We’re now in the last week of July. The NBA Summer League is over, most free agents of note have been signed or re-signed, and the WNBA is now heading to the homestretch of their regular season.
So with that, let’s get to the main storylines of the week.
Mystics start their playoff push with a win, a leaky roof, and more injuries
The Mystics started their post All-Star break schedule with a win against the San Antonio Stars last Tuesday. But on Friday night, they had to postpone their gam against the Sun because of a leak in the Verizon Centre roof during a big rain storm.
That reminds us quite a bit about the January 11, 2014 debacle when the Wizards played the Rockets when a leaky roof caused two delays that took about 90 minutes to resolve. Instead of delaying this game that long, the WNBA refs decided to just call this one early.
Yeah, I get it. Basketball is an indoor sport, and these things shouldn’t happen. But you just can’t risk players getting injured out there. After all, Tayler Hill is out for the year due to a knee injury and Natasha Cloud also has a plantar fascia tear that she suffered last Tuesday in the San Antonio game. The Mystics even cut Jennie Simms, their second round pick this year, which really thinned out the backcourt talent. They signed former Connecticut Sun guard Allison Hightower to take her place.
The Mystics play the Dream on Sunday to close out the weekend. Hopefully Philips Arena doesn’t have issues ... and I think that the Verizon Center roof needs a checkup. It’s one thing for a game three years ago to be delayed due to rain. But it’s unacceptable to see this happen again after measures were presumably made to prevent this exact issue.
Top Wizards Stories
The Eastern Conference of the NBA has been known as being consistently weaker than the West. And on paper, many simply expect to see the Cleveland Cavaliers turn the tables on everyone, just like they have for each of the last three seasons.
But in the last week, Kyrie Irving apparently requested a trade from Cleveland so he could be a franchise player for another team. And with the exception of the Boston Celtics, many teams appear to be “laying low” or starting “The Process.”
The Wizards on the other hand kept their core together by re-signing Otto Porter and John Wall in the last week. So here are some more pieces we wrote on that:
- Alan Jenkins gave an early peek at what the East looks like this season. The Wizards haven’t taken over the Cavaliers on paper just yet. But again, it’s not surprising that the Wizards are looking like winners while other teams like the Raptors and Hawks are losing ground.
- Mike Sykes also added that the Wizards are a model for team building because of their stability. There are a lot of teams right now trying to shuffle a lot of things. Maybe it will work. And maybe it won’t. The Wizards may have done “nothing” because no one new came to the organization, but stability is a good thing when the core players are John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter.
- It wasn’t too long ago when John Wall was struggling for respect in the Golden Age of point guards. He wasn’t fighting to be compared favorably to Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, or James Harden. He was struggling to be compared favorably to Irving and Damian Lillard. In a recent fan poll by ESPN, Wall beat out Irving and Lillard as “the best point guard” in the bunch. Sure, this is a non-scientific poll. But Wall now has more respect among NBA fans than just a couple years ago.
- That said, John Wall or his agent forgot to pay the GoDaddy bill to renew his website domain. Well, I think the site was taken down for updates. It’s back up now.
- We had a couple Q&A’s with other SB Nation NBA blogs on some new Wizards players. Jake Whitacre spoke with Brad Rowland of Peachtree Hoops on Mike Scott, who played for the Hawks last season. And he also spoke with Oleh Kosel of The Bird Writes on what Tim Frazier can provide after a great year with the Pelicans last season. They also talked a little about ... DeMarcus Cousins.
- And we’ve continued to add more to our player evaluation series. We focused on Bradley Beal’s and Sheldon Mac’s 2016-17 performances earlier this week.
Alright, that’s all I have for this July weekend. If you have another link you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments or as a FanPost. Enjoy the rest of your weekends everyone!