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Elena Delle Donne reveals just how hurt she was, playing through the WNBA Finals

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Elena Delle Donne reveals just how hurt she was, playing through the WNBA Finals

Elena Delle Donne has proven her grit and fortitude in this year's WNBA Playoffs. It was not until after the champion was crowned that she divulged the extent of the pain she was dealing with.

Back in Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals against the Atlanta Dream, Delle Donne had to leave the contest because of a grotesque injury to her knee. A bone bruise was the initial diagnosis on the former WNBA MVP, surprising considering how nasty the fall looked. 

It was not until after the Washington Mystics lost to the Seattle Storm in the WNBA Finals that Delle Donne revealed what she had to go through.

"It was different. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to practice a lot," said Delle Donne. "I was trying to figure out my go-to moves as games were going on. Just trying to get comfortable finding different ways. I'm a very left-footed player. I like to push off one leg. Floaters, stepbacks and all that off my left leg. Just trying to find a different way to get it done. But I felt more and more comfortable as we went on."

She only missed one game because of the injury and that was Game 3 in the WNBA Semifinals. Facing elimination, Delle Donne returned for the Mystics in Game 4 and in the winner-take-all Game 5. 

While her impact was significant being back on the court, her production was clearly not the same post-injury. Mustering all she could with a brace-turned-sleeve, one of the most dominant players in the WNBA was held back. 

Prior to the fall, she averaged 26 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists a game during the playoffs, right on pace with her season averages. 

Afterwards it dipped to 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists.

In the final game of the Finals, she actually played her best all-around game since the injury with 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting. Adding in five rebounds and four assists, she still was able to contribute in all areas of the court. 


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Rui Hachimura bluntly describes Wizards' defensive struggles this season

Rui Hachimura bluntly describes Wizards' defensive struggles this season

The Wizards didn't just drop their third straight to fall to 2-7 Wednesday night in Boston, but they again gave up an obscene amount of points. 

Washington fell 140-133, marking the fifth time in the first nine games in which they've given up more than 120 points. They've held an opposing offense under 100 twice. 

After the loss, Scott Brooks said the team's defensive issues started with the scouting report. Players weren't familiar enough with the Celtics' tendencies so when Washington needed a stop, they couldn't get one. 

Rookie forward Rui Hachimura put it a bit more bluntly. 

“From the beginning of the season, our defense has been no good," he said. 

With Hachimura, Bradley Beal and Isaiah Thomas, the Wizards shouldn't have any issue scoring this season. They have the sixth-ranked offense in the NBA, but the fact that they still have a -4.4 net rating is telling to how bad they've been on the other end.

The Wizards are in the midst of a rebuilding year. The goals for teams like these are to acquire young talent and hope they develop into foundational pieces. As important as obtaining talent is, building good habits can make or break a young player's development, especially in the age of the one-and-done.

They'll have to commit more to the defensive end if they have any hopes of putting multiple wins together. The question is whether they have the personnel to do it. 


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Austin Rivers, who was briefly a Wizard, calls for dad Doc Rivers to get technical

Austin Rivers, who was briefly a Wizard, calls for dad Doc Rivers to get technical

The NBA isn't as physical as it used to be, but the pettiness has been off the charts over the last few years. No instance highlights the pettiness in the league more than what happened Wednesday night between former Wizards guard Austin Rivers and his own father, Doc. 

While the Clippers head coach argued with referees late in his team's loss to the Rockets, Austin started to call for his dad to get a technical foul. Once Tony Brothers hit Doc with the tech, Austin hilariously celebrated with the Houston faithful. 

Rivers, who played 29 games with the Wizards last season and averaged just over seven points per game before he was traded to the Rockets, might want to approach Thanksgiving dinner with caution once his dad sees this video. 

After the game, Rivers said he knew the technical foul was coming for his dad based on the way the game was going and how he and Doc probably won't go to dinner together following this one.

Rivers also played for dad in Los Angeles for more than three seasons. Perhaps there's a family feud after the Clippers traded him to the Wizards?

Probably not, but it's always a treat to see family members get heated during a game, no matter what sport it is.