For the Second Time in two seasons, the Mystics were on the court -- on the road -- playing in a game that decided the regular season Eastern Conference champion. But unlike last year, there won't be any quickly-organized flash mob of ecstatic fans
to greet the Mystics at the airport upon their return. No, unlike last year, the Mystics will end their season in the Eastern Conference cellar. First to worst . . . how sad.
Tonight in Indy, playing their penultimate game of the season, and their 7th since they were eliminated from playoff contention, the Mystics were kicked to the curb by the Fever
, as Indy clinched the top spot in the East.
This evening, the Mystics, despite a slow start, twice battled back from double-digit deficits, even taking a short-lived lead at the half, 37-36. After that, they fell behind again in the third period, closed the gap early in the final period to 66-63 . . . but that was all they had left in the tank. The Fever went on a 21-6 run . . . game, set, match -- and Eastern Conference regular season title to Indiana. Last season that accomplishment belonged to the Mystics.
As she's done all season long, the always reliable, never say die, Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics in scoring (18 points), and also pulled down 15 boards for a double-double. Off the bench, Mo Currie, just returning to the line-up following her ACL surgery, played a surprising 24 minutes and put up (a not surprising) 12 points (as did another no-quit player on the Mystics' roster, Matee Ajavon).
The Mystics are now 6-27. 27! The BCs lived through 3-27 the first year of the franchise, but we never, ever thought we'd see that many losses again . . . in a single season. Certainly not in the 14th year of the franchise. And especially not following the season in which the team notched a record number of wins, 22. But, not for the first time -- and certainly not for the last time -- we were wrong.
And, unless the basketball gods take pity on the Mystics, it could get worse. The Mystics still have one more game to play, Saturday in San Antonio (8 PM ET). They could, if the ball doesn't bounce their way, set the franchise record for most games lost in a season. At the risk of repeating ourselves . . . what a difference a year makes.
Thursday AM Update:
Yesterday, Mechelle Voepel
posted another must-read
article on ESPN.com (link here
) about the 4 WNBA teams feeling left out
of the post-season. In discussing the Mystics, Mechelle
says, ". . . the lion's share of the blame for this season's woes is not on the players." The BCs agree. There's plenty more MV has to say about the Mystics. This is definitely worth reading.