Okay. The Mystics got their butts handed to them by the Phoenix Mercury, 93-77 on Sunday night. That was going to happen to someone, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. This is the best team in the Association from my perspective.
The Good News
When the Mystics are running set plays, they are on. En Fuego, ON. All of sudden, they have a youth advantage, I know, it is counter-intuitive from what you expect from a young team. More run and gun. But this is a kind of old-school, lunch-pail, set-up and spacing, make you pay kind of team.
That discrepancy is illustrated well on this play, where Emma Meesseman hit a floater to pull the Mystics within four:
But here are some things she and the Mystics are under-rated for.
Washington rocks proper pick and rolls. They find size advantages, and utilize them. They've had leads against every single team they've played and went to two overtimes and won, with or without a full roster.
#RedbullShouldSponsorKahleahCopper with her ability to jump into a scrum and come out with the ball...she is a total X factor that continues to show up.
The Bad News
The Mystics have struggled in transition defense. Sunday night was the apex of inefficiency in that category, #worsthisweek. If Ivory Latta isn't hitting shots, she cannot defend. She looks like me, size-wise on the court defensively, that can't be good, though it gives me a ton of respect for what she does do!
The Neutral News
The Mystics have their full roster going forward, minus Latoya Sanders, who is a defensive juggernaut. This is the first iteration of their full line-up. They did a number of things well, namely, they limiting turnovers to SIX. [Last game 16]
Stef Dolson broke double figures for the first time this season, 14 points and 6 rebounds. YAAAS. I saw some gratuitous passing and positioning, better footwork.
Jamie Weisner hit literally her first shot, a three-pointer as the shot clock expired in the 4th quarter, that cruelly, did not count. Welcome to the W.
I am not mad about this loss, the Mercury were ready to get it going. The firepower on that squad is legit. Not based on their record, but based on their collective performances over the last six months.
The Mystics have more options now, more confidence, going 2-1 on the road and they have a ton of upside.
I personally do not care to keep score with other teams and how high their draft picks are. But if I wanted to pick apart a bunch of teams based on that criteria, the Mystics would be doing just fine. The only thing stopping them from being a playoff team is injuries.