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What are the three major changes that we will see next year with the Mystics’ 2023 season?

It’s been a little while since I wrote about the Mystics. So here are some quick thoughts about the 2023 season schedule release.

Washington Mystics v Seattle Storm - Game Two
Ariel Atkins and the Mystics will have a 40 game season in 2023.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Washington Mystics’ 2023 schedule was released on Nov. 30. Here are three of the major things that highlight this season.

  1. The regular season is 40 games long — The WNBA has gradually bumped up the number of regular season games since the 2019 season which was at 34 games. Without taking into account the coronavirus-impacted 2020 season, the 2021 and 2022 seasons were 36 games long and this season now has 40.
  2. This is the first season when prioritization kicks in — WNBA teams have allowed players to be on overseas teams during the winter. But starting next season, they can start suspending players for not making it to training camp. The Mystics haven’t had as many of their star players go abroad as other teams in recent seasons. This could help Washington more than other teams because franchise stars Elena Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud aren’t abroad at this time.
  3. Eric Thibault begins his tenure as a head coach — Mike Thibault retired last month from coaching but remains Washington’s General Manager. Eric has been an acting head coach for some games since 2021. I look forward to seeing how he remakes the team’s offense, which was a weak point last season despite their league-leading defense.

Washington has two four-game homestands, including from July 11 to July 23 and again from Aug. 20 to Aug. 29. They also have four of their first six games from home which should give them a good opportunity to start the season off right as well. Their first game is against the New York Liberty at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on May 19 at 7 p.m. ET.