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Wizards have mixed feelings about how this season ended, but say next year must be different

Wizards have mixed feelings about how this season ended, but say next year must be different

There are so many factors to weigh in determining whether the Wizards' 2016-17 season was a success or a disappointment. The expectations were set and reset multiple times coming off a 2015-16 season where they missed the playoffs, then after a stunning 2-8 start and then throughout a magical run that ended with a second round playoff exit.

The Wizards' season was a mixed bag of various extremes. Because of that, the players have differing opinions in evaluating what happened.

"Overall, I think it was a good season," guard Bradley Beal said. "As disappointing as we can call it, we can still take a lot of good out of it... We were able to advance further in the playoffs than we've ever been."

"I feel like we could have gone farther. It was a disappointing season," forward Otto Porter said. "In our minds, we could have gotten to the Finals to contend for a championship."

The Wizards' season technically ended just like it did in the 2014 and 2015 playoffs, in the second round and just short of a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. There were, however, many reasons to think this team was better than those teams and thus this year represented not only a step in the right direction, but brand new ground in the John Wall era.

[RELATED: Wall's All-NBA nod puts him among best in franchise history]

They got to 49 wins and won their division, both firsts for the franchise since 1978-79. They found considerable success under new head coach Scott Brooks, reaching a new level offensively. Most on their roster took noticeable steps forward in their development, everyone from Wall and Beal to Porter and Kelly Oubre, Jr. Wall's improvement earned him All-NBA honors for the first time in his career.

Still, the Wizards wanted more than what they ended up achieving. Especially towards the end of the season, as they battled for positioning in the East during the regular season, got past the Hawks in the first round and battled closely with the Celtics, they dreamt big. At one point even the Cavaliers looked vulnerable. Some wondered if this could be the Wizards' year to do some real damage in the playoffs.

Reality ultimately struck and the Wizards were left in a familiar spot. But here's what we know is different about this time around: next year a second round exit will almost certainly not be good enough. They want to go reach at least the conference finals and anything less will not do.

"I'm tired of being in this situation. I'm tired of losing in the second round," Beal said. "Next season it will be totally different. We have to remember the feeling we have right now and be better next year."

"Now our expectations are a lot higher," forward Markieff Morris said. "Especially having a year under our belt with this group."

Whether the Wizards can get to the conference finals or beyond next spring will depend on many things between health, improvement from within and the roster adjustments they make. But the goal is clear and the Wizards will have to wait a full calendar year to get their next shot at it.

[RELATED: Wall should have been All-NBA 2nd team over Isaiah Thomas]

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Celtics' Isaiah Thomas not yet in the clear with hip injury, will get tests next month

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USA Today Sports Images

Celtics' Isaiah Thomas not yet in the clear with hip injury, will get tests next month

Isaiah Thomas was shut down by the Celtics during the Eastern Conference Finals due to an impingement and labral tear in his right hip, an injury that did not require surgery, just rest. In a few weeks the Celtics hope to know more about his timeline to recovery.

Thomas evidently isn't quite in the clear despite three months having passed. According to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, Boston will run more tests on Thomas' hip in early September.

Here is what Stevens said on The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, as transcribed by CSN NE:

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September when he arrives back here out east, and from there we will know an exact timeline," Stevens said. "Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe... Ultimately, obviously you want to go into every season 110 percent healthy and we’ll find out where we stand with everybody, but more so you want what’s best for him.”

Thomas doesn't need to rush into anything and he has extra incentive to take things slowly. This is the final year of his contract and he's already stated he is gunning for a max deal next summer.

[RELATED: JOINING CELTICS MAKES MORRIS THE ENEMY, WALL SAYS]

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VIDEO: John Wall put on a show in James Harden's charity basketball game

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BallIsLife

VIDEO: John Wall put on a show in James Harden's charity basketball game

John Wall was back on the court this weekend playing in James Harden's charity basketball game down in Houston at Rice University and once again put on a show like he did weeks ago in the Miami Pro League.

This time Wall and Harden were joined by Chris Paul, who is now Harden's teammate on the Rockets. The trio combined to make a highlight video that quickly blew up on social media:

[RELATED: WALL CAN PASS FOOTBALLS REALLY WELL, TOO]

Here is the full video courtesy of BallisLife.com:

Some of Wall's best highlights are on defense when he's guarding Paul. It's not often you see that in these types of videos.

[RELATED: WALL ON HIS VIRAL VIDEO IN MIAMI PRO LEAGUE]

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