Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Fortuna

The Mystics' front office went all out for Game One of the playoff series between Washington and Atlanta, producing a brand new megatron video shown before the player introductions. The video was an inspiring Mystics season highlight reel set to the music of Carl Orff's O Fortuna. It was a great choice of music that builds to a crescendo . . . and this evening it had the desired effect of getting the home team fans out of their seats and totally pumped up before the tip-off.

Unfortunately, once the game started, we (the home fans) were left standing far longer than anyone had planned, as it took the Mystics 3-1/2 minutes to score a single point (a free throw by Lindsey Harding) . . . time enough for the pumped-up crowd to begin to deflate.

Atlanta's new-look starting line-up took the Mystics by surprise, with Armintie Price and Coco Miller starting instead of their "bigs" for the first time this season. Before you could say WTH, the Dream were ahead, 10-1. Although Washington regrouped during the first quarter and ended the period with a 2-point lead (19-17), the Mystics used a lot of energy doing it. That led to a 2nd period in which the Dream clobbered the Mystics 31-14, and took a 15-point lead into the locker room at the break (48-33).

Many fans at half-time figured the game was over. But all season long this Mystics team has never given up (one of the main reasons we love this team), and tonight was no exception. Washington battled back (hard) during the second half, at one point cutting the deficit to two. But they could never quite get over the hump, and the Mystics ended up losing the first of this best-of-three series to the Dream, 95-90.

Atlanta shot a blistering 53.5% from the field tonight; the Mystics gave up 95 points . . . at home. So there's no question that the home team had problems on defense. After the game, Coach Plank made it exceedingly clear that she was not happy about it, bluntly stating she was "very disappointed in our defensive effort. . . The bottom line is, starters to bench, we have to defend."

The Mystics now head back to Atlanta, where they'll play the Dream on Friday at 7:30 PM in what, for Washington, is now an elimination game. Win, and we'll see the team again at the Phone Booth on Sunday. Lose, and the Mystics' 2010 season (their best ever) is at an end. Coach Plank expressed her optimism about Game Two: "I'm not discouraged. We're confident we can go into Atlanta and beat this team." And Crystal Langhorne echoed her coach's sentiment: "We have to win on Friday. There is nothing else. So we'll be ready."

We believe her. And we'll be ready too . . . watching on NBA-TV at 7:30 PM Friday night.

Go Mystics . . . Beat the Dream! (And come home to play on Sunday.)


At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That really hurt. We never got into a groove of executing the plays.

At 1:56 AM, Blogger Susan G said...

Why didn't we defend her???

Seems like Kia, Rissa, and Matee were playing very well yet the lackluster starters were getting all the playing time. WHY WHY WHY?

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Section 104 said...

No offense in the paint. No defense in the paint. Not a way to win a game.

We'll be watching the Friday game in our hotel room (we're taking a computer on vacation just for this), and hope that we see a better overall performance then.

And we're planning on coming back early for Sunday's game. There will be one. We hope.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No transition defense and we couldn't really get the ball inside the paint. Lindsay took 21 shots but she didn't have a choice. Just a bad first half and we couldn't recover. Hoping they can turn it around for Friday. Go mystics!

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Elsa4Sound said...

How disappointing!! The lack of defense throughout, lack of offense in the first half. It seemed almost guaranteed that if Atlanta got the ball, they'd score.

Bright points - the new video was great. The other intro video was way too corporate, in my mind, and wasn't really inspirational for the fans. Marissa got points in clutch situations. Her excitement in pounding the floor when she got the bucket plus the foul, was great. When I looked up at the scoreboard and saw how many players were in double digits - they should have won. If they had defended more.

I want to see them again on Sunday - so go Mystics!!

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the vido too and totally agree that the other was too corporate--not at all inspiring (even last year's was better). Now for my one complaint, about the anthem. Why, oh why, don't all the singers know the corect words? The final stanza is "o'er the land of the free..." not "for the land of the free..." This has happened more often than is reasonable. I'm really not trying to take anything away from the beautiful performance, but as someone from a military family it makes me cringe every time.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Anon 8:08am,

We couldn't agree more about the Anthem. Those words have been sung incorrectly all too often this season. There's no excuse and we cringe too.

-- BC

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

And that group has sung it wrong every time they've performed this season, which has been at least 3 times. Each time I've thought someone would have told them the correct word, but no such luck. I feel y'all on that.

I know the answer is "Because she's Angel", but why on earth was Angel McCoughtry crying to Cameron Inouye at the end of the game? When I say crying, I mean actual tears. I am all for passionate play and displays of pride(like Marissa last night), but I seriously worry about her stability.

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

I wondered about Angel too! That girl is always furious or crying. Seriously, has she ever had a happy moment?
Win or lose, I am always proud of the way our team conducts itself. (And by team I mean everyone.)

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea how many fouls Atlanta had called on them? I was amazed to see the final 5 players on the court for them had a total of 24 fouls. How many did the rest of the team have?

At 10:06 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

There were 30 personal fouls called on the Dream.

-- BC

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She was crying? Why? It's game 1...seriously.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Elsa4Sound said...

Plus - they won! And they seemed to have almost a whole section of fans!!

She might have been frustrated by the number of fouls. I couldn't believe how often they were called, but alas, not enough....

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

note regarding number of Atlanta fans at Verizon center: Angel McPouty is from Baltimore area.

I've been on the Julie Plank for COY stump for a while now, but must say, Coach Meadors made a gutsy call regarding starting line-up that panned out for first playoff game!

From AP: Dream upset top-seeded Mystics in Game 1, 95-90
"The starting lineup was not working," said Dream coach Marynell Meadors, who also started guard Armintie Price. "These were defensive players that were in there. We had a lot of speed and quickness on the wings. ... I thought everybody played their roles and did a great job tonight."

Gotta bounce back! Go Mystics!

section 110

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand angel mcpouty. Please...we need to beat her on Friday.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

Go Mystics . . . Beat the Dream!

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of you long time STH's honestly believe that CoCo Miller will score another 21 points tomorrow night? After all is said and done I really believe that she made the difference in that game. Tomorrow night once again their guard play will be inferior to ours. That was a once in a lifetime occurrence(sp).

At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know why Katie came out after half time with a big bandage on her arm? Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it seemed like her back was also bothering her.

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe coco will score another 21. She was the difference I think also. Then again, marissa stepped up with 18. So they kind of cancelled each other out. Both dont score those numbers on a regular basis. Bottom line...we hung our hat on defense all year. We won't win this series if we get in a run and gun with atlanta. That's not our team. Let's hope we see the defense Friday night.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Katie was wearing a "HexPad" protective sleeve, she probably got bruised.


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