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Wizards let Hornets sting them again

Today's Wake-Up Call examines why opposing big men have so much success against the Wizards. Also, John Wall accepts an invitation to All-Star Weekend's Skills Challenge.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wizards lose fifth straight, 94-87, to Hornets

I thought we had this one. I really did. My positive thinking came back to bite me hard in the rear end. Because that 11-point lead Washington had over Charlotte in the second half was bound to fall apart with selfish play and a lack of urgency.

Here are your recaps from the loss:

Bullets Forever

Comcast SportsNet

Wiz of Awes

The Washington Post

2. Stretching the floor

Whether it's Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, Pero Antic, or Patrick Pattersonseemingly every big who can shoot from the outside does it better against the Wizards. When the Wizards go small, they punish Washington in the paint. When the Wizards go big, these players step outside to stretch the floor.

Because why not? Washington hasn't found a way to stop them.

3. John Wall accepts Skills Challenge invitation

The night before stepping onto the Madison Square Garden court in his first-ever starting role at an All-Star Game, Wall will go up against the top guards in the NBA to compete for the Skills Challenge title. After taking home gold in last year's Slam Dunk Contest, we'll see if Wall can show off his speed and precise passing to take home gold in the Skills Challenge.

4. Bradley Beal injures toe vs. Hornets

The Wizards missed their starting shooting guard dearly after he fell victim to a jammed toe in the first half of Thursday's matchup in Charlotte. Beal hopes he will be able to play against the Nets when Brooklyn comes to town on Saturday, but nothing is certain at this point. He'll undergo an MRI today.

5. DeJuan Blair plays season-high 15 minutes

I'll try to get past my frustrations of seeing Blair screaming in Kris Humphries' face in the fourth quarter after the two fought for a rebound that ended up going out of bounds, and focus on the positives of seeing Blair get extended minutes for the first time this season. He brought the physicality and toughness we were all hoping to see from him when the team signed him this offseason. He finished with four points and five rebounds. Kevin Seraphin's surprising right ankle sprain before tip off gave Blair an opportunity to play with Drew Gooden deactivated.