Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lighter Fluid! When you're lookin' to start cookin', sometimes a little goes a long way.

This afternoon at the Phone Booth, the Mystics' lighter fluid was provided by Lindsey Harding, who scorched the visiting Monarchs with 10 points in the first 10 minutes. The BasketCases' (but sadly not the WNBA's) All-Star Lindsey helped stake the Mystics to a 17-point lead at the end of the the first quarter, en route to a 14-point win over Sacramento, 87-73.

As often happens at a summer barbeque, after that initial flare-up, the flames settle down, but the coals -- for a while --continue to burn. And that's what the Mystics did as well. After being on the short end of a 30-13 first quarter, Sacramento fought back to cut the Mystics' 17-point lead to 9 at the half. In the second half, the Monarchs turned up the heat on the Mystics a few times, but the Mystics responded, outscoring the visitors by small margins in each of the final two quarters, thus securing another double-digit win.

The temperature outside the Phone Booth hovered around 90 degrees. Inside, the fans enjoyed every bit of heat the home team generated, as another decent-sized and enthusiatic crowd turned out to cheer the Mystics to their second win in a row.

Though Lindsey provided the ignition, driving to the basket early and often (finishing with 16 points), it was Crystal Langhorne who led all scorers for the second consecutive game. Lang finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds (also a game high). But she didn't do it without a lot of help from her teammates. Time and again, Lang would slip into the paint and a teammate would find her, allowing Crystal to finish the play with a relatively easy lay-up. Practically everyone on the team assisted a Langhorne basket tonight! Let's face it, Crystal's the consummate finisher. By this point in the season, her Mystics teammates have figured that out (something those of us who followed her collegiate career at Maryland have known for a long time) and are becoming increasingly generous in dishing her the ball. Two other Mystics also hit the double figures in scoring -- Mo Currie added 12 and Chasity Melvin had 10.

The Mystics, with a record of 9-7, are all alone in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, and now hit the road for their next two games. On Tuesday, they travel to Indy for a re-match against the Conference-leading Fever, and on Thursday, it's Mystics vs Liberty in Madison Square Garden, a game that can be seen on NBA TV. Washington returns home next Sunday for another 4 PM showdown with Indiana.

It's certainly been fun at the Phone Booth of late (including today), so we expect the fans will be back on Sunday to welcome their team home. Hopefully when the Mystics return they'll still own a winning record. And hopefully (with a different officiating crew than last Tuesday's!) the Mystics -- and their fans -- can keep the hot fun of this summertime going . . . and going and going.


At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great game today. Only one win from all of last year's total. Says a lot for coach Plank and Harding.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous stevo said...

Looks like all the cylinders have fired. We are on fire, and this makes for an exciting 2nd half. Keep the pressure on!!!!!!

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading your reports! Glad to hear that Lang is doing well.

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An all-around team effort!! Wonderful to see!

At 11:49 AM, Blogger posting-up said...

Great game, and so terrific to see Lang getting respect (and assists) from her teammates. Also noticed their attempts to get Rissa some looks. I'm confident that she'll start hitting big soon.

It would also appear that the Basket Cases share my distain for all those "New Traditions" including standing until the first basket... isn't a tradition something that develops over time, generally at the grassroots level? Dumb, if ya ask me!

At 1:25 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...


Thanks so much for your comments.

Technically, a “tradition” is something handed down, so we see your point. But all traditions have to start sometime!

However, we definitely don’t “disdain” this new way of supporting the team -- standing till the first point is scored. Though we generally stay seated, it has more to do with not wanting to block other fans’ view of the game than sending a message about the new “tradition”. Unfortunately, standing does call attention to a slow start which is the reason why ONE of the BCs isn’t crazy about it.

One thing we can all agree on is how pleased we are to see Lang playing so well and Marissa slowly getting back into the flow after her injury.


At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the new "traditions," so let's keep them up.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger taminator said...

Going 4-2 in a 6-game homestand is wonderful. I really appreciate the effort when I have guests at the game, like I did Sunday. One of the biggest changes I see is the response the players have after a timeout or break in play (e.g., halftime)--they come out of the huddle with renewed focus and usually good execution. That's a sign of good coaching.

Regarding traditions, I can't say I'm a fan of the new traditions but I am supportive of them until something better comes along. The team is willing to hear suggestions. If I had better ideas, I would definitely promote them.

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have seen any games on TV or Live Access, you may have noticed that the stand-until-we-score "tradition" sprang up at the same time all over the country. Which suggests it was indeed "handed down" -- from the league front office.

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous stevo said...

It's been a tradition in Sacramento for years. I guess it's finally reached the east coast!!

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

They tried to start it last season in New York. Then the Liberty took six minutes of game time to score.

The next game, they didn't even try it.

It is, however, a long-standing (no pun intended) tradition in Seattle, and among UConn fans.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister's in town for a visit, and made a logical modification to the "four fingers" sign for the fourth quarter, which I think I'll adopt. She held up four fingers - but as two fingers on each hand - so it was two "V for victory" signs.


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