Hope everyone is enjoying the second half of September. Here is the scoop
The Mystics are the WNBA runners up
After a franchise setting regular season and long playoff run, the Mystics lost to the Seattle Storm in the WNBA Finals where they were swept in three games. Overall, I was impressed with the Mystics. They started the season as underdogs with little chance of returning to the semifinals.
However, this team wouldn’t let preseason chatter or Emma Meesseman’s absence affect them. They just went to work and played some of the best basketball this franchise has ever seen after the All-Star Break.
It is disappointing to see that the Mystics did not put much of a fight against the Storm, who came into this series at near 100 percent health, Sue Bird’s nose aside. Here are some of the what ifs that are going through my mind:
- What if Elena Delle Donne didn’t injure her knee in the semifinals?
- What if Emma Meesseman was available the entire season?
- What if Kristi Toliver’s shot was more consistent during most games?
- What if Aerial Powers got to play more consistently during the WNBA Finals?
Even if Delle Donne was healthy and if Meesseman was stateside all year, I’m not sure if the Mystics would be able to make this a five-game series. The Storm have a younger core than the Mystics that also has more superstar talent. They also have the benefit of having Bird as their veteran mentor since she was an important part of each of their previous WNBA titles.
Unfortunately, the gap between the Mystics and Storm is probably going to widen in the future. It’s not because the Mystics are declining — they should still improve a bit next season since they are in their collective primes and have Mike Thibault who’s one of the best, if not the best WNBA coach ever.. It’s just that the Storm’s young core of Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, and Natasha Howard will have another year of experience behind their belts and will enter their collective primes by 2020.
We’ll talk more about these things in the next couple weeks. And later this month, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will also begin. Delle Donne will represent the USA while Meesseman will represent Belgium. We’ll talk about their performances there as well.
Wizards preseason is about to begin!
The Wizards’ preseason and training camp are beginning later this month. So here are some links on what’s been going down:
- Sports Illustrated player rankings: The Wizards have four players on the list. Dwight Howard was 69th, Otto Porter was 42nd, Bradley Beal was 27th, and last but not least, John Wall was 24th.
- Shaun Powell of NBA.com has a team preview here. The skinny here? The Wizards made incremental moves to stay relevant in the playoff chase, but can they — and especially Wall — stay healthy?
- The Wizards aren’t the only basketball team about to start their preseason. The Capital City Go-Go held tryouts yesterday. Candace Buckner of The Washington Post has more.
- Jake Whitacre wrote about Tomas Satoransky balling and winning games for the Czech Republic in FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
- Don Newman, the lead Wizards assistant coach during most of the Randy Wittman Era, passed away last week. RIP. John Wall also spoke on Coach Newman here.
- Alan Jenkins wrote about Scott Brooks’ need to stay out of the hot seat this season. Talentwise, Brooks shouldn’t have a hard job. But to be honest, it won’t be as easy as it seems.
- Ben Mehic wrote about John Wall and Dwight Howard needing to embrace leading an NBA counterrevolution against three point shooting centers and do-it-all score first point guards.
- Drake held his concert at Capital One Arena last week. Along the way, he wore Wall’s high school jersey!
And that’s what I have for this Sunday. Enjoy the rest of your weekends everyone!