Defensive lapses equals mounting losses for Mystics

Defensive lapses equals mounting losses for Mystics

When youre the WNBAs lowest scoring team, succeeding on defense is a must. In the Washington Mystics last outing against Atlanta, that was so not the case. Earlier this month against their next opponent, the Mystics had similar issues when it came to allowing points. Off since Friday, the Mystics (5-18) return to action Tuesday night at Indiana, a locale they have little recent success. On August 16, Washington allowed nine 3-pointers while committing 16 turnovers compared to nine assists in an 84-66 loss to the Fever (14-8). Indiana has won four straight games in the series on its home court.Help is on the way though maybe not in time for the Fever. Washington signedWNBA veteran forward and 3-point threat Iziane Castro Marques on Sunday.Starting with the previous setback against the Fever, the Mystics have lost four of five games since returning from the Olympic break. The latest defeat, 81-69 at home against Atlanta is one of those where the final score is not a true indicator of the action. Washington committed nine of its 18 turnovers in the first quarter, trailed by double figures after every quarter and by 28 points in the third quarter. The miscues led directly to 25 points for the Dream, who also scored 40 points in the paint, many on easy buckets."If you can't take care of the ball, you can't make shots,'' said Washington's Monique Currie, who scored 14 points. "We can't get shots, we're not getting back on defense. They had a layup clinic.''Washington sits four games behind Chicago for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.Matee Ajavon scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter against the Dream, leading a rally that had the Mystics down 77-69 inside the final minute before time ran out."It was pretty tough to come back from that deficit,'' Ajavon said. That loss is pretty hard.''The addition of Castro Marques should at least make putting the ball in the basket less hard for a team averaging only 70 points per game. Signed on Sunday, the nine-year WNBA veteran averaged 10.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for her career. The 6-foot forward helped Atlanta reach consecutive WNBA Finals and shot 54 percent from 3-point range during last years playoffs.Collectively this season the Mystics are shooting 30.6 percent from beyond the arc. Indiana ranks second in the WNBA at 41 percent.Castro Marques sat out the first half of the WNBA season in preparation for the Olympics, but she was kicked off the Brazilian national team for violating team rules.Currie led the Mystics with 12 points in the loss to the Fever this month. Crystal Langhorne, Washingtons leading scorer and rebounder on the season, finished with four points and three rebounds in the loss.Indiana forward Tamika Catchings posted a double-doublewith 14 points and 14 rebounds against Washington earlier this month. The Olympic gold medalist totaled 15 points and nine boards in a 67-66 loss at the Vereizon Center on June 15.

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A tribute to a fallen hero: CSNMA's top ten Vines of all-time

A tribute to a fallen hero: CSNMA's top ten Vines of all-time

There are 14,400 six-second increments in every day, which means a single six-second increment is usually not all that important. That all changed in January 2013, however, when Vine launched and turned any six second window into a place of endless possibilities. 

Sadly, on Thursday, Twitter announced that it was going to discontinue Vine, and the app was going to fade away in the near future. Vine's website will be kept online, but that shouldn't be taken as any sort of good news; once the app goes away, so, too, does the chance to create new material.

As our form of tribute to what's become a social media staple, here are the 10 best Vines CSNMA has captured in the past few years. Feel free to play this song as you begin watching to truly enhance the somber mood. 

10) If every state had an official Vine, like they do flags and mottos and birds, this would be Philadelphia's state Vine:

9) When you have a goal, you have to give 110 percent to accomplish that goal. You have to fight for it, sacrifice for it and do anything to complete it. It should be all that you think about, from the second you wake up in the morning to the moment you close your eyes at night.

But, if you get tired after a few seconds, it's OK to move on:

8) Most bosses would terminate you the instant you gave them a purple nurple. Jay Gruden isn't most bosses.

7) Vine became really relevant about four years ago and lived a bright and intense life, but it looks like it's going to disappear far too soon.

Sounds a lot like this former Redskins quarterback:

6) Stephen A. Smith would disagree with the inclusion of this Vine:

5) When the Running Man phenomenon swept the nation a few months ago, a lot of people did the dance really well. Then you have these two:

4) Is it too late to get Alex Ovechkin on the presidential ticket? 

3) It takes a special person to essentially turn Bryce Harper into a muscular medal rack:

2) It should be a law that anyone who wants to play hockey must first view this Vine before deciding whether to actually pursue the sport:

1) CSNMA's Vine account has roughly 65 million views. This clip, which is the living embodiment of the phrase, "Right place, right time," has 45 million of those views. Kirk Cousins is to CSNMA's Vine views what Justin Bieber is to YouTube's video views:

Farewell, old friend.


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No promise on playing, but Jordan Reed, Josh Norman traveling to London with Redskins

No promise on playing, but Jordan Reed, Josh Norman traveling to London with Redskins

LONDON - Working their way through the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins announced Thursday that tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback Josh Norman will travel with the team to London.

Cleared to practice and cleared to play are two different things, but it's certainly a good sign that Reed and Norman can fly over the Atlantic with the team.

Arguably the team's best two players, Reed hasn't played since sustaining a concussion in the win against Baltimore, though the tight end finished that game. Norman also suffered a concussion, but it came last week against the Lions.

It's interesting that Reed's concussion forced him to miss two games, where Norman might be able to play this week without missing any games. Keep in mind Reed's extensive concussions history could be a factor. 

On the season, Reed has 33 catches for 316 yards and two touchdowns, all numbers that led the team when he was injured. Norman has one interception and one forced fumble on the season.

Both players would be big help for Washington, especially Norman. The Bengals prominently feature A.J. Green, perhaps the best receiver in the NFL. Jay Gruden made clear he'd like Norman to cover Green, and with Thursday's news, perhaps the $75 million man will do just that.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.