Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So Close.

In their second outing under Interim Head Coach Jessie Kenlaw, the Mystics played a very different basketball game today at the Camp Day matinee than they did in Madison Square Garden last Thursday evening. Unfortunately, the result was the same, as the Mystics fell to the New York Liberty, 80-73.

The difference today was that Washington played some good, competitive, team basketball. In fact, four Mystics scored in double figures: Taj McWilliams-Franklin (who led all scorers with 19 points), Nakia Sanford, who had a double double (14 points, 10 boards), Alana Beard (16), and Monique Currie (14). In terms of competitiveness, today's lunch-hour event was 180-degrees different from the teams' prior meeting.

The effort was there; the coaching was there; but sadly, so was the Mystics' chronicly poor free throw shooting (they made only 6 of 13) and their low percentage from behind the arc (21.4%). By contrast, New York hit 14 of their 18 free throws and connected on 43.5% of their three-pointers. Game, set, match.

The loss today drops the Mystics to 9-15, and with 10 games remaining eliminates the possibility of what would have been a franchise-first 20-win season. Indeed, with their pre-Coach J-Law start to the season, the Mystics are once again flirting with a losing record. We hope that will not be the outcome, but winning 8 of the remaining 10 is a big order to fill.

Next up for the Mystics is a road trip, as they travel to Atlanta on Friday to take on the expansion Dream at 7:30 PM. They then return to the Phone Booth on Sunday for a 4 PM game against the Sun, their last game before the WNBA's month-long break for the Olympics.

* * * * * *
The Charm Factor: Four Bunnies. Today was the team's annual Camp Day, which means that the arena was filled with thousands of color-coded screaming kids, all the way up to the rafters. (For us old timers, it was nice to see people in the 400 section.) And perhaps because someone thought that the kids would not make enough noise by themselves, Mystics Megaphones were distributed at the door. The kids were also given colored light sticks, which made for a nice visual during the team introductions.

The Anthem was decently performed by Leann Madtes, and the halftime entertainment was provided by one of the BasketCases' favorites -- Skyy Dogs. We thought it was very nice that the front office went all out on professional entertainment for Camp Day. The kids -- and us old-timers -- certainly enjoyed it. Let's hope we see more of the same during regular games when the majority of paying season ticketholders are able to attend.


At 8:39 PM, Blogger lawyer96 said...

It was a tough game. But, I was extremely impressed with the defensive effort. Especially in the last quarter, it almost brought tears to my eyes to see Nakia, Taj and Mo block out the lane and force the time clock. It was a work of art. However, more importantly the Mystics looked and felt like a team. Go Jessie!!!! Go Mystics!!!!

At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hearing has finally returned!! Great spirit today - nice team effort too! Love all the colorful camp shirts.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger posting-up said...

Wondering what the Basketcases and readers are thinking about the Sparks/Shock debacle from the other night? Have to say that I wasn't surprised about Pierson, and having Laimbeer as her coach hasn't made her any less volatile.
Really a tragedy that Cheryl Ford, in an effort to pull Pierson off the floor, completed a tear of her ACL and will likely be out for the season. Ford owes her injury to Pierson's stupidity.

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

The thing that gets me about that brawl is all the snide comments from ignorant males on ESPN's Web site, saying that this is probably the best thing to happen to the league. These are the same guys who, whenever a WNBA story appears on the front page, say such things as, "Wait, the WNBA still exists?" or "Who cares?" Man, that makes me sick. And I call them out on it, saying, "Given you took the time to read the article and comment on it, you obviously care." Meantime, I'm surprised no one has brought up the crazy girl who ran onto the court. It happened right in front of me as, first, she took a seat on the Liberty bench before being removed, then ran across the court before security caught her and removed. I've never seen that happen before and some of the Liberty players and coaches were startled by her. Wow!

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Oh, and I'm happy to report that, thanks to the earplugs I brought to the game with me, my hearing suffered no damage. I put them in IMMEDIATELY when that first wave of kiddie cheers erupted!

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you delete Stewart's comment about Nancy Lieberman signing a 7 day contract with the Shock? I thought it was a joke but it's there in the WaPo Mystics Insider.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

"Why did you delete Stewart's comment about Nancy Lieberman...?"

Because he violated the BasketCases' Maximum 2-Comments Per Person Per Post** rule!! :-)

And because it's OUR blog, we get to make up any arbitrary rule we want AND reserve the right to change the rules...any time we want...arbitrarily. :-)

**Seriously, we love hearing from our readers, but we don't wish to become a message board for off-topic news and comments.

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching the Sparks/Shock game and the pushing and shoving started before the final 4 seconds! I, too, hate the coverage of it. It was basketball players competing passionately in the heat of the moment. Pierson and the Shock have always reflected their coach's bullying attitude. I think Mahorn should have concentrated on pulling his own players away. I think he headed for the purple and gold on instinct. One of my seat mates at the Mystics games said to send a real message, the league should suspend both teams, ban them from the playoffs and suspend the refs too. (Yeah, like that's going to happen.) Our old "friend" ref M. Price was there.

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Tee said...

Suspend both teams huh? HA! If they were to do that, then I would be back to calculating the chances of the Mystics making the playoffs DAILY!!! Please don't get my hopes up! Right now, I'm happy with the Mystics making progress, game by game.

But once again I am EXTREMELY disappointed in our point guard play. We had a big ZERO points out of the PG position, and maybe 3 assists???? That's unacceptable!


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