Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just When the BasketCases Thought the Mystics were finally gonna win a close one, the Un-Believeable happens, and the Mystics lose to the visiting Chicago Sky, 71-70.

We're still slapping ourselves upside the head, trying to make sense of how tonight's game ended. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! If you Google that phrase, don't be surprised if a video of the last few seconds of this game pops up . . . it ought to.

OK, so here's what happened: the Mystics go up by 3 points with 20 seconds left in the game. Chicago ball, and the Sky are clearly looking for a 3-pointer, but the Mystics do a good job of defending the arc. So with only 4 seconds remaining in the game, they settle for a Sylvia Fowles 2-point lay-up. Mystics ball; Mystics lead by 1 point. The Sky are then forced to intentionally foul Matee Ajavon. The bad news is that she missed the first, then intentionally missed the second. The good news is that Chicago is out of time outs, and with only 2.5 seconds left on the clock they must go the full length of the court! A couple more seconds of "D" and this one belongs to the Mystics. The Phone Booth fans are cheering, the Mystics bench is all smiles.

But then the Un-Believable happens. The Sky inbound the ball. It ends up in the hands of Epiphanny Prince, who (running full speed down court) launches a long, desperation, 3-point attempt from a couple of steps past the half-court line. Does it go in? NO! It's blocked . . . cleanly, by Nicky Anosike, as time expires.

But WAIT!!! Was that a whistle? Yes, it was! But it was a clean block! Yes, it was. BUT, the replay showed that it wasn't Nicky who fouled Piph. No, it was Matee, coming from behind, who appeared to have have reached out and made contact as Prince was launching her shot. So yes, that was the refs' whistle you heard. And yes, they awarded 3 shots to Prince, and put 0.7 seconds back on the clock.

Of course, Piph steps to the line and makes #1 (scored tied at 70), then #2 (Chicago up by one), and then she intentionally misses #3 to run out those final .7 seconds. GAME OVER. Mystics lose #19.

What can we say about a game that ends like that? It looked like Trudi had a few choice words for tonight's officiating crew as they left the court. We don't know what she said, but we probably wouldn't print it here if we did (children might be reading.)

Another unbelieveable loss. Another unbelievable chapter in an unbelieveable season.

And tonight was just the first half of a back-to-back. The Mystics have to try to put this one behind them, and grab a flight to Indianapolis to face the conference-leading Fever tomorrow. That game tips off at 6 PM, and will be shown on NBA TV. No matter what happens, the ending of that one can't be any crazier than tonight's. Just not possible.

22 Comments:

At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looked like the Mystics were celebrating too soon. I thought the intentional free throw miss by Matee was a bad decision. And - with 2.5 seconds, players shouldn't be slapping at players or balls. Yet another game of poor decisions and elementary mistakes.

 
At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Section 100 said...

Negligible contact by Matee on that last play with what looked like 0.0 seconds on the clock. Should have been a non-call.

Crushing loss.

 
At 11:40 PM, Anonymous BetsyinDC said...

Ugh that was so hard to watch! With no information coming from the house announcer, we were left to wonder WTF happened that resulted in three free throws! It wasn't apparent what happened until she was taking the THIRD shot....whoa what a mess that was.

Well, if they hadn't lost the ball so many times in the previous 20 minutes, maybe that last minute wouldn't have been such a train wreck.

Yucky yuck yuck!

 
At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karma strikes again!

 
At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is this bad Karma? What did the Mystics do to deserve that?
And I'm SOOOOOO glad that no one's blamied Trudy so far for this painful loss. I'm glad before someone said that Matee's intentionally miss the free throw was a bad idea, that they remembered that's exactly what the Sky did.
I'm going to ask an ugly question - how would having Mo in the lineup last night changed anything. I don't see any major change next year. (I'm assuming that Beard won't be back, or will have limited impact due to further injury)

 
At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matee's game playing helps alot but she is still such an irradic player that she hurts you as much as she helps. I think at the end of games the ball should be in the hands of Lang who can think clearly and not panic.

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Anon at 5:33 AM,

The bad karma is the cosmic payback for what Sheila and her enablers did to this team after the most successful season ever. Unfortunately, the fallout also hits the players and fans.

-- BC

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go to these games to enjoy the WNBA. I love watching the passion of the players. But is it too much to ask that the officiating be fair to both sides? I hate seeing these games being taken out of the players hands with bad calls and no calls for both sides. Yes I bias for the Mystics but when the replay confirms it, then I'll agree. But it's the bad calls and no calls that seem to go more against the Mystics than the visiting team. And I noticed the same thing watching other games. The officiating really needs to be addressed. And as far as the Mystics are concerned, Official #17needs to not be allowed anywhere the Mystics are playing. I would love to know why he hates the Mystics. The women of the WNBA are so talented. They desire better and fairer officiating.

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read the Post article (print version) and they say Anosike missed the last two free throws of the game and indicate that we're hosting the Fever tonight. Seriously, where is the love for the Mystics??

I have a really stupid question that I'm hoping those of you who better understand the strategy of the game. Why would Matee intentionally miss the free throws?

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Anon at 9:18 AM,

Matee was not trying to miss the first free throw. As for the second, there were only 4 seconds left in the game. With an intentional miss, the Mystics might have rebounded the ball, or, if not, during the scramble for the rebound, several seconds could have ticked off the clock, leaving the Sky with just a second or two to travel the full length of the court to try to score. On a made free throw, the Sky would have gotten the ball out of bounds with 4 seconds left and an opportunity to set up a play.

