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Mystics semifinals opponents to get travel help from league

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Mystics semifinals opponents to get travel help from league

The start of the Mystics' first playoff series won't be marred by the semi-regular travel woes that plague the league's players during the regular season. 

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced on Sunday that the league will cover the cost of charter flights for Connecticut and Washington's opponents in both Game Ones in the semifinals round of the WNBA playoffs.

“With both second-round WNBA playoff games taking place in the Pacific Time Zone on Sunday and WNBA semifinals set to tip-off on Tuesday in Connecticut and Washington, D.C., the league has arranged and will cover costs for charter flights for the winners of Sunday’s games," she said in a statement released by the league. "We believe it is in the best interest of the players to provide them with an opportunity to arrive expeditiously in the city of the first game of the WNBA semifinals and have a full day on-site to practice, rest and prepare.”

WNBA players, who fly commercial flights, have often voiced concern about their travel arrangements.

Earlier this season, Elena Delle Donne wrote on Instagram that she was "sick of" taking commercial flights cross-country, citing a fellow passenger's derogatory remarks made while the Mystics were on a flight to Las Vegas. In 2018, the Mystics game against the Aces was canceled after the Las Vegas-based team's travel woes resulted in them traveling for reportedly 24 hours and arriving only a few hours before game time. 

The issue also was one of the central points in WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike's essay on The Player's Tribune in 2018 after players opted out of their CBA. Players have to renegotiate a deal before the 2020 season.

"This is not purely about salaries. This is about small changes the league can make that will impact the players," she said in the essay. "This is about a six-foot-nine superstar taking a red-eye cross-country and having to sit in an economy seat instead of an exit row. Often with delays. Imagine the last time you took a red-eye business trip and you sat in the middle seat with your knees all cramped up, and how shook you were for that entire rest of the day."

The top-seeded Mystics, who clinched a double-bye to the semifinals, start their postseason on Tuesday at home. 

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Wizards vs. 76ers Preseason: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. 76ers Preseason: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards will take the court Friday night in Philadelphia as they wrap up their 2019 preseason slate. While there are still roster spots to be won and roles to be carved out, the biggest storyline surrounding the Wizards this week comes from their biggest star.

Bradley Beal, the face of the franchise and Wizards' only All-Star while John Wall rehabs from his Achilles injury, signed a two-year contract extension with the Wizards Thursday morning.

The focus of the season for the Wizards will clearly be on their younger players, but fans will be most excited to see the team's remaining star this season.

It's unclear which 76ers stars will be on the court for the preseason finale, but the game will serve as the final tune-up for two franchise going in opposite directions. 

The Wizards vs. 76ers preseason finale wil tip off Friday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS PRESEASON HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers, 2019 NBA Preseason Game 4

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: Friday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Wizards at 76ers preseason game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards at 76ers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS TV SCHEDULE

3:00 PM: The Daily Line (LIVE)

7:00 PM: Wizards vs. 76ers, NBA Preseason (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles rehab), Isaiah Thomas (OUT, Left thumb rehab), Isaac Bonga (OUT, Left knee soreness), Troy Brown Jr. (OUT, Left calf strain), Ian Mahinmi (OUT, Right Achilles strain), C.J. Miles (OUT, Left foot rehab)

76ers: James Ennis (DAY-TO-DAY, calf injury)

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards: Beal just signed a contract extension to keep him in Washington for a few more years. With John Wall out, the Wizards are solely his team, and this will be his first time on the court since agreeing to the new deal. 

Thomas Bryant, C, Wizards: The Wizards' best big man has enjoyed a strong preseason, and will look to solidify himself as Washington's number two option behind Beal with John Wall out. His outside game remains a work in progress, but Bryant has flashed a lot of potential inside for a Wizards team desperate for secondary scoring.

Matisse Thybulle, SG, 76ers: The rookie guard filled the stat sheet in Philadelphia's previous preseason game, and appears to have earned a significant role as a defensive specialist and the first wing off the 76ers' bench.  

WIZARDS vs. 76ERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 303 games

All-time Record: 76ers lead 181-122

Last Meeting: Wizards won 123-106 on 1/9/19

Streaking: Wizards have won 9 straight home games against the 76ers, and  22 of last 29 at Capital One Arena

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Bradley Beal excitedly tweets reaction to signing two-year extension

Bradley Beal excitedly tweets reaction to signing two-year extension

ICYMI, Bradley Beal finally signed a contract extension with the Washington Wizards. The two-year, $72 million deal begins in the 2021-22 season and includes a four-year player option available in 2022-23.

After a career year for shooting guard we know and love to call Panda, as well as a tumultuous year for the Wizards, Beal faced many options, like requesting a trade or holding out. Instead of requesting a trade, he put the pen to paper with a deal that's flexible for what's to come Washington's way over the next five seasons. Making this happen is a huge win for the Wizards front office and is a significant success for general manager Tommy Sheppard to add to his resume.

With all of that said, Bradley Beal is pretty excited about the extension, too.

We're doing the same dance moves over the good news, Brad! The Wizards' future looks bright and filled with panda swag.

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