The Washington Mystics beat the Minnesota Lynx, 85-68 in Rochester, Minnesota in their last preseason game. Tayler Hill led the Mystics with 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting while Kahleah Copper scored 17 points in 16 minutes off the bench. The Lynx were led by Keisha Hampton who scored 15 points while Maya Moore added 14 more.
With preseason games, it's hard for us to say definitively that things are a sign. But the Mystics defeated the WNBA's defending champions for the fifth consecutive time -- pre and regular season -- since 2015. Here are some takeaways about that stat and more for this game.
The Mystics just have the Lynx's number
In most preseason games, the starters aren't playing very much and you see bench players and training camp-only players on the floor as much if not more. But the Lynx played this game with three of their key starters -- Lindsay Whalen, Sylvia Fowles, and Moore -- who are on the USA women's national team for the Olympics. They all played significant time in the game as well and are easily the best three individuals on the floor.
That said, the Mystics had strong guard play in the Tayler Hill - Natasha Cloud backcourt and Stefanie Dolson at the center position who were all able to counter Minnesota's strengths very well. Also, keep in mind that Washington also won this game without their best player Emma Meesseman, who was last seen in Ieper with her mom:
I hope we see Tayler Hill's first half performance all season long
If you didn't know anyone on the Mystics, and I told you that they were the only WNBA team without a single Top-3 Draft pick in any year, you would probably think that they're a weak roster. And that sentiment is a major reason why some fans and pundits are "waiting for the shoe to drop" on Washington. It also hurts more when you see that the Mystics missed out on the Top-3 picks in 2013, even if Meesseman is the steal of the draft. For now.
Tayler Hill, the fourth pick in that draft, has been seen as a "relative bust" to many Mystics fans for a number of reasons. Ultimately, it is because she is the highest overall draft pick on the roster and has yet to become a regular starter during her career. Meanwhile, 2013 second round pick Meesseman and 2013 undrafted rookie Tierra Ruffin-Pratt were starting in 2015. And 2015 second round pick Natasha Cloud has seen more consistent time as a starter than Hill as well.
But on Sunday, Hill started, shot 6 of 8 from the field and scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half of this game:
Mike Thibault has been high on Hill since he drafted her in 2013. It may have taken here a bit longer to show her potential, but THAT's the Tayler Hill I want to see this season. Hopefully, that closes the door on whether she should be starting or not this season. Anyone who knows me knows I want her to shine. She did that today.
Turnovers continue to plague Washington
The Mystics still committed 22 turnovers today despite the win. Lia Galdeira committed another five turnovers despite just playing nine minutes, so I don't see her making the opening day roster at this point...
Regardless of who makes the final opening day roster, the turnovers need to go down by a lot or this season could truly be a long one.
The Styx host the New York Liberty on Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. ET in their regular season opener.