Sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Washington Mystics appear to be reaching their wits' end. Frustration is surely taking a toll on the WNBA-worst Tulsa Shock as well. The Mystics try for their first road win of the year and a sweep of the Shock on Sunday. Five days after snapping a season-high five-game losing streak with a 90-77 win over Phoenix, Washington (3-11) saw its struggles resume in a 78-73 defeat to San Antonio on Friday. Monique Currie had a team-high 15 points while Crystal Langhorne scored 13, but the Mystics were done in by the Silver Stars' 17-4 run in the third quarter. "It's very frustrating. I'm not used to losing," said veteran center Michelle Snow, who signed with Washington during the offseason. "You just want to scream, you want to blow up, you want to fight, whatever it takes to wake everybody up. Honestly, a change is going to come. You can be part of that change here or you'll just be part of that rotation (leaving town). That's the way any job is." While the Mystics' 3-6 home record leaves much to be desired, it looks good compared to their road efforts. Washington is 0-5 away from home and has lost 14 straight there overall. A matchup with Tulsa (2-13) could be just what the Mystics need to put those woes behind them. The Shock have dropped seven of nine on their own court, giving them the worst home mark in the league. Tulsa is coming off back-to-back double-digit losses at Bank of Oklahoma Center, falling 86-75 to Connecticut on Friday in its most recent game. Shooting a league-low 38.8 percent from the floor, the Shock were limited to 21.1 percent and outscored 25-10 in the first quarter. "That really was the difference, the slow start," coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "We're just not good enough to have lapses like that." Averaging a team-high 14.1 points, Ivory Latta was the lone bright spot for Tulsa, scoring 24 and going 9 of 14 from the floor. Latta had 16 points but was the only Shock player to score in double figures in a 64-61 loss at Washington on May 26 - Tulsa's sixth defeat in eight meetings in the series. Though the Mystics have dominated the Shock of late, they were handed a 77-59 defeat in their last visit to Tulsa on June 18, 2011. Latta scored 22 points and helped limit Washington to 33.8 percent shooting.
Most rankings put out by online outlets are simply material for page clicks and fodder for debate among fans. Few carry the weight of a survery of league general managers.
But even the opinions of those who construct rosters can't necessarily be taken as gospel. This year's NBA GM survey put out by NBA.com included some things Wizards point guard John Wall just doesn't agree with.
Wall wasn't even listed among the best four point guards in the league. While he was ranked as the second-fastest player with the ball, he was nowhere to be found among the best passers. Not even under the honorable mentions of the 'also received votes' category.
That last one irked Wall more than any. He spoke on the subject after the Wizards' win over the Raptors in their preseason finale on Friday night.
"I see it every day on my Twitter. It's funny. I enjoy it. A guy that finished in the top two of assists last year can't pass? I guess so," he said.
Wall, who has averaged 10 assists per game in each of the last two seasons, says he is no stranger to being overlooked.
"I've been an All-Star and have done this and that in my career. I think I'm doing a pretty good job of something," he said.
"Everything anybody has to say about John Wall, it's never in the top of five category of anything. That's just more motivation for me. They have their opinion. I know what I do. My teammates believe in me. They trust me and see everything I do and all the hard work I put in. One day they will respect me."
Rookies Daniel Ochefu, Sheldon McClellan and Danuel House didn't play much to end the preseason for the Wizards, but all three free agents made the cut as the roster now stands at the league maximum of 15, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.
The Wizards finished the preseason 4-3 after Friday's 119-82 rout of the Toronto Raptors. Ochefu played only six minutes and House and McClellan didn't touch the court.
All three have non-guaranteed deals, meaning the Wizards have the flexibility to waive them at any time without penalty before the second week of January when their deals become fully guaranteed.
Casper Ware, Johnny O'Bryant and Jarell Eddie, who appeared to have an inside track because he played here last season, had a $175,000 guarantee and shined in Las Vegas summer leauge play, were waived.
Ochefu, McClellan and House all received partial guarantees to attend training camp.