We’re now in the latter half of May folks. The weather’s getting warmer and Memorial Day’s on the horizon. Unfortunately, one team’s season ended this past week, but another team’s season is just getting started.
The Wizards’ season is over
The Wizards went to a seven game series against the Celtics after John Wall’s heroics a couple Fridays ago. Last Monday, they were leading with just a couple minutes left in the third quarter of Game 7, but Boston made a barrage of threes. And Kelly Olynyk went into Emma Meesseman vs. the Lynx mode to lead Boston to a 115-105 victory. The Celtics moved onto the Eastern Conference Finals to host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There was a fan fight in Game 7
Sometime during Game 7, a Wizards fan got slapped by a Celtics fan. In response, he punched the Celtics fan, causing him to bleed. Video of the fight came out, but you can Google it up. Fan violence is not something we endorse at BF, and neither’s excessive alcohol.
Scott Brooks’ rotation was very, very short
Chris Almeda of The Ringer wrote a critical column on Scott Brooks’ rotations, and Ernie Grunfeld’s player acquisitions as major reasons why the Wizards lost their playoff series against the Celtics. One of them is a decision to only play Oubre six seconds:
But Brooks’s most perplexing decision was to shorten his already-miniature rotation. Oubre, a developing offensive wing and one of the team’s best defenders, saw just six seconds of court time after previously averaging almost 17 minutes a game during the postseason. Oubre will now spend the summer wondering why his coach didn’t trust him in a game where his skills were clearly needed. The impact on the forward’s confidence may be something that lingers much longer than the pain of this loss.
I’ll get to Oubre in the next storyline, but the Wizards only scored five bench points in Game 7, and that’s on Brooks. I get that the Wizards’ bench was a weak point all season. But even I’m not sure if seeing a gassed John Wall is better than a fresh Brandon Jennings for three minutes. Jennings shot terribly in the playoffs and his entire time as a Wizard. But things were quite extreme last Monday.
Kelly Oubre was injured
Perhaps Almeda may be a little easier on Brooks in regard to Oubre because he was nursing a knee injury. He had a right knee injury during the postseason, and perhaps that may have been partly why he didn’t play much in Game 7.
If you’re wondering why this is news now, Oubre told the medical team to keep it private until the season was over. Now that it is, let’s hope it’s nothing serious and that his PRP treatment will get him back to 100% health next season.
Marcin Gortat doesn’t appreciate being treated like last week’s news
“But — I think it’s too early for me to say something. I’m just going to sit down in the summer and talk to my agent, talk to my people and I’m going to analyze if this is the right fit. Winning is the most important, at the end of the day. But right now, I had an average, maybe good, season. The team had a great season, we went to the second round, I think everybody would like to take that result around the NBA.”
God, that’s scary. He’s talking about whether this is the right team for him…. After all, Washington signed Ian Mahinmi for more total money and a year less than they did for him. Furthermore, it’s not like Gortat was averaging DeMarcus Cousins-esque numbers.
Ultimately, I believe Gortat will probably stay next season. It’s not often when the most durable player on the team is also the oldest player -- Gortat’s 33. Furthermore, he averaged a double double this season and logged heavy minutes when Mahinmi missed most of the regular season. It’s true that anything can happen, and Gortat could be flipped for a younger piece next season. However, I don’t think it’s very likely.
John Wall was named to the All-NBA 3rd team
In our hearts, Wall deserved to get the most points for an All-NBA team. I get it. But the bottom line is that the league finally acknowledged him for having the best season of his career with such an honor. Given that he played healthy all season long, this is well-deserved.
Bradley Beal believes the Wizards would give the Cavs a run for their money ...
...if they made the Eastern Conference Finals of course.
On Thursday, Beal said that the Cavs didn’t want to face the Wizards in the second round because they’d face a tougher matchup. Here’s what he said below in a video to CSN Mid Atlantic:
On the one hand, Beal has a point. The Celtics are currently down 2 games to zippy to the defending NBA champions. The Game 2 loss was a 130-86 blowout at the friendly confines of TD Garden. The Wizards on the other hand went 1-2 against the Cavaliers this season. Their win was on the road at Quicken Loans Arena, and one of those two losses happened in overtime, thanks to this freak shot that made extra time possible:
But that’s a moot point. I’m a bit sour that the Wizards’ season ended earlier than I’d like, so it’s not something I care that much about.
The Celtics beat the Wizards to get to the Eastern Conference Finals, so it doesn’t matter. What Beal said is like Emma Meesseman saying that the Mystics can beat the Minnesota Lynx in the Finals, just because they can beat them a lot in the regular season. I certainly believe the Mystics would be the favorites against the Lynx in a playoff series given their success. But the Mystics can’t beat other teams to make it to the Finals, while the Lynx can. So .... it doesn’t matter.
And of course, Emma probably would never say something like that.
The Mystics split their first two games of the season
The Mystics kicked off their 20th season last Sunday, when they defeated the San Antonio Stars, 89-74. Elena Delle Donne led the way with 24 points, but Emma Meesseman also dropped 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists! You can watch the highlights below, and get some more analysis on that here.
And by the way, Mike Thibault’s onboard in D.C. for four more years.
And more links!
- On Tuesday, Drew Magary of Deadspin wrote about how the Wizards got their current name 20 years ago. The Wizards are good now, so it’s not like the name’s bad. At least in my opinion.
- Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards’ VP of Basketball Operations, is interviewing to be the President of Basketball Operations for the Atlanta Hawks.
- A lot of puns with the “Season of Fine.” It’s fine!
- Our own Kevin Parrish Jr. wrote a column on Sir Charles in Charge regarding how Ernie Grunfeld made the Wizards relevant this season.
- Now that the Wizards’ season is over, some folks are writing their post mortems on what the team should do going forward. Andrew Lynch of FoxSports.com wrote one key step is terminating Grunfeld, even if he did a good job this past season.
- Thom Loverro of The Washington Times would seem to agree with that assessment. He also places much of the blame on Grunfeld, and Ted Leonsis’ apparent reluctance to shake things up.
- Bria Hartley may not play for the Mystics anymore, but her crossover is still her favorite move. It’s something she works on all the time at the Knicks/Liberty practice facility:
- I wanted to make this an article when I first read it, but decided not to because she’s not on the Mystics anymore. But Bria Hartley played on the Mystics FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS into her pregnancy last season. Barbara Barker of Newsday, a Long Island newspaper detailed more about that and her new life as a mom last week. In short, Hartley was very dedicated to the team despite the pregnancy and continued to be a loyal soldier until the very end.
So, that’s it from me. These are far from the only links on the Wizards and Mystics this past week. If you have another link you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments or as a FanPost.
Also, I won’t be here next week or the week after since I’ll be out of town. Someone else -- I dunno who just yet -- will post the main storylines of the week then.
Enjoy the rest of your weekends!