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Top Stories of the Week: The Wizards’ preseason ends, more rankings, and Alana Beard

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One more week until the regular season!

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season will FINALLY be here next week! We’ve also seen some good trends within the Wizards’ projected bench players, and have some random silliness to share with you. Let me just cut straight to the chase.

Wizards lose to the Kings in John Wall’s homecoming, beat the Cavs in Trey Burke’s

The Wizards lost 124-119 to the Kings in Lexington, Kentucky last Saturday when Wall got to stop by his stomping grounds at the University of Kentucky. They rebounded with a 96-91 win over the Cavaliers in Columbus, Ohio last Tuesday. Yes, it’s Cavs country, but it’s also Trey Burke’s hometown.

Washington will finish the preseason at home against the Raptors at 7 p.m. tonight. Jake wants you to know that the Wizards swept them last time they met in the NBA Playoffs.

Team analysis: The Wizards have been overlooked a lot. And they are looking for their outside shot.

A number of Wizards were passed over in some preseason rankings or honors.

  • The NBA released its GM survey results this week. Wall was not named the league’s best passer. In fact, he was never named the NBA’s best passer in any year of his career. But they believe he is the second fastest player with the ball so it’s not like he isn’t totally disrespected.
  • Candace Buckner of The Washington Post asked head coach Scott Brooks about it. He thinks this survey was rigged.
  • Wall endorsed our post on it too. (FIRE EMOJI)

ESPN hasn’t been particularly kind to the Wizards for that matter.

The four letter network posted some things that weren’t particularly rosy on the Wizards.

  • The Wizards ranked 93rd out of 122 teams in their Ultimate Rankings for this year. That’s a drop of 30 spots from last year. The silver lining is that they still outranked the Redskins, who made a 12 spot improvement of their own.
  • Zach Lowe gave his annual tiers on where each NBA team figures to be this season. Lowe placed the Wizards as a contender for the #8 seed, but projected them to miss the playoffs behind the Milwaukee Bucks. For those of you anti-Ernie Grunfeld folks out there, Lowe is sympathetic with y’all to the point where he implied that another lotto appearance could spell his demise.

Alana Beard wins a WNBA championship with the L.A. Sparks

2016 WNBA Finals - Game Two Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Sparks won the 2016 WNBA Finals after beating the Minnesota Lynx, 77-76 in Game 5 of what was an exciting series on Thursday.

Though the Mystics weren’t in the Finals, one of their former long-time stars, Alana Beard, played a significant role as a starting guard for them.

Beard scored the game winner in the first game of the Finals, and then scored in double digits for each of the next three games. In Game 5, she scored 8 points, dished 6 assists, and grabbed 4 rebounds.

Though she didn’t make the game-winner which 2016 MVP Nneka Ogwumike made with 3.1 seconds left or win Finals MVP, which Candace Parker did, Beard still played a significant role for L.A., who won their third championship overall, and their first since NBA legend Magic Johnson bought them in 2014.

The Mystics haven’t had very many big stars in their franchise history. Though Chamique Holdsclaw remains the number one face of the franchise, Beard was the best player to wear a Mystics uniform after she left. Since then, no Mystics player has come close to enjoying a similar level of success, though Emma Meesseman will likely end up in that conversation soon.

It was unfortunate that the Mystics never were a consistent playoff team during her time in D.C., and it’s also unfortunate that she couldn’t play in their dream season of 2010 when they won the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs with a 22-12 record. In 2010 and 2011, Beard could not play due to ankle injuries that nearly ended her career. But I’m happy to see that she was able to get a fresh start in L.A. and play a major role in their season.

That’s it!

These are a selection of the major links for the week, but they are far from the only ones. If you have another one you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments or a FanPost.

Have a great weekend!