Hilton Armstrong wants to start in Washington. That's nice.

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Thumbnail image for hilton_armstrong.pngThe weeks before training camp is the time for unbridled optimism. For belief in yourself and your team. Before the reality of practices and games start to weigh everybody down.

New Wizards center Hilton Armstrong is feeling especially optimistic, as he told the Washington Examiner (via SLAM).

“Every season I started, I was in New Orleans, and I had to play backup behind Tyson [Chandler] and whoever else was there,” said Armstrong. “But this year, I’m just coming in and playing hard, and right now, I feel like it’s an open spot for the starting spot. I’m just going to play as hard as I can to get the spot, but even I don’t, I’m still going to play as hard as I can to help the team out, get some wins and try to get to the playoffs.”

It’s the attitude you want from your guys. That they are going to bust it, that they can do it.

We won’t tell Hilton about how Andray Blatche ended last season and has even more potential than Armstrong. Or how JaVale McGee and new face-of-the-Wizards John Wall really seemed to connect during Summer League (and how McGee was a late cut from USA Basketball).

Now is the time for Hilton to believe that his NBA career is ready take off. Now is not the time for reality.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes handsy Joakim Noah (video)

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Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.

Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.

Aaron Gordon throws inbound pass off Marcus Morris’ back, scores (video)

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Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.

Brandon Jennings sinks halfcourt shot after whistle (video)

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The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.

Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.

Report: Kings forward Matt Barnes wanted for questioning after alleged New York nightclub fight

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Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.

His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.

TMZ:

Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.

In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”

Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.

The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.