. But they were good fun to watch – and that’s what UK based fans want to see.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (Photo: Keith Allison)

Dwight Howard playing for Atlanta (Photo: Keith Allison)

Everyone loves an underdog story, right?

Dwight Howard was once one of the most sought after players in the NBA. He helped guide the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, winning three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards before an ill-fated trade to the Lakers in 2012.

Following a stint in La La Land, Howard then went on to play for Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte and now the Washington Wizards as he seeks to find a team in which he fits in and thrives. Could that be with them?

The NBA game’s current state doesn’t lend itself to a player like Howard much anymore (a big guy who wants post-touches and won’t run the pick and roll), but if he can buy-in at Washington and can put on a show at NBA London 2019, why wouldn’t fans get behind him?

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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