Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tempting Fate

COO Greg Bibb stopped by before tonight's game to ask the BCs if the Mystics had ever had a record of 10 and 5 before. Of course, to get to 10-5 tonight, the Mystics would need to beat their Eastern Conference nemesis, the Indiana Fever, in front of a national TV audience (as well as about 8,500 Washington fans in the Phone Booth). We teased Greg that he was tempting fate (and then we knocked on wood), but replied that we really couldn't remember the Mystics ever getting off to such a successful start.

Fortunately, Fate resisted Temptation tonight, and the Mystics held off the Fever in an exciting, down-to-the-final possession, down-to-the-final seconds battle, to record their 10th win of the season, 68-65, and hang on to 2nd place in the East (tied with Connecticut and 1 game ahead of Indy).

Since we were in the arena, we couldn't hear what the ESPN announcers were saying, but we have to believe that the network -- not to mention the WNBA -- had to have been pretty happy that they picked this game to feature in primetime this week. Indy up by 1 point after the 1st; Washington up by 1 at the half; Mystics up by 3 at the end of 3 . . . and then a wild, final period that saw the Mystics build a not-quite-double-digit cushion only to lose most of it in the final minutes. Anybody who turned this game off before the final buzzer is not a real basketball fan!

Last season, the Fever owned the Mystics (beating them in all 6 meetings, spanning the regular and post-seasons). With tonight's victory, the Mystics are now 2-0 against Indiana this year. Quite a turnaround! And one very big reason for the improvement: Katie Smith. Big game, big audience, big conference rival, going head-to-head against other veteran stars including Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown . . . the Mystics' Katie decided tonight would be a good night to show why she was such a sought-after free agent this off-season. Our Katie set the pace offensively (as well as handling some tough defensive assignments), finishing with a game-high 21 points. And her leadership was evident throughout.

Katie got help from (Player-Of-the-Week) Crystal Langhorne, who had another impressive performance. Against a Fever team known for aggressive, physical defense, Lang added to her streak of consecutive double-doubles (14 points and 10 rebounds). And with Mo Currie struggling, Marissa Coleman and Matee Ajavon both gave the Mystics good minutes off the bench . . . really helping the Mystics hold on to their lead.

Now that this one's in the books, we have to admit that 10-5 (whether or not it's a Mystics best) sounds great! In fact, 10 wins are as many as the Mystics had during the entire pre-Angela, pre-Julie (Vortex of Doom) summer of 2008. Five home wins in a row . . . it's been a fun month to be a fan at the Phone Booth. The Mystics, though, have no time to relax and enjoy their early season accomplishment. After playing 4 games in 6 days, the Mystics leave the high-90s of DC for the 100-plus summer temperatures of Arizona. They have a rematch with the Mercury in Phoenix on Thursday before traveling to Oklahoma on Friday to face the Shock in Tulsa on Saturday. Makes us exhausted just writing about this schedule!

Congratulations to the Mystics on tonight's win!

Go Mystics . . . beat the Merc and the Shock!


At 7:09 AM, Anonymous klb said...

I had the same thought about 10-5 being the best start, but it is not. It has just been so long we all forgot about the other good Mystics season. In 2002, the Mystics were 11-4 and got to 14-5 before getting their 6th loss.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

This team is growing up before our eyes. And Katie Smith really took over this contest -- one of the many intangibles she brings with her experience. Having said all that, we must do a better job of closing teams out and not giving them chances to get back in the game. If you have your foot on a snake, don't lift it up!

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Elsa4Sound said...

What an exciting game!! I was a little worried when it looked like Mo and Lindsay were having some scoring trouble, but like usual, Katie knows when to get the points!

I didn't finish watching the ESPN game, but they said in the beginning (after the 1st of many 3s) that she has the most 3s ever in the league. I think it was something like 749, and was separated from the rest of the players by at least 200. And on ESPN (TV) they must have done a piece on Katie during the halftime, but they didn't show it on ESPN 360.

I don't really understand the all star voting - 4 from San Antonio and no Mystics? It looks like they'll be announcing more people, I guess the 1st 10 are from votes and the rest are picked by the coaches?

Great game for Katie, Marissa and Matee. At least there's no home games for a little, so I can give my throat a rest! If it's not cheering for the Mystics, I felt like I was booing at the refs more than usual last night.

We'd like to start a campaign about mascots. I miss Charm. Why did they change to 2?

Go Mystics!

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad katie's shot was working tonight. We needed it. Lang- another 10 rebound game. She is a beast. We continue to out rebound our opponents. Marissa was great tonight. She played good for the 13 mins she was in the game. Opportunity points.

At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elsa, San Antonio stuffed the ballot box -- apparently perfectly within the "rules."

Geno takes anyone from the top 10 votegetters who is already in the Team USA pool. The others go to the WNBA Stars team. The coaches (Brian Agler will coach the WNBA team, based on Seattle's best-so-far record) then fill out their rosters as they see fit -- not sure if Geno is limited to Team USA players, or can take any Americans.

The Top Ten are NOT guaranteed to start.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear klb:

Thanks for the info on 2002. That was our first thought as the only possible season with a better start, but we weren't able to find anything other than the Mystics' overall record for that year on the WNBA's web site last night.

-- BC

At 8:36 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

According to the WNBA's web site:
"The USA National Team will fill out its roster by selecting players from within the National Pool."

-- BC

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the fact that we adjusted to the Fever's defense - collapsing on Lang and trying to deny Lindsey! Katie was amazing and Lang was Lang in spite of double and triple teams!! Love the energy the M & M players brought- Matee and Marissa!

I've noticed a couple of fans with got Lang? t-shirts. Anybody know where I can get a few of those??

Keep working hard Mystics!!

At 12:02 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...


If you email us, we may be able to help you track down those t-shirts.

We are not posting the information here because we don't want our blog linked to any commercial sites.


At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Sue said...

Katie is simply THE best. Every game she does something to help the team. And VERY VERY good to have Marissa and Matee pick up the slack by Mo having another down game.

Just a shout out to Chas Melvin who took some flack before the season. She is getting a decent number of rebounds most games to supplement the always outstanding Lang and the improved Nakia Sanford.

I said pre-season this team would be contending for the 'ship (with Alana). Did not see it coming, though that they'd be beating both of last year's finals teams like they've done. The difference? Katie Smith!

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katie smith? The difference is crystal longhorne...hands down. Really, she should be a candidate for MVP if she keeps it up. I am glad we have Katie. No doubt she brings leadership, championship experience, etc but she isn't "the difference". And Harding. I can't stand anything Duke. But, I am so glad she is our PC. She is in the top 3 for sure when it comes to PC's in the wnba. I will be upset if both don't make the all star team. The deserve it.

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Sue said...

Doesn't matter which college they come from when talking Styx ball. Lang is having a GREAT season, no question. Lindsey has been a fabulous PG for this team, also no question. 1 for Md. 1 for Duke. Both for the Styx. Booyah!

Katie is making the whole team play better, especially in crunch time. We've won several close games that we likely would have lost without Katie's nerves of steel. Crystal would have given another fabulous performance while the team racked up a loss.

Isn't is GREAT that we can be debating which wonderful player is THE most valuable? I don't think there's much debate about who's having the best year: that's Lang without question. LOVE HER (now).

Cheer! And GO STYX!

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True. Great debate to have! That means, we are winning. :) go Styx! Beat the mercury. Every game counts in the East.

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

regarding "got lang?" shirts...

If OK with our blog owners...

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section 110 "Kia's Krazies" loudest fan.... a.k.a. SOOZN, Susan Loftus


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