Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Are Made of This. The players and their fans can rest easy tonight, as the Mystics defeated the Atlanta Dream (in the first ever meeting of these two teams), 80-74. After an 0-2 start to the season, the Mystics have now evened their record at 2-2 and put to sleep any thoughts of last season's nightmareish 0-8 opening.

At the end of the first half tonight, though, we couldn't be quite sure how this one would end. The Mystics came out strong, then gave up the lead before the end of the first quarter, struggled in the second period, and went into the locker room down 7. But they regrouped during the break, surged ahead by the end of the third quarter and (despite a late charge by Atlanta) never relinquished the lead. Not the dominating performance against an 0-3 expansion team that we'd hoped for, but a win nevertheless.

In stark contrast to Sunday's game, the Mystics' starters provided the bulk of point-production, with four starters finishing in double figures. The Dream's Annie Betty Lennox led all scorers with 29 points, and hit 6 of 7 from outside the arc! But 25 points (and 5 assists) from Alana, 19 points (and 9 boards) from Taj, 14 points from Mo-C and 11 points (and 8 rbs) from Nakia countered Lennox's performance . . . and then some. Though the Mystics' fifth starter, Amber Jacobs, didn't get on the scoreboard, the BasketCases thought she gave the team some good minutes (18 to be exact), dishing out 3 assists vs only 1 turnover, as she replaced the injured Nikki Blue as the starting PG.

Fortunately, the Mystics now have a few days for practice and preparation before hosting league-leading Los Angeles (Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie Los Angeles? Yep, that's the one!) on Saturday in a nationally-televised game (on ABC) tipping off at 3:30 PM. And now . . .

The Charm Factor. A Tuesday after a holiday weekend is not a night we expected the front office to pull out all stops or to treat the fans to A-list entertainment. And we got about what we expected. A good (but not great) National Anthem by Anami Jordan, no pyro or lasers, the usual time-out activities, a half-time slam-dunking demo by the world's ugliest bunny (aka "Lucky") . . . in other words, predictable, distracting, but no "Wow." Normally, we would rate the in-arena experience of a game like tonight's a 2 Bunny evening, but -- just as we assess automatic deductions, to be fair, we also sometimes make automatic additions! Tonight is one of those nights, thanks to GM Linda Hargrove, whose "Chalk Talk" prior to the game provided interested season ticketholders with her usual frank and informative insights into the team and the opponent. We've decided that Linda's "Talk" deserves an extra bunny! So tonight's score is:

Three Bunnies!


At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

I have to say, though, while we got solid performances from Alana, Mama Taj and A-Jake, if we had this much trouble putting away an expansion team, what happens when the Sparks come to town Saturday? Also, why is it I get the feeling that the Phone Booth will be overrun by Sparks fans? Maybe they'll play down to our level?

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is the marketing department offering a "Welcome Candace Parker Package" for the game on Saturday? Do we really want to welcome our opponent with headlines like that? I realize she will help boost ticket sales, but still...do we need to roll out the red carpet from Marketing?

At 9:25 AM, Blogger posting-up said...

For awhile there I couldn't believe we were losing to a %$#! expansion team! But I am SO impressed with Taj's leadership on the floor -- she just refused to let us lose. I am really loving her attitude and strength!

I also think Amber turned in a very credible night at the Point. She moved the ball, and found open players -- and if you look back on this blog from the weekend, there were a lot of comments about the PG's role to distribute rather than take the first shot.

Langhorne needs more minutes (!!) and Krystal Vaughn needs fewer until she knows what to do with the darn ball. Vaughn played 7 more minutes than Lang... what's that about?

Oh, and did I mention how much I dislike Ivory Latta? :P

At 9:33 AM, Blogger posting-up said...

One more thing:

Can we please turn down the volume on the music and the microphones?! Sheesh! Can't have any conversation without yelling, and it's really distracting from the game!

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First game I've been to in quite a while. It was such fun! I even bought a Mystics t-shirt. I agree the microphone is too loud---especially in a practically empty arena. Note: Kristi Toliver was in the crowd.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree on the volume of the music and Chris Stiles,

As for Mystics marketing, they have been clueless for years. This business of selling discounted tickets to high-profile games is a slap to those of us who have been supporting this team for the past decade.

I also would not be surprised to learn Dr. J put the Sparks up at one her Salamander resorts.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous petrel said...

Be prepared for a lot of orange shirts in the stands when Candace Parker came to town.

That happened to us Dream fans when the Sparks came to visit.


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