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Top stories of the Week: The Wizards' mercy number is one, and John Wall sat out a game

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Well, well, well. We are getting close to the end of the regular season. Sure, there's a mathematical chance that we will have postseason NBA basketball for the third consecutive season, but I'm not banking on it.

Let's check out our top stories of the week

Wizards go 2-1 in the last week, face off vs. Pistons tonight to stay alive

The Wizards are 38-40, 10th in the Eastern Conference. Over the past week, they have managed to win more games than they lost as they finished their west coast road trip.

Last Friday, Washington beat the Suns, 106-99 in Markieff Morris' return to the desert. In his revenge game, Morris scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. He also blocked four shots. Overall, it was a great win against a team that has had a worse season that Washington.

The Wizards finished off their road trip on Sunday against the Clippers, losing 114-109. This wasn't a bad loss in and of itself, but the loss further hurt Washington's already slim playoff hopes.

Finally on Wednesday, the Wizards blew out the Brooklyn Nets, 121-103 without John Wall who had a swollen knee. The win wasn't perfect because Drew Gooden III missed this dunk.

Tonight, the Wizards play the Detroit Pistons on the road at 8 p.m. ET. The Wizards' "elimination number" is at one, while the Pistons' magic number is ... one as well. This is the Wizards' playoff game, and losing tonight will mathematically eliminate them from the playoff hunt.

John Wall should sit out the rest of the season

With Wall missing his first game of the season and with the Wizards one game away from being in the Draft Lottery, kinda, it doesn't make sense to play him. The man has been nursing various injuries all season and it's not worth risking him getting injured and missing extended time.

Before it was known that he would sit out Wednesday's game, Wall himself said that he would be fine with resting this summer instead of hoping that he gets on the Olympic team this summer. According to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post, Wall stated that he didn't think that he had a real shot to make the team though he also called such an experience the "biggest honor other than going to the Elite Eight [for Kentucky]."

When and If the Wizards miss the playoffs, don't blame it on injuries

One of the Wizards' rationales for having a bad season this year is that key players missed many games due to injury. Unfortunately, it's an excuse.

Take a look at the Memphis Grizzlies, who have lost a number of key players like Mike Conley and Marc Gasol for the season. The Wizards' biggest casualty -- at least based on the number of games played -- is Alan Anderson. I wouldn't call Anderson as important to the Wizards as Conley or Gasol.

Despite all of Memphis' injuries, they still have managed to get to a 42-36 record as of Friday, which is good for the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Wizards have played most of their key starters who ultimately failed to meet this season's expectations.

Ernie Grunfeld is under contract for 2016-17

Breathe in, and breathe out on this one folks...

Best FanPosts of the week: Wizards fans are unhappy about the organization

If there was one common theme this week, the FanPosts were about dissatisfaction with this season, and the outlook on how things look next season.

jensrules wrote a FanPost stating that Monumental Sports is not listening to Wizards fans' demands. Perhaps the organization isn't going to fix anything because the money's coming in the door anyway.

Open letters to Ted Leonsis have also become a thing as of late. DCHero wrote one letter Ted asking him NOT to simply stay the course and asking the regular questions. To him, doing so would likely erode the fanbase. arian1123, a former Wizards season ticket holder wrote about his dissatisfaction with the team and rising ticket prices.

Not all the FanPosts were simply negative takes of fans venting about the team. Dan the Bullets Fan had a five-step plan to keep the Wizards on course to hopefully improve next season.

Best Features outside of Bullets Forever

Chris Thompson of Vice Sports wrote a column regarding the Wizards' collapse this season. Thompson was particularly harsh on Grunfeld and Wittman and sums up the Wizards as an "organization that has no belief in, no expectation of, and no plan for anything other than mere adequacy."  That defines the Wizards organization as a team that is squarely on the "Treadmill of Mediocrity."

Bartosz Bielecki of Truth About It translated an interview Marcin Gortat gave to Marcin Harasimowicz of Przeglad Sportowy. In the interview, Gortat talked about his accomplishments this season, and also mentioned that he will make a cameo as a taxi driver in an upcoming movie. I wonder what movie it will be.

Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post gave five reasons why the Wizards' season ended up missing expectations. Castillo also wrote about whether Bradley Beal regretted or wanted to backtrack from his pointed comments on the Wizards' season after a loss to the Kings on March 30. So you know, Beal does not regret it at all.

Dan Steinberg, also of The Washington Post wrote about how the Wizards have disappointed fans more than we could have imagined. He also gave some facts which are particularly damning for the franchise over the last several decades.

They’re last in something, too. Toronto this season hit 50 wins for the first time in franchise history. That means over those past 37 seasons, only one NBA franchise hasn’t reached the 50-win milestone. Maybe that explains G-Wiz’s perpetual blank stare.

The Capitals, Nationals and Redskins all won division titles within the past 18 months. The Wizards last won a division title during the Carter administration. Sports fandom is about patience, but there are 36-year old adults who have never seen the Wizards finish first in a five-team division. Patience shouldn’t last longer than a mortgage.

Those two paragraphs summarize why Washington sports fans aren't particularly feeling the Wizards, even when they are playing relatively well.

So that's all I have for this week's links and these are far from the only ones. If there's another link you'd like to share, please do so in the comments or write a FanPost for us.

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