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Keys to the Palace: Three Mystics get locked out after two straight losses

No one gets a key.

tayler hill 2016 Stewart W. Small

If there’s something that frustrates me about the Mystics as a Wizards fan, it’s that this team knows how to suck people right in, and follow that up with some underwhelming performances. Sounds a lot like #SoWizards over the years.

Not too long ago, the Mystics were 9-8 to close out the first half of the season after beating the San Antonio Stars during a matinee. Things were looking kind of bright. They lost to the Chicago Sky the following night, but I wanted to be positive and believe that they’d turn things around with the Stars hosting them last Wednesday.

But then, #SoMystics happened. They lost both of their games right after the Fourth of July.

The loss on Wednesday against the San Antonio Stars was the most disappointing. Their best player, Kayla McBride was ruled out of the season due to a foot fracture, and they couldn’t take advantage of her absence. There’s no excuse losing to them. It’s pretty much one of the very few teams that most WNBA pundits would say are less talented than Washington.

And though last Sunday’s loss against the Los Angeles Sparks was more understandable on paper, that game was winnable too. Washington played L.A. evenly throughout the first three quarters of the game. But it seemed that most of the players not named Emma Meesseman decided to just not show up during a fourth quarter when L.A.’s star-studded frontcourt turned on the jets, and Meesseman started faltering herself.

End result, Mystics are 9-11 and have to face the Mercury this Wednesday. Sure, that team is underachieving, but they still have more talent than Washington. And I almost forgot, they beat Washington pretty solidly at home not too long ago.

It’s time to give out our Guest Passes and Lockouts.

No one deserves a Key after what I saw last week because ... they lost two winnable games and losing last Wednesday especially was unacceptable.

Guest Passes

Emma Meesseman

17 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.0 apg

The face of the Mystics had a great week if you look at the average numbers. Her usage rating was also at 26.7 percent, which is well above her average of just over 20 percent.

But when she scored just 10 points in a loss to a bad Stars team, that was an automatic drop off from the level of earning a key.

Stefanie Dolson

9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Yes, Dolson was benched in favor Kia Vaughn last Sunday. But she still had a good week that kept her safely in guest pass territory.

Kia Vaughn

8 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Vaughn continues to put up solid scoring numbers, but she should be able to grab more than five rebounds in two games.

Natasha Cloud

8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3 apg

She played well in the Stars game, scoring 10 points but was a bit more turnover prone in the Sparks loss when she gave the ball up twice as opposed to dishing three assists both games.

Kahleah Copper

6.5 ppg, 1 rpg

Copper had her first extended bout of playing time in awhile during the Sparks loss when she played 19 minutes. Her 13 points were nice, but most came when the outcome of the game was all but decided.

Ivory Latta

7 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Latta’s shot was off last week as she averaged 28.6 percent shooting from the field and just 30 percent from the three point line. If there is a “saving grace” that doesn’t lock her out, it’s that she had a positive net rating when she was on the floor...

Tianna Hawkins

3.5 ppg, 1 rpg

Hawkins only averaged 8.5 ppg, but she did a better job with her efficiency than some other players this past week.

Ally Malott

3 points in the Stars game

She made one three on two attempts while dishing an assist and a turnover. Given that she had two straight weeks of lockouts, this was a step in the right direction.

Locked out

Tayler Hill

11.5 ppg, 3 rpg

Hill only shot 22.6 percent from the field while maintaining a 31.6 percent usage rating. That’s grounds for a lockout.

Bria Hartley

3.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 1.5 apg

25 percent shooting and dwindling minutes... Locking her out hurts because I like her game. But shooting 25 percent for the week isn’t doing anyone favors.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt

0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg

She was scoreless in both games. Starters aren’t supposed to let that happen to them.

No evaluation

Jamie Weisner did not play last week.