It’s getting close to Christmas weekend! With that in mind, the Wizards have also been giving fans a gift that they’ve been waiting for: more wins! In addition, the Mystics are also (kinda) in the news, because one superstar could very well head to the nation’s capital next summer.
Let’s go through this week’s top stories!
Wizards win three of their last four games, claw their way back into the playoff picture
Last month, I was consistently writing about the Wizards having bad week after bad week. But as of late things have started to come around.
- Last Friday, the Wizards beat the Pistons, 122-108. John Wall and Bradley Beal comined for 54 points in the win.
- Then last Sunday, the Wizards beat the Clippers, 117-110 to cap off a three game home stand. At this point, the Wizards won three straight, and three of their last four games.
- The Wizards flew to Indianapolis to play the Pacer on Monday. Unfortunately they lost, 107-105. They were literally a Bradley Beal three pointer away from pulling a win off.
- Then on Wednesday, things weren’t looking too good against the Chicago Bulls in the beginning. But they ultimately came through with a 107-97 win.
When it’s all said and done, the Wizards are now 10th in the East and with a 13-15 record and won 7 of their last 10 games. They also have a chance to move up to 7th in the East tonight if everything goes their way:
If everything breaks right for the Wizards, they could be tied for the 7th seed in the East by the end of Friday night.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 22, 2016
All the good news!
There are a lot of positive pixels from the last week, so let’s get to them:
- Fim wrote about why the Wizards are starting to get their act together.
- Mike Sykes talked about Bradley Beal finally getting it altogether this season.
- The Wizards’ point differentials aren’t that bad when you think about it. So that’s another reason why they have a good shot to make the postseason as the strength of schedule evens itself out.
- Trey Burke was playing quite poorly to begin the season, but he’s a big reason why the Wizards have made their comeback this December.
- And I wrote about how the NBA All-Star selection changes could possibly help John Wall and Beal increase their chances of making the starting lineup. It probably hurts Marcin Gortat though.
- Bullet Nation in Exile wrote a piece that was quite complimentary of Ernie Grunfeld. His rationale was that this season is looking a lot like the 1998-1999 Knicks season, when they made a run to the NBA Finals despite entering the playoffs as an 8th seed.
- And speaking about how Wall and Beal played, they both earned keys for the second straight week. Ryan Eugene of Wiz of Awes would also concur with that assessment.
- Ben Mehic of Wiz of Awes wrote about how Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and point guard Chris Paul praised Bradley Beal and his 41 point performance in that game.
The not so good news...
This was the best week in the season so far for Washington. But there were some not so great news as well:
- Ian Mahinmi had additional knee procedures that keep him out until February.
- The Wizards were seriously considering signing Luol Deng to a big deal last summer ... until the Lakers signed him for even more money. On the one hand, signing Deng instead of Mahinmi would help the Wizards short term because the rotation would be deeper. But the flip side to that argument is that Otto Porter wouldn’t have played as much, and Kelly Oubre Jr. may have remained nothing more than a cheerleader this season.
- AnyGiven wrote a FanPost which criticizes Ted Leonsis’ reluctance or refusal to terminate Ernie Grunfeld. Perhaps Leonsis’ friendship or loyalty to the President of Basketball Operations is what is keeping him from writing the pink slip.
Elena Delle Donne is exploring her free agency options. The Mystics are a possibility
Last weekend, Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne announced that she was leaning toward playing for another franchise as she enters her fifth WNBA season. Multiple WNBA insiders believe that she is trying to force a sign and trade deal where she will end up playing for the Mystics.
As you might expect, the Mystics would come out ahead in any deal for Delle Donne, but there are some losers too besides the Sky franchise, including current Mystics players.
Other Mystics news
- Stefanie Dolson’s high school number was retired earlier this week:
- And last week, Tierra Ruffin Pratt, Mike Thibault, and assistant coach Eric Thibault were with the Wizards for holiday gift deliveries in the D.C. area:
A bit chilly, but Coach T, Coach Eric T and TRP had a blast at our annual Family-to-Family holiday gift delivery! #MysticsCare #WNBACares pic.twitter.com/UUptFT5Mw0— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) December 15, 2016
And finally, some random Wizards stories
- Stephen Curry and Wall love to celebrate three point shots before the shots go through the net. Except that Curry celebrates his own threes ... and Wall celebrates his teammates’. And before I hear that “Wall isn’t a three point shooter” line again, he is averaging over a three a game this season.
- Adam Rubin of Truth About It had a chance to catch up with Paul Pierce, who’s probably playing his last NBA season for the L.A. Clippers. As you know, Pierce had one amazing year in D.C. that will stick with fans for a long time. Pierce reflected on his positive moments mentoring the team, and that the Wall/Beal “feud” is just hot air among other things.
- Candace Buckner of The Washington Post wrote about Bradley Beal buying Christmas gifts for families in D.C. last Saturday.
- And here is Monumental Sports’ holiday card video which features every team, including the new Baltimore Arena Football League franchise:
From our family to yours, Happy Holidays! #msefamily pic.twitter.com/bvWBFOvemb— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) December 23, 2016
So, that’s the gist of what happened over the past week. I like positive weeks. Let’s keep this up, shall we?