A well-rounded Washington Mystics team effort was not the case in the 82-73 loss to the Chicago Sky. This makes the second loss for Washington this season as they’re now 5-2.
Of course a well-rounded team effort means that the starters AND the reserves have to show up in the game. Overall the shooting from Washington was terrible, but not having your second unit make plays and baskets just won’t suffice in getting a win or stopping runs. Hopefully Head Coach Mike Thibault will address this flaw and make the needed changes or this season can easily take a turn for the worst.
Washington’s bench was outscored 29-11 with nine of those 11 points coming from Elizabeth Williams. They shot a combined 5-15 from the floor with a combined plus/minus of -73. The reserves even notched seven of the Mystics 12 total turnovers. At this point Washington’s starters should’ve just played the entire 40 minutes of the game, maybe a better turnout would’ve occurred.
The Mystics started off the game hot having a nice second quarter to take a 42-38 lead at the half, but a dreadful third quarter and overall second half led to their demise and eventually a loss. Chicago outscored Washington 44-31 in the second half and kept their foot on the gas extending the lead to as much as 14 in the fourth quarter.
Washington had three starters in double figures: Ariel Atkins (20), Elena Delle Donne (17) and Shakira Austin (14). Austin only had two points in the second half after scoring 12 in the first and although many may attribute that to defense by the Sky, it simply was lack of touches.
Natasha Cloud, who wants to keep the league on notice that she is a shooter, was a complete dud in the scoring department shooting 1-of-8 but did dish out 10 assists. As a team, the Mystics shot 37.5 percent so it’s not ALL on the bench but are definitely part of the problem.
As for the Sky, Candace Parker had her second career triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Kahleah Copper and Allie Quigley had 12 points a piece. Azura Stevens and Rebekah Gardner combined for 23 points off the bench. In Emma Meesseman’s return, she had 11 points and four rebounds.
Washington moves to second in the league with this loss. They remain at home with a visit from Rhyne Howard and the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday. The Mystics played the Dream on Friday winning 78-73 holding Howard, league leader in scoring, to just two points in the second half. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. ET.