A Must Win Game!
When the Mystics returned from their 4-game West Coast roadtrip on Wednesday, they were sorely in need of a little rest. And their schedule kindly allowed for that . . . no game until today, Sunday. However, the two teams -- Chicago and Detroit -- locked in a tie with Washington on Wednesday for the 4th playoff spot in the East were not so idle. By beating the Liberty on Friday, the Sky managed to move a half-game ahead of the Mystics in the standings. Meanwhile, the Shock first pulled ahead of the Mystics with their win over Atlanta on Thursday, but fortunately slipped back by virtue of their overtime loss at San Antonio yesterday. That leaves the Mystics now tied for 5th with Detroit, a half game behind Chicago, which is now tied with the Sun, who lost last night in Phoenix. (Got all that? There will be a quiz!)
The Mystics return to the court today at 4 PM
, hosting the Lynx
at the Phone Booth. Minnesota is currently sitting in 4th place in the West, just a half-game ahead of the Silver Stars. So this afternoon's contest is critically important
to the playoff chances
of both the Mystics and the Lynx. With only six remaining games, the Mystics cannot afford to slip any further behind. Beating the Lynx is a must
for the Mystics . . . no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Chicago is also playing at 4 PM this afternoon . . . against the same Liberty team they beat Friday night by 19 points. A New York win on Friday would certainly have helped the Mystics, playoff-wise. But fueled by a 13-point barrage in the final 5-1/2 minutes of the 3rd quarter by a certain Sky bench player, Chicago turned a single digit half-time lead into a convincing win over the visiting Liberty.
Who was that Chicago reserve? Some rookie by the name of, umm, Toliver
, we believe. Not sure if you've ever heard of her. Sky Coach Steven Key
doesn't play her very much. She hasn't even gotten off the bench in several games this season. But after helping to blow the game wide open in the 3rd period on Friday, she finished the night with a career high 25 points (in 20 minutes of play). Not bad for a little-used rookie! Not bad at all.
Of course, the BasketCases are being facetious. While we (and no doubt the Mystics) were hoping for a New York win, it certainly brought smiles to our faces to watch Kristi lighting it up -- like we've seen her do so many times before -- to help lead her team to an important victory.
The pro game is tough on college fans. Without question, our WNBA loyalty lies with the Mystics. But we still find it very hard to root against Kristi's team. Nevertheless, we must. A Washington win today, coupled with a Chicago loss, would land the Mystics back in playoff position. In fact, with Connecticut playing tonight (at LA), depending on the outcome of these games, the Mystics could end the day anywhere from third to sixth.
So . . . Go Mystics, Beat the Lynx! Go Sparks, Beat the Sun! And (reluctantly) Go Liberty, beat the Sky!