A friendly asylum for a couple of crazy DC-area women's basketball fans, where we share some news, some opinions, as well as a little of almost anything else that our demented minds dredge up having to do with the WNBA, the Maryland Terrapins, or any other team, player or character associated with the world of women's hoops.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
On ESPN.com, the BasketCases'
On Linda . . .
"Hargrove represents the best qualities of Kansas, where small-town people keep their approachable friendliness and concern for others no matter how large the city to which they relocate.On the revolving door . . .
Her genuine kindness is why die-hard Mystics fans such as the BasketCases feel sad about her dismissal … but at the same time, the organization is desperate to find someone who can bring in a sense of sustainable success."
"If you need a spreadsheet just to keep track of how many head coaches an organization has had in a decade, then your team is going to be known for its absolute commitment to chaos."On those insane fans . . .
". . . the way things have been done since the Mystics began sure hasn't worked. And I'm really starting to worry about the sanity of my friends, the BasketCases. How much more can these poor folks take?Now go back and read Mechelle's entire article! And yes, for the record, we're OK (except for blushing).
Oh, wait … they're still living off that Maryland NCAA title in 2006. They'll be OK. But the Mystics need help."
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This is not a team that needs tweaking; this is a team that needs to change and needs to be rebuilt . . . from the ground up. No one should be off the table. Nothing short of Exteme Makeover -- the Mystics Edition -- will do. That's what we BELIEVE.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
This afternoon, on national television, the Mystics faced the Connecticut Sun at the Casino in the Sun's final regular season game. Having already locked up second place in the East, and with the playoffs starting next week, Connecticut Coach Mike Thibault parked his two stars -- and MVP candidates -- Lindsay Whalen and Asjha Jones safely on the sidelines . . . in streetclothes. Which means that the Mystics were, more or less, playing the Sun's bench. But despite that advantage, the Mystics were still unable to leave Mohegan with a win. Final score: Connecticut 87, Washington 81.
The Mystics, with only 7 assisted baskets (to the Sun's 17), lacked good, crisp ball movement, and at times appeared unsure as to what exactly they were supposed to be doing. At one point, the TV announcers commented that no matter which Mystics player had the ball, she looked over to Coach Kenlaw for instructions. If the Sun hadn't sent the Mystics to the foul line for 29 shots (of which the Mystics made a very impressive 25), who knows what the final score would have been!
Today's loss was the 8th in a row for the Mystics, by far the longest current losing streak in the WNBA. The team comes home tomorrow for its last game of the season, a 4 PM contest against the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx will also be without two of their stars, Seimone Augustus and Candice Wiggins. Let's hope the Mystics can do a better job tomorrow on the power play than they were able to this afternoon.
As fans, the BasketCases feel sad for the Mystics players; it's got to be very discouraging for them as the losses mount up. We really really hope they can close out their season on a slightly higher note. Tomorrow is also Fan Appreciation Day at the Phone Booth. As fans, we too have been feeling pretty discouraged. So we want the same thing for ourselves as we want for the players. More than $1 hot dogs -- more than anything -- what would really make our day is for the Mystics to wrap up the season with a win.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Record Survives!
Until last night, it was looking pretty likely that the one truly memorable record held by the Mystics franchise was about to be wiped right off the books. Fans who've been around as long as we have know exactly what that record is . . . the record for the most futile season in WNBA history! The Mystics' 1998 inaugural season record of 3-27!
The Atlanta Dream closed out their home schedule on Monday, losing to Indiana, to fall to 3-29 on the season. They had two games left, both on the road, the first last night in LA against the Sparks. You know that team -- the one with three Olympic Gold Medalists. Then they wrap up their season tonight in Seattle against the team with the second-best record in the WNBA. Not to be too insulting to the Dream, but the BasketCases thought it was rather improbable that Atlanta would chalk up any more wins this season.
So imagine our surprise to awaken this morning to the news that the Dream stunned the Sparks, 83-72, to improve to 4-29!!! So, happily, we were wrong.
Not only is this good news for the Dream, but this is also good news for the Mystics . . . for two reasons. First, of course, the Mystics' WNBA record for futility survives! (We're Number 1!!!) Why is that a good thing? Well, if, like the BasketCases, you were an eyewitness to that history, you just don't want anyone taking that record away. One win every 10 games? An entire season without a single road victory? All played out in front of packed houses of manic Mystics fans?! That's Special!
Second, since the Mystics own LA's first round pick in the 2009 draft (acquired in the trade that sent DeLisha Milton-Jones back to the Sparks in exchange for Taj McWilliams-Franklin), the worse that LA finishes this season, the higher the Mystics get to pick. It's too soon to be certain, but the Dream may very well have bumped Washington up one place in the college draft.
So our hearty congratulations -- and thanks -- to Coach Meadors and the entire Dream team! Well done, ladies!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Shock beat the Mystics tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, 78-66.
