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Top Stories of the Week: Wizards get ready for the Hawks, Mystics stock up on shooters

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards have finally finished the regular season. Now, it’s time to get to get to some links

So close, yet so far from 50 wins

The Wizards finished the regular season 49-33, one game short of breaking their internal team goal of getting the team’s first 50 win season since 1978-79. The main culprit behind it were their two losses to the Miami Heat.

I am of the mindset of looking at things half empty in this respect. The Wizards haven’t won 50 games since 1979. But others don’t view things the same way. Bryan Frantz of Truth About It wrote that 50 wins is not as important as a deep playoff run.

There’s two sides to this issue of course, but little things like this matter to many fans, myself included.

Brandon Jennings writes about the first time he met John Wall

The Wizards’ backup point guard detailed his relationship with John Wall in a recent article on The Players Tribune. Jennings gave us a flashback back to when his high school (Oak Hill Academy in Southwest VA) played Wall’s (Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, NC). Jennings made a highlight play when he dunked over Wall, but times have changed a lot since then. Marissa Payne of the Washington Post also wrote more on it here.

The silver lining of Kevin Durant not coming to D.C.

Michael Lee of The Vertical wrote a column on Friday chronicling how Wall has coped without Kevin Durant or Al Horford. Because of that it confirmed what many of us thought all along: Wall is the Wizards’ franchise player, and he must make the most of it:

“It put more pressure on me to be the main guy, to be the guy. I think it made it a role of, ‘OK, you’re the franchise guy,'” Wall told The Vertical. “I went back this year with a mind-set of, ‘This is definitely my team. We have to get it going.’ If I don’t lead these guys, on the court, in practice, show leadership off the court, talking to guys, talking in the locker room, we’re never going to get to where we want to go, never going to get to the promised land. We have an opportunity to do something special.”

In addition, Wall stated that he believed the Wizards should’ve made the Eastern Conference Finals.

Playoff previews for the Hawks series

That leads me to the next point. The Wizards will face the Hawks in the first round of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs. Yes, Washington’s the fourth seed, but they beat Atlanta three times out of four this season, and most favor the Wizards to win te series comfortably. Here are previews from the staff and around the web:

John Wall answers John Calipari trivia questions

Earlier this week, ESPN played a 30 for 30 film on Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari called “One And Not Done.” There’s a teaser video below where some of his stars from the Wildcats, including Wall answered trivia on how well they know their college coach.

Mystics draft three shooters in the 2017 WNBA Draft

The Mystics drafted former Maryland star Shatori Walker-Kimbrough with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft. After, they drafted Old Dominion guard Jennie Simms and Green Bay forward Mehryn Kraker with their second and third round picks, respectively. All three are wing players with the ability to take and make many threes.

As you may know, the Mystics originally held the second pick in this year’s draft. However, they traded that pick, Stefanie Dolson, and Kahleah Copper to the Chicago Sky to get Elena Delle Donne. The sixth pick came in a separate deal from the Seattle Storm.

Here’s the bottom line on the draft selections. Considering that they chose not to pick up a center with any of their draft selections, the Mystics can be expected to play a faster-tempo, finesse game predicated on three point shooting.

These are just some of the many links and story lines that defined last week. But of course, they’re far from the only ones. If you have another link that you’d like to share, feel free to share in the comments, or as a FanPost.

Have a great Easter Weekend everyone!