In the Mystics' previous home game, against the Fever, Washington played well for the first two quarters. But 50% of a game isn't enough and they lost. Tonight at home against the Shock, the Mystics were competitive for the first three quarters. At the end of 3, the teams were tied at 58. Then the Shock shifted their game into overdrive, while the Mystics reverted to form (scoring only 11 points in the final period) and lost to Detroit, 69-84. We guess the moral of the story is that even 75% of a game, when facing a formidable opponent, isn't enough.
It certainly would be nice to see a complete game for a change, but despite Coach J-Law's best efforts, it didn't happen tonight. A complete game requires that all the players perform as expected. It's tough to win a ball game when your franchise player, Alana Beard, starts the game 0-9, not hitting a field goal until about 2 minutes left in the third period. Reserves Crystal Smith (12 pts) and Andrea Gardner (10 pts) helped carry the team during Alana's drought, but they could only carry the team so far. In the one-star system of the Mystics, when AB is that cold, it's not likely the Mystics will win, and they didn't tonight. (For the record, Alana finished with 14 points, second highest on the Mystics behind Mo Currie's 15, but a number of AB's baskets were scored after Detroit had put the game out of reach.)
As expected, Taj McWilliams-Franklin got an extremely warm welcome and a well-deserved round of applause when she was introduced. Taj proceeded to play an excellent game, and finished by leading all scorers with 21. We understand why she was traded and don't regret the acquisition of Tasha Humphrey, a promising rookie, but we sure do miss Taj!
And not that anyone, at this point, was expecting to see the Mystics play in the post-season this year, but until the loss tonight, the team still had not been mathematically eliminated. Well, tonight's loss took care of that.
At 10-20, the Mystics now have 4 games left to play purely for pride. They play their final home game next Sunday, September 14th, against the Lynx. It's Fan Appreciation Night. More than anything, besides the give-aways and entertainment, what these two fans -- the BasketCases -- would appreciate the most after seeing a paltry 6 wins in our first 16 home games is to see the Mystics play 100% of a game . . . a complete 40 minutes of basketball.
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Sunday Morning Update . . . The Washington Times didn't even send a reporter to the Phone Booth last night, and instead published the AP story.