FanPost

A closer look at the Mystics' frontcourt minutes and production battle doesn't paint a good picture

Emma Meesseman and Stefanie Dolson are one hell of a blocking post duo here. - Stewart W. Small

The first thing the commentator for the Chicago Sky says in this clip is "Look how committed the Mystics are to pushing the ball up the floor", below. Starters: Meesseman, Dolson, Ruffin Pratt, Cloud, Lawson.

One fan on Twitter asked a question regarding Minutes and Production:

I thought this was a great opportunity to point out how those two things affected the Mystics last year. I have listed the top 5 Mystics players sorted by minutes, both before the All-Star game, and after.

Ouch. The Mystics were 9-6 with our young Posts' averaging 26/14 and just about 30 minutes a piece. Meesseman went from the 16th ranked player in the WNBA by minutes, to 43rd. Dolson dropped to 55th in the W and 5th on the team, experiencing a 38% drop in production. As a Mystics fan, this hurts my eyes.

I would like to also point out that clearly Lawson's numbers in the second half of the schedule were terrific, but she played a total of SEVEN of 19 games. She could have shot 100/100/100%, and it would not have mattered.

Tierra Ruffin Pratt's minutes went down a mere 8%, but her production fell 25%. She is such a tenacious defender to me (and many others), that I am willing to see if another off-season with Coach T can't help with some of the glaring offensive issues.

But to make the point crystal clear about our two All Star Posts, I have added two peers as a brutal, yet accurate, comparison, below.

I chose Tina Charles the 2012 MVP and former Coach Thibault protege, because I think Meesseman will be taking 16 shots per game, like Charles did last year, instead of 10, which was her average in 2015, sooner than later. As you can see, Meesseman's minutes decreased by 23% and her production went down the exact same amount.

Charles' minutes stayed the same and so did her numbers. Nice to see that when given the minutes, Meesseman brings way more blocks and steals than Charles does.

I used Kelsey Bone, because she played terrific for Connecticut and she, as well as, Dolson earned their first All Star nods. Dolson's minutes decreased 21% and her production fell off a 38% cliff. Although that is stunning, I firmly believe that Meesseman and Dolson had tremendous chemistry during the first half of the season.

* Who didn't love their Hi-Lo??

If you are wondering how that happened, here are numbers for Latoya Sanders and Kia Vaughn as they made their way into the rotation in the second half of the season, below.

Combined Totals Min Avg Points ReB Assists Stl Blocks
Meesseman Dolson Pre All Star 30 26 14 4 1.6 3
Vaughn Sanders Post All Star 18 11 10 2 1 2.5
Meesseman Dolson Post All Star 23 19 11 2.5 1 2
% DECREASE 23 27 21 37 37 33

Frankly, Sanders buoyed Vaughn and Meesseman did the same for Dolson after the All Star break, but that is a big difference in combined numbers.

The rest of the Mystics players shot interchangeably around 30/30/70%, which I don't believe will win you anything. Sure, the combined production of Meesseman, Dolson, Vaughn, and Sanders post-All Star break is higher than Meesseman and Dolson alone before the break but the Mystic's lost their chemistry factor, and not coincidentally, the Mystics began to lose with a higher frequency.

Ultimately, lowering Meesseman's and Dolson's minutes drastically after the All Star break cost the Mystics a potential 20-win season and is unfortunate, but given hindsight, I understand why he did it.

That said, Coach T has an excellent eye for talent, and these youngsters definitely have time on their side, as well as one of the best coaches in the business, so I am very optimistic overall for them.

I am also very hopeful that the rotations and minutes in the summer of 2016 reflect what seems to be obvious to me. The Mystics win with the Washington Posts leading the team, aided by some heady, consistent veterans like Latta and Lawson.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.