Wednesday, June 10, 2009

3-0! Still Undefeated!

Did you see that? We did! Live Access actually worked, so we got to see the webcast of the Mystics' exciting 75-69 road win over the defending WNBA Champions, the Detroit Shock.

We know it's a cliche to say that basketball is a game of runs, but tonight's game really showed why it's true. As they did on Sunday, the Mystics had real trouble finishing their shots in the first quarter and fell behind, 13-21, after the first 10 minutes. But just as they did against Atlanta, DC came roaring back in the second period, going on an 18-2 run that helped send them into the locker room leading at the half, 38-27. The Shock opened the third period with a 10-2 run of their own, but the Mystics pressed on, ending the period with a 7-0 run and holding on to a slim 56-51 lead.

To say the final quarter was a nail-biter is an understatement. The Shock would close up the gap. The Mystics would respond. The Shock would inch closer. And then an electrical storm overhead would cause us to lose our internet connection! Arrgh! Every possession counts and we're staring at a black screen. But all's well that ends well and we were back on line in time to see the clock run out with the young Mystics' underdogs (woof! woof!) still ahead of the 2008 WNBA champions. It's been 4 years since the Mystics beat the Shock at the Palace. Tonight's win was a long time coming. And very exciting. And very satisfying.

The Mystics beat the Shock with a well-balanced offensive attack. Four players scored in double figures, three of them off the bench! Wait, "bench" is not the right word here. In these first 3 games, Coach Plank has relied on a 9-deep rotation. "Bench" suggests that 4 of these players are reserves, there to spell the "starters." But that doesn't describe this team at all. What the Mystics have shown so far this season isn't a starter-bench scenario, but more a 2-wave attack. There's no drop-off when the 2nd wave hits the floor. Tonight, as on Sunday, the 2nd wave was responsible for turning an early deficit into a half-time lead. So while it was no surprise that 1st-waver Alana Beard notched a game-high 15 points, the other 3 Mystics players in double figures all came from the "2nd wave." Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman, and Matee Ajavon added 14, 13, and 12 points, respectively.

Lang’s points included some nice jump shots outside the paint, and she added to tonight’s excitement with an enormously important late-game steal, leaping high in the air to intercept a three-quarter-court pass which would almost certainly have ended in a Shock basket. As long-time Lang-fans, it was particularly nice hearing the Detroit announcers talk about how much Crystal has improved her play this season. As for Marissa, the announcer said she came into tonight's game as the WNBA's leading 3-pt shooter, and she added 2 more from behind the arc against the Shock. And Matee's defensive performance, which included 3 steals -- plus her 12 points -- was really critical to the Mystics' victory.

While it's true that Detroit is missing two stars to injuries and one to the criminal WNBA justice system, the same Shock team slapped a 29-point loss on the LA Sparks just two days ago. With tonight’s win, the Mystics remain undefeated at 3-0, having now beaten three of the six other teams in the Eastern Conference, and sit all alone on top of the Conference standings.

Congratulations again to Coach Plank, her staff and especially to the Mystics players! 3-0, way to go!

11 Comments:

At 1:45 AM, Blogger xwomynjoc said...

Great blog, ladies. I love this team. I have to watch the archive because I was on the road (trying to get home) and caught in that awful storm. I saw the last 5 min and I was a real happy camper when I booted up the 'puter and saw the Mystics had the lead.Reading this actually gave me a thrill. 3-0 baby!!

 
At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very happy for the team! Always been a huge Lang fan and love seeing her have success.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Tanya said...

This is amazing to me, and I'm excited about the potential of this team. Everyone contributes....FINALLY! Great win! I watched via the web as well. Also...for those that are technically challenged, if you have a TV and computer with a HDMI port, or even a USB (on the TV) you can actually plug the computer into the TV and watch it as if it was on TV :-). Very simple to do..

I love this team!!!!

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Three and.... oh, snap!!!!!!! I had a feeling that the team of Taylor and Plank would do some good things for this organization. But, if you had told me we'd start the season 3-0, with road games in Connecticut and Detroit, I wouldn't have believed it! While it's only three games, some real exciting times are definitely here for us long-suffering Mystics fans. Fortunately, the storms didn't cause me any grief and I saw the whole thing! And, Tanya, I do the same thing! I LOVE my HDTV. To the Mystics, enjoy your week off, rest up and let's continue the run! Cheers!

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Stevo said...

I like the term Wave instead of bench, since bench doen't do these ladies justice. We have nine (9) starters on this team. I say...BE VERY AFRAID...other teams in the WNBA... The force is strong with this one....

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Mystics! Couldn't watch the game, but I was sending good vibes their way. Fantastic job ladies!

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some questions to ponder, though. How much of the 3-0 record is the team itself or the fact that hardly anyone in the league has extensive videotape of the Mystics because it's a new system? How will this team handle being the top dogs with the targets on their backs after being labelled as losers for so long? Can they keep this pace up without getting fatigued?

 
At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was it me or did the announcer take a swipe at AB last night? he said she have a habit of trying to take over games and she don't even have an outside shot? A little sour you think?

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger xwomynjoc said...

Yep, He pretty much said her outside shot isn't that good. I kind of got the impression he was trying to be nice without being too negitive.Failed. I just add it up to the disrespect our team has league wide from announcers and fans. He seemed really amazed that Lang could actually play the game, too. I just keep saying that if we had a real coach last year she would have played more and shown what she was able to do at MD.Stayed tuned Mystics fans, it's my hope fantastic season and some respect around the league. JMHO

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

I just chalk it up to the arrogance of the Detroit media because the Shock are now the "new darlings" of the WNBA with their mini dynasty. The Mystics will have to continue winning to make all the "haters" eat their words.

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd call them "doubters," not haters. They'll hate the Mystics after they start losing to them regularly. Heh. Heh.

 

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