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Preseason ends with John Wall's NBARank, Pierce's eagerness, and no draft lottery reform

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Carmelo Anthony beats Wizards on game-winning jumper, John Wall ranked #18 best NBA player by ESPN, and Paul Pierce ready for season opener. All that, and more, on today's wake-up call.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wizards lose to New York Knicks in preseason finale

IT'S FINALLY OVER!! I say that with so much excitement not only because we finished last night unscathed (in terms of injuries), but because my excitement to start the regular season is oozing right now. Yes!!

If you were like me and missed the game, click here for a boatload of Vines from last night's game, courtesy of Kyle Weidie at Truth About It.

(No notes from the game since I was unable to watch)

From the sounds of it, though, John Wall and Otto Porter looked really impressive. I'll admit seeing Wall play more than 33 minutes with a lingering knee issue irks me a little, despite the huge numbers he put up. There's just no need for it. Porter, on the other hand, needs all the minutes he can get, wherever he can get them. So I'm always happy to see him on the court and doing well. Oh, the possibilities if he keeps this up through the regular season...

And I'm not sure what the ref saw as a foul on Damion James' contesting of Carmelo Anthony's game-winning shot. Nothing there at all, except for star treatment.

There was also a John Wall post-up sighting during the game.

Here's the recap roundup from the game:

Bullets Forever

Wiz of Awes

Comcast SportsNet

John Wall postgame interview

Otto Porter postgame interview

Randy Wittman postgame interview

2. Wall ranked #18 by ESPN

Wall has always felt snubbed wherever his name winds up in NBA player ranking lists.

Yesterday, though, ESPN put him at #18 on their NBARank. For someone who has as much confidence in their game as Wall does, this one should irk him as well, despite its Top-20 status.

Here's what they said:

According to NBA.com player tracking data, John Wall led the league with 7,840 total touches (the number of times a player touches and possesses the ball), which is 507 more touches than the next player (Kemba Walker). John Wall led the league with 721 total assists last season. He's the first Wizards player to do so since Rod Strickland in 1997-98.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

Here's hoping this somehow gives him even more motivation to prove he belongs in the Top-10 for next season's ranking.

3. Paul Pierce ready for the season opener

He missed the final two games of preseason, but it didn't seem like there was much more to it than resting his 37-year old body. We'll need him at full strength come Oct. 29 and he says he'll be ready to go.

"I’ll be ready for the opener," Pierce declared after shootaround Wednesday morning.

Well, then. That answers that. Moving on.

4. Why Pierce left the Brooklyn Nets

Pierce opened up yesterday about why he left Brooklyn after one lone season with the Nets. And it all started with Jason Kidd's departure to Milwaukee.

"I definitely didn’t see all that coming," Pierce, now with the Wizards, said this morning. "I think it all started probably with Jason leaving, it’s kind of like a domino from there. … I was a little disappointed, because I thought I was going to come back there and Jason was one of the main reasons I came to Brooklyn, him and Kevin."

I'm sure I can say this for all Wizards fans far and wide: Thank you, Mr. Kidd. Thank you for allowing us to enjoy a 10x All Star in a Washington Wizards jersey.

5. NBA owners vote down draft lottery reform

For the time being, things will stay the same in the NBA as far as the draft lottery goes.

Owners decided to vote down a reform to the current format, one that helped Washington land two (and potentially three) of the League's brightest stars. Philadelphia 76er management couldn't be more pleased about the news.