ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) -- Sylvia Fowles capped a late Chicago rally with a game-winning layup as the Sky claimed a 65-63 WNBA victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night. With 1.8 seconds left in regulation, Swin Cash launched a successful inbounds pass to Fowles, who turned around under the basket and put in the winning basket. Fowles, the Eastern Conference player of the month for May, closed with 19 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for Chicago (3-1). Teammate Epiphanny Prince scored a career-high 31 points, including 13 in the final 1:44 as Chicago rallied from an eight-point deficit. Washington (1-3) was paced by Monique Currie's 15 points and 12 from Crystal Langhorne.
Wizards forward Markieff Morris has weighed both sides of the debate around resting players in the NBA and does not believe it should be a big deal for guys to take a night off every once in a while.
Strong opinions have been shared from both sides, including from Morris' teammate John Wall, who told CSN recently that he thinks the game has gotten "softer." Morris, though, can see why taking a night off might make sense every once in a while.
"For me, it just depends on what your body tells you, man. It's a long and brutal season," Morris said. "For us, last week we had like three back-to-backs or something like that with a day in between to rest. It gets tough. For a player like LeBron [James], I can understand that. You've played more minutes than [Michael] Jordan and all those guys. It's like one game here and there, it won't hurt."
Morris is right that LeBron has logged more minutes than Jordan. Despite being 32 and likely with a few more years left in the NBA, LeBron has already played 49,341 minutes in 1,252 games including the playoffs across 14 seasons. Jordan played 48,485 minutes in 1,251 games across 15 seasons. That means, coincidentally, that on Saturday night against the Wizards LeBron officially passed Jordan in games played.
Jordan, according to Steve Clifford, the coach he employs as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, does not believe in resting players. And he is not alone, as other legends from his generation like Charles Barkley and Karl Malone have weighed in with strong opinions on the matter.
Morris thinks those guys need to chill out and understand that this isn't the 1980s and 90s.
"That's the old school, man. At the end of the day I've got the utmost respect for those guys. They paved the way for us, but it's different now, man. The league is different. A lot of things have changed since back in the day. You've gotta adjust with that. It just is what it is."
Morris was referring to advancements in sports science and training methods. The decision to rest a player is often made with the consultation of a team's medical staff and, as Gregg Popovich has argued, they are trying to preserve players and extend their careers.
Though Morris picks that side in the argument, he doesn't advocate for players to rest often. He knows doesn't think players should abuse the practice.
"You get your chance to play. When you ain't on the court, it's tough. This is our livelihood. This is what we do. You can never take the game for granted," he said.
Bruce Allen opened up about all things Redskins on Sunday. He was forthright in spots and diplomatic in others, but like many powerful people, there is much to decipher from Allen's first on camera interview since the firing of general manager Scot McCloughan.
Kirk Cousins' future
- It's no secret the 'Skins seem unable to reach a long-term deal with their quarterback. Bruce Allen said that he is still "hopeful and confident" the team could reach a multi-year contract before the July 15th deadline. Listening to Allen, however, it seemed the Redskins organization already views their current setup as a multi-year deal. Cousins signed his franchise tag for 2017, so he is under contract, and Allen specifically said the team has an option for 2018. That means another tag could absolutely be in play between Washington and Cousins. It's hard to imagine the franchise would lay out the cash for a third-straight franchise tag, but the transition tag remains an option. That would mean around a $28 million one-year deal for Cousins in 2018, but perhaps most importantly, it would let the 'Skins match any offer the QB receives from elsewhere around the league.
- Takeaway: Even without a long-term deal, Cousins could be staying in Washington for the foreseeable future.
Scot McCloughan's future
- The demise of McCloughan's tenure as Redskins GM was beyond sloppy. It played out publicly and poorly, and there is blame to be spread all around in how things unfolded. On the football side of things, Allen's revelation that McCloughan was free to go work anywhere else in the NFL struck a chord. Most NFL front offices are hunkered down in draft preparations, but in about six weeks that will be done. When, or if, McCloughan lands with another NFL team will be a telling moment.
- Takeaway: McCloughan's ouster in D.C. had many complex layers, but if the talented personnel evaluator does not join another front office, the picture becomes more clear.
- The Redskins lost their best defensive lineman in free agency when Chris Baker signed with Tampa. Then the team cut Ricky Jean-François, arguably their second best D-lineman. To offset those losses, Washington signed Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. Neither player has a particularly impressive resume, and it's hard to distinctly state that the 'Skins defensive front has improved by the change in personnel. Allen explained that McGee and McClain were specifically targeted to play for new D-line coach Jim Tomsula. Considering that, perhaps the moves make more sense.
- Takeaway: The Redskins think having Tomsula coach the D-line, and the type of players he wants on the line, will lead to rapid improvement.
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