The Mystics lost their second straight game to the Chicago Sky on Friday night, 98 to 72. The loss is Washington's third overall and drops Washington a 2-6 record. Elena Delle Donne scored 18 points while five more players scored in double figures for Chicago. Emma Meesseman led Washington with 13 points.
Early rebounding and assisting deficits killed any chance of a comeback
The ex-factor stats in this game come from the first quarter of the game when Washington got outrebounded, 13-3 and out-assisted, 11-4. The end result was a 34-17 deficit that they could never climb out of.
Though the rebounding deficit didn't explode for the remainder of the game, the assisting deficit did as the Sky dished a season-high 30 assists for the game. The ball movement Chicago had was simply amazing tonight, and the Mystics just didn't have an answer for it.
Key players didn't perform when needed
Tayler Hill has had a great start to her 2016 season so far, but she only scored 10 points on 3 of 14 shooting tonight. And she was even worse at the half:
@BulletsForever Hill 1-12, Dolson 2-6, entire team but Meesse (8 points) is 1 for SOMETHING. 10-30 shooting. GOOD LORD.— Elle (@ElleLovesTennis) June 4, 2016
Ivory Latta was also uncharacteristically bad tonight where she shot 1 of 6 from the field, though she did score 11 points thanks to nine made free throws.
Starting TRP and Natasha Cloud is not the right answer
We saw Natasha Cloud and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt make their way into the starting lineup simultaneously tonight. Last season, both were starting most regular season games together and led the Mystics to their best regular season record in the Mike Thibault Era. However, they were the two least active players on offense from a scoring standpoint, though they are both defensive pests.
You would hope that they would have produced a few points tonight when everyone else wasn't playing at a high level. But neither made a field goal and scored one combined point. The bottom line is that I just don't see the Mystics winning many games if both players are starting together given that they aren't players who take many shots -- or are particularly great at making them anyway.
The Mystics need more star talent
If there is one thing I have consistently said over the years about the Mystics, it's that they don't have enough talent. When you look at the Sky's roster, they have one of the Top-3 players in the WNBA with Delle Donne. They have a forme WNBA Finals MVP in Cappie Pondexter. And they also have some other very strong players on the roster who complement them nicely like Allie Quigley and Erika de Souza among many others.
The Mystics have to depend on playing team ball not unlike how the Sky played tonight in order to win games consistently. However, when they play poorly and their opponents steal their gameplan, these kinds of results are bound to happen.
Sure, Emma Meesseman may still turn out to be a superstar. But even if she does, it's apparent that the Mystics still are outmanned out there.