The matchup: Last meets first Friday night (7 p.m. ET) at the Verizon Center as the Washington Mystics (2-9) host theConnecticutSun (9-3). Hosting the second game of a four-game homestand, the Mystics, losers of eight of their last nine games,are looking to break a four-game losing streak. Washington has also dropped five straight to a Connecticut team that has had a week to stew after afranchise-worst 34-point loss against Indiana. On June 3, the Mystics lost to the Sun in Connecticut, 84-86.Last time out: Olympian Sue Bird scored 25 points and the veteran Seattle Storm held off the Mystics 79-71. Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics with 20 points and 10 rebounds. After trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half, Mystics coach Trudi Lacey adjusted her second half lineup, sending out Langhorne and four reserves. The change worked early initially as Washington tied the game, hitting 7 of 10 shots starting the third quarter. Seattle weathered the surge with a barrage of 3-pointers and sealed the win by making 9 of 10 free throws inside the final two minutes. The Mystics finished on the short end of a 30-19 free disadvantage."We didn't start off well," Lacey said. "Anytime a team scores 30 points off the free throw line, that's tough."Post powers: In the previous meeting against the Sun, Langhorne, the Mystics leading scorer (16.5) scored a season-high 25 points. That was not enough to counter Connecticut center Tina Charles, who tallied a season-best 30 points. Charles ranks fifth in the WNBA in scoring with 19 points per game.
On the first night of NBA free agency, the Wizards offered John Wall the designated player extension or better known as the supermax. It took a few weeks, but Wall agreed to sign the extension with the Wizards.
Now, he's released a message for the fans shortly after agreeing.
A formal announcement from the Wizards is expected on Saturday, but Wall took to Twitter to let everyone know.
"You know I wasn't going nowhere." Wall said, "I love being in D.C."
Wall, who has repeatedly said he wished to remain in Washington to bring a championship to the city, reiterated that once again.
"You all know what I'm going for. Definitely going to bring you all that championship." Wall added, "You know that's my ultimate goal."
The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.
Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.
Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.
The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.
By signing Wall to four more years, the Wizards have locked up their three core players, including Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, through the 2019-20 season. Like Beal and Wall, Porter is under contract through the following season, but he could choose to leave in free agency through a player option. Porter signed his new contract on July 13, a four-year max deal worth $106.5 million.
Wall had the best season of his career in 2016-17, averaging 23.1 poitns, 10.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He was a driving force behind the Wizards' best season as a franchise since the 1970s. Not since 1979 had they won 49 games, their division or reached the seventh game of the second round of the playoffs.
Now with Wall, Beal and Porter locked up for the foreseeable future, the Wizards can continue to build on an era that has already seen three appearances in the postseason's second round. It all began with Wall getting drafted in 2010 and now it is ensured he will get to finish what he and the Wizards have started.