Sunday, July 06, 2008


Although the Mystics lost to the Silver Stars this afternoon at the Phone Booth, 83-75, they played better as a team than we've seen them play in quite some time, and that was encouraging. The second half in particular was spirited basketball, as Washington came back from a 12-point deficit to take a small lead. Unfortunately, San Antonio (the top team in the West right now) reclaimed it a short while later and hung on for the win, despite a late Mystics rally.

The second half made for some real excitement in the Verizon Center and for some good television. If you weren't (as we were) part of the above-average crowd in attendence, then you probably saw the game on ABC. So we don't really need to say much more, except to note that Alana Beard led the Mystics with 20 points and veteran All-Star Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 15 points and 8 rebounds for the home team. Becky Hammonova led all scorers with 28 points, and recorded a game-high 6 assists (which should put a smile on face of the Russian Olympic coach).

Despite the loss, the performance this afternoon of one of our favorite WNBA rookies gave the BasketCases (and, no doubt, Terps fans everywhere) something to smile about as well. Crystal Langhorne got her first nationally televised WNBA start . . . and she didn't disappoint. In a little under 26 minutes of playing time, Lang posted a career-high 17 points (on 8 of 12 shooting), second highest on the team after Alana. Lang also pulled down 7 rebounds, and made her presence known on the defensive end, notching 2 steals and a block. We hope there will be more opportunites for Lang to show off her abilities as the season progresses.

And speaking of the season progressing, the Mystics are now officially at the midpoint of the WNBA season . . . halfway there. The only question is where is "there?" Currently the team stands at 6-11, one win better than at this time last year, but still 3 games out of 4th place (the final playoff position). It's certainly not where the team or its fans wanted or expected to be at this point, but today's more encouraging play could mean that we have a better second half of the season to look forward to. Let's hope so.

* * * * * * * * *
The Charm Factor: Two Bunnies (out of a possible 5). A perfect classic rendition of the National Anthem by Sgt. Julia Brundage, and a skilled, halftime demonstration by the U.S. Navy Drill Team. Otherwise, nothing much to write home about.


At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a little surprised to see Becky Hammonova putting her hand on her heart for the US national anthem. Guess old-country habits die hard. :)

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll say this. I was VERY encouraged by Lang's play yesterday. This is the player we were looking for when we were selecting out of that spot in the draft. I definitely see her getting better and better as she gets more starts under her belt. However, I wish Tree would let her play a little bit more than he has been. I recall, in the first quarter, just a little less than five minutes in, he removed her for Nakia. I thought it was too soon to do that. Having said that, though, we still need W's. We collapsed after taking that one-point lead at 61-60. With all the talent on this team, there's no way we shouldn't be able to put teams away when we have the opportunity.

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the Post article AB said "you" didn't communicate or execute on defense, when she said "you" I hope she included herself, as it is a TEAM sport. Also, the AB only offense doesn't always work; you think our coaches would know that by now. And I agree with the previuous comment- Tree took out Lang way to soon?! WTF are they doing!? My last comment for today: Hargrove needs to go, as does the entire coaching staff. PERIOD.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I decided to take a look at that highlight clip of Hammon baking cookies before she made that three-pointer in the fourth quarter. It seems like Alana -- I'm assuming she was supposed to guard her, from what I saw on the clip -- just lost her in the paint and everyone took a man, thinking, "Someone else has her." Alana, meantime took someone else's man, thinking it was Hammon and didn't realize the mistake until it was too late. As much as I LOVE Becky Hammon, and I didn't realize this happened until I saw the highlight piece, it really hurt to see her smiling while running down court after shot when you look at the fact she RARELY smiles when she plays. Just embarrassing all the way around.

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the Mystics current problems revolve around one fact. They are in dire need of a Starting Point Guard (SPG). As with Football, the QB is the leader of the team. The same can be said for the SPG of a basketball team. If the SPG is not a leader, it's like the blind leading the blind. The Mystics brain trusts decision not to draft or trade for a SPG has put this team in a precarious situation.

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree.. why did Tree take Lang out so soon? She was playing great.
I just love the snide comment by Becky in today's Post "I've been playing 10 years, and I've never had that much time in my life," Hammon said after leading all scorers with a season-high 28 points to spearhead San Antonio.

We desperately need a starting point guard. Great idea to let Amber go. Oh, and according to today's transactions on the Los Angeles Sparks signed Amber Jacobs.
WTF is our GM doing?

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baking Cookies huh Stewart? That's good! She should have smiled...because that was just sad. I normally scream and scream when I see poor defense played by the Mystics...but on that play, I decided not even to waste my time.

I have to agree that we need a point guard. I have tried to be patient, and I really want to see us improve at the position, but its not happening...and when you force AB to run the show...the TOs mount.

Ok...and I love AB. I really do. But why does she refuse to play in the first half. She puts so much pressure on herself, because she feels like she has to do it all in the 2nd half, when we are down by 12. If she would just manage her shots....she only had 2 points in the first half. And she didn't take that many shots.

Poor Mystics. Poor Poor Mystics!

Did ya'll see who signed Amber Jacobs.......who else but the Mystics of the West....The LA Sparks.

Now they have Page, Milton-Jones, Temeka Johnson, Keisha Brown and good ole Amber :-)

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tee, great comments! I couldn't have said it any better. Love the Mystics of the West part. LMAO

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with the opinion that the 'Stics desperately need a legit PG -- hey, I've said it here before. Without the inside offense of (mostly) Mama Taj & Lang, they would've been buried in the first half. Their ball movement, compared w/San Antone's, was so tentative. Alana, bless her courageous heart, is still the team's best floor general.

Beckochka baking cookies? That's cute, but I imagined her, in keeping with her newfound Russian-ness, singing an aria from "Boris Gudunov" before launching that uncontested three.

I'd add an extra Rabbit to the Charm factor for those clips of all the 'Stics saying they'd beat Tree one-on-one. Taj's spot was especially nice.


At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurie Koehn played for just over three minutes and scored 3pts.
Don't you think it would be worth while to leave her in once in a while if even as a decoy? I would really hate to see LA sign her too!

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to take the time to defend the WNBA (and especially the Mystics) to my family members and male colleagues. However, it really is tough to sell them to anyone with the way they've been playing for the last 10 seasons...I mean, lately.

What I'm out at the end of the '08 season:

$1700 for season tix

$200-300 for parking per season

$119 one beer per game at Verizon (actually, a few more per game would make it much more interesting!)

$4/gal gas to VC 12 mi roundtrip

and last but not least...

68 hours I will never get back...which includes total travel time and game time for every home game this season.

Sad! Next year I'll pass on the 'Stics season tix and take that same money and spend it traveling around to see more dedicated (read: less lame) teams.
I can walk away with a shred of pride at least. The poor players locked in with this losing team for the next few years can't say the same. Good luck Lang, Laurie and Coco- you deserve better than this.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey... I just found this article.. I sang the anthem that day. Thanks for the mention!!


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