We're going to the playoffs!! Comcast Center here we come!!! [Thursday at 7 PM]
To keep their playoff hopes alive, the Mystics
needed to do one thing and one thing only today, and they did it!
This evening at the Verizon Center, they beat the Atlanta Dream
in a wire-to-wire victory, 82-64
. Though many prizes were given away tonight on Fan Appreciation Day, none made the Washington fans happier or more excited than this season-changing win. Including a few proud
fans who refused to be "Out-Cheered" . . .
, whose floor leadership may be the team's most significant improvement this year, was not going to let this one slip away . . . even if she had to do it all by herself
hit multiple big buckets with the shot clock running down to slam the door on Atlanta everytime they tried to sneak back in. Linds
finished with a game-high 25. Fortunately, Lindsey didn't
have to do it all herself . . . three other Mystics also finished in double figures: Chas
(12)(plus great de-fense on 6'5" Erika de Souza), Lang
(11), and Marissa
(10). Every Mystics player got into the game, and nearly
The most nerve-wracking moments tonight came after the game, as the BasketCases and other Mystics fans were forced to wait. Wait for the conclusion of the Sky-Shock game, which started one hour after the Mystics game. Wait to see if the Sky would win. Wait to see if the Mystics would have to beat the Liberty in New York tomorrow to earn a playoff berth. We were left waiting and hoping the Sky would lose so that the final playoff spot would belong to Washington tonight. (Sorry, Kristi.)
The BasketCases apologize for the lateness of this post. We couldn't just leave without knowing whether the Mystics were in or still needed another win. So we stopped off at the Turtle, joining friends and other fans, who -- like us -- were waiting and hoping. We all followed the Sky game anxiously on Blackberries, iPhones, and all other available electronics, passing scores from table to table.
The early returns weren't encouraging, as the Sky led at the half, 41-22. But in the third quarter, Detroit came roaring back, taking a small lead into the final period. When the Shock won, 80-69
, cheers erupted from the several tables of Mystics fans and Mystics staff in the house. We're in! We're going to the playoffs!!!
Not only are the Mystics now playoff-bound, but the odd-year curse is now officially exorcised! Another reason for fans to be happy tonight! For the first time in Mystics history, Washington has made the playoffs in an odd-numbered year. (Thanks Fr. Mike for the novena!)
And in their first year, GM Angela Taylor
and Head Coach Julie Plank
have done what even the BasketCases didn't believe was possible . . . they took a team that was playing perhaps the worst
basketball in the entire league at the end of last season and -- as making the playoffs proves -- re-made the Mystics into a team that can compete with anybody . . . a team headed in the right direction
Congratulations, Angela! Congratulations, Julie! And Congratulations to the entire Mystics Team and Mystics organization! We'll see you at Comcast.**
[**The Mystics will be providing
free shuttle bus service from the College Park station to the arena for those fans traveling by Metro. There's also plenty of free parking adjacent to the Comcast Center for those who will be driving.]
And just for the hell of it, Go Mystics, Beat New York (even if you don't have to)!
Photo Credit: (U.S. Marines) DC BasketCases
* * * * * * * Sunday evening update
. . . With Alana Beard
not playing (no doubt resting her bad ankles), and the rest of the starters playing limited minutes, the Mystics
fell to the Liberty
at Madison Square Garden this afternoon, 65-86
. This concludes the regular season.
Next up for the Mystics: a date with the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Fever
in the first round of the playoffs at Comcast Center on Thursday at 7PM.Go Mystics! Beat the Fever!