Saturday, June 27, 2009

Throwing One Away.

When a team heads out on a 4-game roadtrip, it's important to win the games that are winnable. Unfortunately, the Mystics did not do that in Chicago tonight, losing to the Sky, 63-68. There's no way to sugarcoat this, and we mean no disrespect to Chicago -- but Washington turned in a subpar performance and threw away a winnable game.

Although the Mystics held onto a small lead for most of the game, they were not playing well. They turned the ball over repeatedly (23 times by game's end), meanwhile taking very little advantage of Chicago's 18 turnovers. Once again the Mystics shot terribly from the free throw line (55.6%). And our starting post players, Chas and Nakia, combined for a total of 6 points (no, that's not a typo), while our starting SF, Mo Currie, had all of 9 points on 4 of 12 shooting (and never once got to the line). A whopping total of 15 points from three of the starters is simply not enough to win ballgames. If you wonder how a team (Chicago) can score only 26 points in the entire first half and still be leading going into the break, there's your answer! The truth is, the Sky didn't look particularly sharp tonight, but the Mystics looked even duller.

Alana Beard finished with 14 points, a below average night for her. Kristen Mann made a brief debut as a Mystic, taking and missing a three point shot. Once again, Crystal Langhorne came off the bench to score in double figures, notching 12 points this evening (plus 8 boards). And Lindsey Harding had a breakout game offensively, putting up a team-high 15 points (along with 6 assists and 6 rebounds).

As painful as the game was to watch, the audio feed from the UIC Pavilion was even worse, sounding as though it were coming through tin cans and a string. Then, for good measure, during the entire third period, someone was doing bird calls next to the announcer. Tweet, tweet, chirp, chirp, tweet, chirp. This torture could easily replace water boarding.

Let's hope the Mystics, who are now 4-3 and on a 2-game losing streak, can find a way to re-group in time for their game on Tuesday in San Antonio. It will take a much better effort down in Alamo country than what we saw tonight if Washington is going to reverse direction.


At 12:14 AM, Blogger natthedem said...

A huge amen to every point in this post...I agree 100 percent. This was a totally winnable game and the Mystics just let it slip through their fingers. The turnovers late in the fourth quarter were just inexcusable.

I was excited, at the start of the season, for this new Mystics club, but increasingly, they're starting to look like the Mystics teams of old.

Marissa Coleman can't come back soon enough...

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our inconsistent post play (Sanford, Melvin) continues to be our achilles heel; and with Coleman out that leaves much of the offensive burden to Beard, and any consistent post play on Langs shoulders when she comes in.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much longer can Plank justify having Langhorne come off the bench?

At 12:40 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

We don't disagree that Lang has earned a starting spot. But we aren't sure that having Lang start would fix the problem in the post. Lang is already playing starter's minutes. We still need at least one other post player who can contribute consistently. With Marissa injured, who would come off the bench to provide a spark?

-- BC

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EXACTLY-- so we solved the point guard piece of the puzzle in the off-season with Harding, drafted the best athlete in the draft and kept the 2 inconsistent pieces in Melvin and Sanford. Yep we only have one post carrying her weight )and theres)--Langhorne. Angela, we gotta get that post thing together.

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from a weekend away, and trying to watch the game from the WNBA site archive, without success. Anyone else able to open anything from the archives tonight?
(Although I'm not sure that I want to see the carnage.)

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The so-called "live access" seems pretty bad to me! I gave up trying to watch. Seems like I didn't miss much. I know Tasha H. can hit threes, but isn't she a big body we can put in the post? Course, we don't know if she's 100 percent yet. I am refusing to invoke the ghosts of Mystics past even though we may be losing now. Are the practices becoming too wearing on the players? Anyway, fans are behind you here at home, ladies -focus, defend, rebound and keep fighting.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger posting-up said...

My 2 cents on "Live Acess" is that it beats nothing, but not by much. I think I'd rather have Hanrahan on the radio doing smart, clear play-by-play than watching the jerky, amatuerish stuff on the web.

Remind me why this was a better idea than MASN or ESPN-2?

At 2:51 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Anonymous and posting-up,

The BCs really like Live Access, so we guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Yes, the feeds from some arenas are poor quality, but we would rather see the game ourselves than rely entirely on one announcer's description.

One reason the quality is problematic is that all we're seeing is the Jumbotron feed from the arena. These are not professional-quality TV broadcasts.

And why is this a better idea? Very simple! ESPN & MASN (and we'll add Comcast SportsNet to the list) WILL NOT broadcast more than one WNBA game or so a week. The WNBA is a niche sport with a relatively small following. It costs $$$ to broadcast games which neither the League has (they've had to pay to have games broadcast in past years) nor does ESPN wish to spend much $$$ on broadcasting games (thus they only show an occasional game or two). No doubt the League would LOVE to have professional TV broadcasts of many games, but the economic reality is that they can't get anybody to carry them.

This season -- thanks to Live Access -- we've been able to follow, not just the Mystics, but all the WNBA teams. We don't profess to speak for all Mystics or WNBA fans. Some fans prefer radio only, but we're just not among them.


At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Armintie Price!!!


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