Happy March everyone. Spring is around the corner and the playoff picture is getting clearer. Let’s get to the links.
Wizards are starting to get shaky once again
The Wizards hosted the Pacers last Sunday, and lost 98-95. With that loss, the Wizards had a season high losing streak of three. They followed that up with a key 117-113 win over the Heat in overtime on Tuesday to get closer to a second straight Southeast Division title. On Friday, the Wizards won against the Pelicans, 116-97. They followed that up with a blowout loss to the Heat the very next day, 129-102.
There is another issue with the Wizards as of late. It’s that Bradley Beal may be utilized too much.
- Ben Mehic wrote that Beal is averaging more minutes than almost any player in the league since the All-Star Break. That’s a concern when Tim Frazier and Ramon Sessions aren’t doing much.
- Candace Buckner of The Washington Post also wrote a similar take after the Wizards’ loss to the Pacers. Head Coach Scott Brooks wants to keep Beal to about 36 minutes, but he also mentioned that players are going to be tired when they play around that amount of time. Also, it’s not like the Wizards didn’t see this tough stretch coming.
- Finally, after the Wizards’ win against the Heat, Jake wrote that the Wizards have to diversify who is taking end-of-game shots. You can’t always expect to see Bradley Beal or John Wall taking the last shot.
The Wizards are now 38-29, fifth in the Eastern Conference. They are one game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for third place and half a game behind the Indiana Pacers for foplace. The Philadelphia 76ers are sixth and are 1.5 games behind Washington.
John Wall is getting closer to a return
Speaking about John Wall, he’s back on the court in shooting drills this week according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Also, Rob Athmer of Hashtag Basketball wrote why Wall’s return to the Wizards can actually help the “Everybody Eats” style of play. Osman Baig also wrote Friday that the Wizards need him to reach their full potential as well. Meanwhile, Kevin Broom and Ben Becker wrote how Wall can adjust his game to take part in “Everybody Eats.”
Kelly Oubre opens up about his state of mind
Last Wednesday, Kelly Oubre talked to Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington about dealing with the high pressure stakes of professional basketball. Recently, other NBA players like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love also talked about handling mental health issues, which are challenges that many people handle, whether they are normal people or professional athletes.
And more links
- The Harlem Globetrotters are challenging Wall and Beal to a game of H-O-R-S-E:
- Troy Halliburton of Truth About It gives Scott Brooks some credit for the Wizards’ win over the Heat.
- And I’ll finish with some news on Mystics players who are overseas. Krystal Thomas has played for Mersin in the Turkish KBSL and FIBA EuroCup Women. They played in the quarterfinals against Italian side Reyer Venezia earlier this week. Unfortunately, they lost the series because their aggregate score was just ... one point off Reyer. Thomas has been huge for Mersin this season, where she’s averaged 13.6 points and 11.3 rebounds a game in EuroCup play. Former Mystics (and now Liberty) guard Bria Hartley however has been Mersin’s top star overall where she’s averaged 17.6 points and 4 assists per game.
- In EuroLeague Women, Kristi Toliver, LaToya Sanders, and Emma Meesseman are playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg. They won their quarterfinal series against Czech power USK Praha this week and will play Russian rival club Dynamo Kursk in the semifinals. Toliver and Sanders didn’t do much for UMMC in the quarterfinals. But Meesseman has been on a hot streak for UMMC lately. She averaged 20 points a game in her last three EuroLeague contests in a roster that also has Brittney Griner and Maya Moore.
And that’s what I have for the week. If you have another link you’d like to share, feel free to do so as a FanPost or in the comments. Enjoy the rest of your weekends, even if you lose an hour for daylight savings time.