Note that Prince intentionally missed the last of her three free throws for the same reason.

-- BC

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BCs--thanks for the explanation!

 
At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prince was smart to miss intentionally the last of her three free throws. If Matee had made the second free throw it would have been a 2 point game requiring a three pointer for a Sky win.

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning. I love this site and the comments....seems to help me relieve my frustrations with this team that I have enjoyed watching over the years, the information is always entertaining and factual (unlike the Post's article this morning, lol) and the comments are always (mostly, lol) insiteful. Thanks again....
My comments about last night's game, which I attended are:
-If we had made our ft's down the strectch, the officiating would have been mute.
-I feel (and hope) that Matee was not intentionally trying to miss the 2nd ft for a couple reasons...that tactic should not be used with more than 1 second on the clock (ie. Prince's intentional miss with .7)...in a bball game the difference between 4seconds and .7 is an eternity as we witnessed last night and your teammates need to know that you are intentionally missing too....Lang wasnt expecting it and it bounced off her. So I agree, she wasnt intentionally missing her 2nd.
-What was the deal with the Gardin/Coleman in and out? I understand the reasoning of the coach but that doesnt make it right! Coleman was playing solid D and it isnt good to take her out of a rhythmn. KG wasnt guarding any better than Coleman. I found it quite funny (but sad) that at 1 point the Coach looked across the court to see Gardin about to inbound the pass and was like "WTF?!", so she had to call the T.O. to get Marissa back in....not very smart coaching.
-Why wouldnt they show the replay of the final shot by Prince?? I understand the league rule on not showing until after a review, etc but as the crowd was chanting....I mean CHANTING! "Show The Replay", it seemed that it was not shown on purpose considering it was an obvious "No-Call" if you saw the 3 angles the NBATV feed provided.. If they had shown that as Prince stepped up to the line, it may have been a different story!
Enjoy your Sunday!

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should have been a no call--give me a break! Ridiculous. Of course, if Matee would have made more of her free throws at the of the game (she hit 1 out of 2 prior to that), it would have been a moot point. Of course, without Matee's 23 pts, we would have not been in the game so I cut her some slack. If her and Lang aren't scoring big points every night, we aren't in any games period. As to the person who asked what if Mo had been in--would it had changed anything? Of course, she is an All Star. Mo makes this team much better. Hopefully she fully recovers from her injury and comes back strong next season.

on another note, did anyone notice how upset the crowd was when Marissa was pulled from the game with around 2 minutes or so to play? The crowd literally "booed" Trudy's decision. It was very apparent. Of course, Marissa went back in for offense. But honestly, I don't think Gardin is that much better of a defended than Marissa and Marissa is to me a better rebounder. So I don't understand to switch. Anyone have a different opinion on this??

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Section 100 said...

The Gardin-Coleman switching at the end didn't make any sense to me, and it cost at least one timeout. I don't see what Trudi sees in Gardin.

If Mo had been in the game, she would have been the one shooting free throws, and that would have likely led to a different outcome.

Poor Mystics were off to Indy early this morning for today's game.

 
At 9:36 PM, Blogger Tonya Ervin (FCC) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger tervin said...

We weren't able to be at last night's game due to another engagement, but we kept up via Twitter and Live Access. When I heard what happened, my heart sank.

I've only been a Mystics season ticket holder for 5 seasons, so I haven't been as long suffering as the Basketcasess and other founding fans(and near-founding fans). However, this season has really taken its toll on my enthusiasm and I hate that.

I want to support the WNBA and our players, but I HATE supporting this front office that has handled everything so unbelievably poorly. And, this might sound nitpicky, but my ticket rep has not ONCE stopped by my seats this season to introduce herself or say hello. This is in stark contrast to my ticket rep from the previous 4 seasons(who was let go halfway through last season). She checked in with me via email periodically and stopped by our seats to chat before many games. I always felt valued and appreciated by her. Now? I couldn't even tell you what my ticket rep looks like. I don't need handholding and constant check-ins, but the difference in treatment this season has been HUGE.

That's a bit off subject, but everything just feels off and sour this season and that makes me sad. Even when we were losing in previous seasons under bad coaching regimes, I had a sense of optimism. That is gone. If I'm feeling this way, I'd guess a lot of people feel the same and might have less of a problem with not spending $1k+ on season tickets and will just walk away.

Again: this is not directed toward the players. My disdain is reserved for the front office and our awful coaching.

 
At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad about your rep - ours just stopped by during last week's game. It's hard for them to get around to all their STHs with the huge crowds at each game...

 
At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have a new rep whonot come to see me and has not returned my calls. I also do not get emails or phone calls from my rep. But I do see other reps going around taking to their STHs. I can't even tell you what my rep looks like.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NBA TV showed replays but they were only from one camera angle! Prince was smart to fall down from the supposed contact. But we were robbed!!

Tervin - agree completely! It seems the really good reps and folks who took care of the fans have all been dismissed or chased away! Or, like Katie and Lindsey, they saw what was coming and got the hell out.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Basketcases - love the picture!! WTF indeed!!!

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I encourage all to come out to the game on Sunday against Phoenix. I understand that the half time show will feature a game between senior women's teams. My dear friend, will be one of the players, and the senior team deserves a crowd to root them on.

Go Seniors Who Love Basketball!

 

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