In a WNBA draft that many experts believe to have three game-changing players, the Washington Mystics will draft fourth.
The Mystics ended the year with the worst record in the WNBA at 5-29, and as a result, had the best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft lottery. But when the ping pong balls were pulled, the black cloud that seems to hang over the Mystics struck again.
Brittney Griner, the imposing center out of Baylor, is the consensus best player in the draft, and many Mystics fans hoped she would land in Washington. Behind Griner, Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins and Delaware's Elena Della Donne are also considered elite players. But with the fourth overall pick, it is unlikely any of the three top talents land in D.C.
Talent remains at the fourth pick, and some of it has a local flavor.
Mystics analyst Christy Winters Scott identified three potential players the Mystics might take at No. 4: Georgetown's Sugar Rogers, Maryland's TiannaHawkins, or Ohio State's Taylar Hill.
The Ravens will be huge Redskins fans this weekend.
The Redskins can do the Ravens a favor by beating the Bengals on Sunday in London. The Bengals (3-4) are tied with the Ravens (3-4) for second place in the AFC North.
Both the Ravens and Steelers have byes this weekend. And despite a winless October, the Ravens are just one game behind the AFC North-leading Steelers (4-3). Not only that, the Ravens will lead the AFC North after Week 10 if:
1. The Redskins beat the Bengals on Sunday.
2. The Ravens beat the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 9.
3. The Ravens beat the winless Browns (0-7) at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 10.
With nobody running away with the AFC North, Ravens coach John Harbaugh can still take a glass half-full perspective, dealing with his first four-game losing streak as a head coach.
“What can we accomplish?” Harbaugh asked on Monday. “We can accomplish everything we want to accomplish. That’s the thing that’s exciting.”
And if they get some help from the Redskins on Sunday, the Ravens will gladly take it.
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ATLANTA -- There are so many ifs after Thursday’s season-opening loss for the Wizards. If Bradley Beal didn’t get into early foul trouble. If John Wall had made those easy shots to start to get off on the right track. If Marcus Thornton hadn’t missed so many shots when they needed him to fill the void.
Let’s look at what they can build on despite falling apart in the fourth quarter of a 114-99 defeat:
- The Wizards stuck to their strategy of posting Wall and Beal on inbound plays. In the first half, both had Dennis Schroder under the rim, drew fouls and made it to the free-throw line as a result. That’s good for about four extra chances a game – possibly each – if they continue to look for it. Wall took seven foul shots in 30 minutes. Beal only had one but was restricted by foul trouble. He was on the floor for just 24.
- Markieff Morris made two three-point shots. He attempted 155 last season and only made 30.3%, but he looks like he'll set a career-high in both regards this season. He was 2 of 3 from long range.
- Otto Porter’s movement without the ball resulted in high-percentage looks in 26 minutes. He didn’t attempt a three, which isn’t the strength of his game. It’s the mid-range and moving off the ball (10 points, 5 of 7).
- Beal stayed true to the attack-mode principles he displayed in the preseason. He shot 6 of 12 and only two of those were threes. He had four assists and easily could’ve had double that if not for picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter. As Beal's shot chart shows at stats.nba.com, five of his six maakes can within five feet of the rim. He kept his dribble alive and relied on hesitation moves to force the action closer to the basket.
- Andrew Nicholson looks like a reliable, steady option at the four/five spot. In 19 minutes he had nine points (3 of 6), seven rebounds, a steal and a block despite the difficulty the second unit had running the offense. He also made a three.
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