Tuesday, August 17, 2010

20 Wins . . . Amazing!

When the news came out last spring that Alana Beard would miss the entire 2010 WNBA season, we doubt that even the most die-hard Mystics fans (and we include the BCs in that group) would ever have predicted that this would be the season when the team finally broke through to that previously unattainable benchmark of a 20-win season.

But tonight, in San Antonio, the Mystics did just that, defeating the Silver Stars 76-66 to improve to 20-12 . . . 20 wins! And still two games left to play in the regular season. Unbelievable! (Time for another happy dance in front of Live Access on our computer.)

What a marvelous achievement for Angela Taylor, Coach Julie Plank (who has the BCs' vote for WNBA Coach of the Year) and her entire coaching staff, and (of course) the players. What a special day for (long-suffering) Mystics fans.

The game itself wasn't the most interesting. At least not until the final minutes when it was clear that the Mystics were going to secure this milestone win. It was a bit sloppy (20 TOs for the Mystics), and a bit of a foulfest (42 fouls called). Washington won by playing team ball (17 assisted baskets) and having three starters reach double figures. Once again Crystal Langhorne led all scorers (this is a recorded announcement), with 21 points. She also grabbed 12 rebounds, for her 14th double-double of the season. Mo Currie and Katie Smith each added 13. Also important to the win tonight was the Mystics' free throw shooting, including the 7 of 8 hit by Nakia Sanford, who, shall we say, hasn't always been that successful from the line (but has been very reliable of late).

With every team in the league playing tonight, including games between Eastern Conference rivals, it was inevitable that ground would be gained and lost in the jockeying for playoff position in the Conference. And indeed that's what happened. Red hot New York (9 wins in a row!) beat Indy, and Atlanta lost to last-place Chicago. This means that the Mystics, though still in 3rd place, are now a game and a half ahead of the 4th place Dream, a half-game behind 2nd place New York, and 1 game behind 1st place Indy. What a final week this is shaping up to be!

The Mystics now return home for their head-to-head match against New York at the Phone Booth on Friday (7 PM), a game that is obviously critical if Washington is to move up in the standings. Before that game, though, the Libs will play the cellar-dwelling Shock on Thursday.

Friday is the Mystics' last home game of the regular season. It's Fan Appreciation Night. We think it's also a night for the fans to come out and show this team how much we appreciate them. It won't be easy to knock off the Liberty, but with help from a large (and rowdy) crowd in the house, the Mystics can do it!

Mystics, Go Get #21 . . . Beat New York!


At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Okay, I'm about to write a sentence I never thought would enter my consciousness. "The NFL can wait. I have Mystics fever!" It's amazing how far this team has come in two short years. Angela Taylor gets my vote for Executive of the Year. They're showing a toughness that hasn't been present in the past and they're not letting mistakes (20 turnovers? Yikes!) beat them. They're overcoming them and doing whatever it takes to win. And they're doing all of it WITHOUT Alana! Don't tell me the Ewing Theory doesn't exist! Their last few games have, for all intents and purposes, been playoff games. The Phone Booth is going to be a rockin' Friday night. See you there!

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone concerned that we aren't getting much from the bench? Nakia did hit those free throws last night which was great, but the bench doesn't seem to be stepping up lately and giving us much.

Congrats on 20 wins Mystics. Really a great accomplishment with their star player being down all season. The game last night was ugly. Too many fouls called and too many turnovers by the mystics. Hoping for a great game Friday night. NY is playing the best and they just crushed Indy last night. We will need all hands on deck!

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Elsa4Sound said...

What a night to have the internet break down. I was on the phone with Verizon forever, and still nothing. But, this morning, we were able to get some semblance of Internet and was able to see the game.

The number of fouls called was crazy on both sides - Marissa and Monique with 5?? There was a lot of sloppiness, and I agree about the bench. We have a lot of great players on the bench, but they don't seem to be as productive recently.

What was up with Monroe wearing #17 last night? I'm fascinated what happened with that. Did they forget her jersey?

Can't wait for Friday! I'd like to get some other people to go too, hopefully there's a good deal on tickets. It takes some incentive to get people to go from B-more to DC!!

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Coach Julie work the same magic on the bench players that she has on Monique and Chas this season. Both Mo and Chas have been putting it all out there, which they haven't done in past years. Marissa had an unusually nonproductive game last night and should return to the player she has worked hard to become late in the season. Not sure about Ajavon's issue but a magic wand could work wonders. We need her sparkplug energy coming into the game.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Elsa4Sound said...

I think all those fouls in a row might have messed up Marissa's game a little. Ajavon brings so much energy, it's almost like she needs to calm it down a little, because she seemed to keep losing the ball.

If they're selling playoff tickets starting today, do they know the date for the first game? I tried calling the 877 number, but I was on hold for 13 minutes, and that's about my limit.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

The Mystics won't know the date of their first playoff game until the playoff positions have been determined. Playoff tix are generally sold with the dates TBA.

-- BC

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Elsa4Sound said...

That makes sense. I couldn't remember from last year. Just in case, I rescheduled my work next Friday evening. I don't want to miss the first game!

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beyond upset at USABB Committee.

Jayne Appel 3.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.5 apg ; Kia Vaughn 2.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.3 apg ; Crystal Langhorne 16.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.2 apg

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought we want our BEST players on TEAM USA?

Team USA point guard selection for USA vs WNBA all star was also questionable... Harding, Whalen, Johnson all better than Montgomery in my mind. But the selection of bigs w/o Langhorne is just wrong. How could anyone think differently? Have they watched WNBA this summer? that is KV (8 min per game) and JA (11 mpg)with more minutes on bench than court and CLang (34 mpg)quietly getting a double-double many nights.

Can you tell I'm very upset?

susan a.k.a. "basketball head"

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who gets the tiebreaker for third if Washington loses both and Atlanta wins Sunday?

At 3:59 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Anon:

The WNBA's tiebreak rules can be found here:


Under your scenario, the Mystics and Dream would finish tied at 20-14, having split the season series 2-2, and each with a Conference record of 11-11. This means the league would have to go to at least the third tiebreaker of "better winning percentage against all teams with .500 or better record at the end of the season." If that doesn't resolve it, there are two more tiebreakers, ending with a coin toss.

Let's just hope the Mystics win out!

-- BC

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Re: USABB. What about Mo for most improved? I share your outrage!

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Lang is NOT from the Big East like Vaughn and is not coming off a much heralded Senior season and Final 4 apprearance like Appel.... Geno is Big East coach and his team WON the Final 4.... ummm that and the same old USAB politics = no Lang. Of course Lang Does have an NCAA ring and was MIP in 2009.... ummm again, WTH USAB... WTH!?

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Maybe the snub will fire Lang up for these last two games and the playoffs?

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? Jayne appeal made the USA bb team? Is that what you guys are saying? If so, that is an outrage and she hasn't earned a spot on that team. What a joke.

We better get better bench play on Friday. We can not have a dip when our starters take breaks. Ny will burn us if we do. Step it up bench!!

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this most magical season, it was pointed out that we have beaten every team in the league this year, at least once. That is amazing to me!! That is championship-type success. The entire Mystics organization has stepped up in my opinion! So proud of everyone of them!!!


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