The Detroit announcers said the Mystics hustled throughout the game. We're pleased with that. But the Mystics were simply outplayed. Our talent can't match their talent. The final score makes the game seem closer than it actually was.
The Washington Post's Mystics Insider Blog is running a poll with questions about Mystics players and management.
If you wish to express your opinion, you can find the link here.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
75% is Still a Failing Grade.
At half-time tonight in Chicago, the Mystics had a 3 point lead and only 6 turnovers. At the end of 3 periods, they were still up by 2. But in a turnover-ridden 4th period, the Mystics allowed the Sky to score the first 13 points of the quarter, and were outscored in the final 10 minutes 28-7. Ouch! Not only that, but the Mystics finished with 20 turnovers. 14 in the second half! Aaargh! Final score, Chicago wins 78-59.
If we didn't know any better, we'd think the team was
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Terps/Monarchs trivia . . . Although the Mystics' and Crystal Langhorne's season will end on Sunday, the good news for Crystal's former Terrapin teammate Laura Harper is that with a win over Seattle Tuesday night, the Monarchs are once again headed to the playoffs! Ten years ago, when the Mystics were in the middle of their 3-27 inaugural season, the BasketCases met up (in Alaska!) with a couple of Sacramento fans, who were suffering through a discouraging 8-22 season of their own; they told us "we feel your pain." Ever since then, we've felt a special connection to the Monarchs. Over the years, with the addition of local DC-area (and BasketCases') favorites Kara Lawson, Becky Brunson and this year Laura Harper, Sacramento has cemented its position as our favorite team in the Western Conference. It was fun to follow the Monarchs franchise as they turned things around from that 1998 season to win the WNBA Championship in 2005. And now the team heads into post-season play for the sixth consecutive year . Congratulations to Laura, Kara, Becky and their teammates, and to all the Monarchs' fans!
Monday, September 08, 2008
Playing for . . .
Tuesday night in Chicago the Mystics take on the Sky, in a "battle" between two of the East's three teams failing to make the playoffs this season. The other is the expansion
The game tips off at 8 PM EDT. It's not being televised or webcast, which once again leaves us with Frank "Woman to Woman D" Hanrahan's audio cast on WNBA.com.
Tuesday Morning Update: On the front page of today's Washington Post Sports Section, Kathy Orton has a long, interesting feature about Mystics owner Sheila Johnson and her bumpy ride. Link here.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
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.
Taj Returns To Washington
Two powerful women are expected to visit Washington later today -- Hanna, making her first (and, we trust, only) appearance in our nation's capital, and Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who will be returning to the Phone Booth for the first time since being traded to the Detroit Shock in August during the Olympic break. Katie Carrera has an interesting article about Taj in today's Post. No surprise here, but it's pretty clear from Taj's quotes why, for the Mystics, she was such a much-needed and now much-missed leader.
Game time: 6 PM. Don't forget your umbrella!
Also: Happy Birthday to Coco Miller, who turns 30 today!
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
At long last, the ACC has released its women's basketball schedule for 2008-09, which has allowed the Terps to release theirs. And while the upcoming season is still a long way off, at least now we can begin the countdown. Maryland opens its new season 73 days from today, on Friday, November 14th, on the road against the Horned Frogs of TCU. Ribbit! The first home game for the new-look Terps takes place two days later on Sunday, November 16, 2008, when the Delaware State Hornets visit Comcast Center at 2 PM. Mark your calendars!
Of course, everybody already knows about Thanksgiving in Cancun . . . sun, fun and basketball! Other games, though in less scenic locations, but still noteworthy: the Terps host UCLA (Nikki Blue's alma mater) on November 23rd. On December 4th, Maryland travels to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face last season's Big 10 tournament champion, the Purdue Boilermakers, in the 2nd Annual Big Ten-ACC challenge. This should be an exciting non-conference test. Then on the Sunday before Christmas (December 21st), the Terps meet the always tough Old Dominion Monarchs -- again on the road -- in Norfolk. Road trip? Very likely!
If you don't yet have your season tickets, what are you waiting for? Click here now!
Monday, September 01, 2008
The parade of returning Olympic Gold Medalists continues at the Phone Booth when the Mystics meet Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7 PM.
The Fever are currently hanging precariously onto the 4th and final playoff spot in the East, with the Chicago Sky narrowing the gap, now just 2 games behind. (The Sky stunned Detroit Sunday night, winning a one point overtime thriller.)
The last two losses have dropped the Mystics to 3 games behind Indy. As we've previously noted, tomorrow night's game will result in a full game swing; the Mystics will either pull a full game closer to Indy or drop to 4 games behind the Fever. So obviously, this is a "must win" to keep any slim hope of a playoff appearance alive for the Mystics.
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Tuesday Morning Update . . . The Post's Katie Carrera profiles Mystics newbie Tasha Humphrey.