We're almost at the end of July, and it's still muggy as hell in the nation's capital. Here are some of the main storylines as we head toward August.
1. The Mystics blow out the Storm, 87-74 on Wednesday, have the WNBA's longest current winning streak
I was stretching things a bit when I called this game a "trap game" for the Mystics on Monday. But the Storm has the most notable player/State Farm Agent on the court with Sue Bird, and former long-time Mystic Crystal Langhorne visits her old stomping grounds. Combine that with the Mystics' inability to get on a lengthy winning streak yet this season and you have the ingredients for a potential loss.
Instead, they have a four-game winning streak after defeating the Seattle Storm when the Green and Gold was dead on arrival at tipoff. A 34-14 first quarter run by the Mystics was all that was needed in order to put the Storm away, as they shot 72.2 percent from the field in those first several minutes.
Ivory Latta scored 20 points off the bench while Tayler Hill scored a career-high 18 points. Big Mama Stefanie Dolson continued her reign of terror by scoring 17 points -- including one made three-pointer (STRETCH FIVE ANYONE?) -- and grabbing 9 rebounds. Emma Meesseman had another cold scoring day with 5 points, but she dished 5 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds.
For the Storm, reserve wing Abby Bishop scored 17 points while three other players including Langhorne scored 10 points each. Langhorne also shot just 3 of 10 from the field and got blocked by Meesseman twice. There are still some Mystics fans who may have wished that Langhorne were still in D.C., but at a minimum, Wednesday's game should end any discussion about whether she is better than Meesseman today.
Photo: Stewart W. Small
As for Bird, she did not have one of her signature games when she shot 2-of-7 and scored 5 points.
Given the type of victory the Mystics had on Wednesday, they must have read my Bird and John Wall quasi-comparison piece as "bulletin board material," since I'll admit it. I put them -- albeit the 2012 team -- in a bad light. But hey, I do like seeing that the tide is changing. And yes, I do like Sue Bird as a basketball player, since she's been one of the best guards the league has seen.
The Mystics (10-6) face off against the San Antonio Stars on the road tonight at 8 p.m. where they try to stretch the league's current longest winning streak to five.
2. Bradley Beal is attending the USA Basketball men's national team's mini-camp, John Wall is undecided
On Sunday, Marc Stein announced that Beal will attend Team USA's mini-camp from August 11-13:
Other names I've heard this AM who plan to attend Team USA's upcoming mini-camp: Bradley Beal, Mike Conley, Gordon Hayward and Mason Plumlee— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 26, 2015
But John Wall may be wavering. You can't blame him for not wanting to try out for a team that he doesn't have much of a shot to make. But if he wants to play for Team USA down the road, these things matter.
3. John Wall talks about his latest "business tattoos"
In video on Red Bull's The Red Bulletin, Wall talks about his life, the meanings of some of his tattoos, and other things on his life. His latest tattoo is about a "valley of shadows," all while he is drinking some Red Bull. The video's below:
4. Kris Humphries buys a new home in 90210. Really.
To Wizards fans, Humphries is a reliable post player who has a relentless knack for grabbing rebounds. To the average pop culture aficionado, Humphries is best known as Kim Kardashian's ex-husband.
Over the summer, Hump bought a 3,336 square foot home in Beverly Hills. Does this mean that he wants to get back on ALL the tabloids? I'd say that that's probably not the case since I remember how loudly he was booed at the Verizon Center when he was playing for the Nets after the Kardashian divorce. But the Wizards could have some cool house parties here after road wins over the Clippers and Lakers.
5. Bradley Beal will play in an exhibition game this Saturday in Johannesburg
Beal is among a number of NBA stars who are in South Africa where they are giving clinics to children for NBA Cares. They will play in an exhibition game Saturday at Ellis Park Arena which holds only 4,000 people. That's small for league standards, but the game's sold out. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is also in Johannesburg where he didn't leave out the possibility for a regular season game to be played in Africa at some point in the future. Check out this piece from the AP for more.
6. Kevin Seraphin is still a free agent
According to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post, the Wizards, Knicks, and Lakers are the teams most interested in him. I'm a bit surprised that he's still on the open market this late, but I think he'll find a home soon. Doubtful that he comes back to Washington however.
7. Should we chill a bit on the #KD2DC hype?
David Statman of Wiz of Awes, Fansided's Wizards blog has some good points with this piece. Even though the #KD2DC is easy to get caught up in, there's still a lot to look forward to next season with John Wall and the current core in place. Getting Durant is great, but the Wizards' future doesn't start and end with him.
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Enjoy your weekends everyone!