There are two quotes that exemplify Washington Mystics forward Myisha Hines-Allen’s career. They are “Faith without works is dead” and “Patience is a virtue.”
Hines-Allen was selected in the second round of the 2018 WNBA Draft out of Louisville by the Mystics. Though most second round picks don’t make the final roster on a team, Hines-Allen proved her size and aggression on the court was a definite want for Washington. That said, Hines-Allen’s skills weren’t needs. The Mystics already had LaToya Sanders, Emma Meesseman, Elena Delle Donne and Tianna Hawkins who could collectively alternate the four and five spots.
In turn, Hines-Allen mainly saw the court when Washington had a lengthy lead or had a huge deficit. In 2018 and 2019 combined, Hines-Allen averaged 3.0 points per game in nine minutes per game of play.
But in 2020, when Delle Donne, Sanders and newly acquired center Tina Charles sat out the season, it gave Hines-Allen a big opportunity. And she delivered.
In 2020, Hines-Allen averaged 17 points per game while averaging 30 minutes per game, starting in all 22 games this season. She scored double digits in all but two games this season.
With not seeing much of her game since Louisville, it was tough to tell how Hines-Allen would deal with the pressure and spotlight.
In Washington’s first game of the season against the Indiana Fever, Hines-Allen had a double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds leading the Mystics to a 101-76 victory. In that game, Hines-Allen was the key to the offense. And they led through her which worked.
Another aspect of her game was the fact she could control the offense and be a point-forward. The games on August 23 against the Phoenix Mercury wasn’t one of her best scoring productions with only 10 points, but Hines-Allen’s awareness of the floor helped contribute to eight assists and 13 rebounds. Being able to score, find your teammates and still get back on the defensive end made her a threat to every opponent.
Last season, Hines-Allen scored a total of 63 points in all 34 games. This season she scored almost six-times that amount with a total of 374 points, even taking the previously mentioned “point-forward” role and excelling. I mean this coast to coast basket just speaks for itself.
What did many expect from Hines-Allen or any of the Mystics players this season? Well we didn’t expect her to ball out this season silencing doubters in the process. Maybe we expected her to be a starter, but we didn’t expect her to be the top offensive option on the team.
And with her numbers that’s why she was the runner-up for the Most Improved Player award and why she made the All-WNBA Second Team yesterday. From averaging 2.3 points per game to 17 points per game, it’s no question why she was considered.
Of course, here in D.C. we believe Hines-Allen should’ve won, but that’s neither here or there. She even was considered for the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, receiving two fifth-place votes after having a stat line of 17.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
With this season done for and looking ahead into 2021, there’s no reason to worry if Hines-Allen will return with a more prominent role, especially with Elena Delle Donne expected to return.
It’ll still be tough if we expect to see Tina Charles and Sanders return as well. But if they return as starters as well as Delle Donne, it could open up the door for Hines-Allen to be the sixth woman on the team, like Meesseman was in 2019. No disrespect to Emma, but as Albert Lee pointed out recently, Hines-Allen’s breakout will make the 2019 WNBA Finals MVP hard to keep, even if the team says otherwise.
But again, just the Mystics having the same starting lineup on the floor from this season as the “bench mob” with Hines-Allen leading the pack. They would be unstoppable!