Earlier this week, I believed that the Mystics would beat the Indiana Fever on Thursday if they would just not sleep on them. Unfortunately, I think that's exactly what they did. They lost 73-50 on the road to the team that eliminated them in the playoffs last season.
Washington raced to an early 16-10 lead in the middle of the first quarter thanks to the efforts of Stefanie Dolson who scored 8 of her 12 points in the first five minutes of the game. But in the last three quarters of the game, the Fever held the Mystics to 8-of-43 shooting (18.6 percent!!!) from the field. while they shot an efficient 20-of-43 (46.5 percent) from the field.
When a professional basketball team shoots less than 20 percent from the field for an extended length of time, that team is beating itself. The Mystics were clearly doing that as they failed to score their first basket in the third quarter until there was 4:52 left in the period. They also couldn't score their first basket in the fourth quarter until there was 6:56 left in the game. Those offensive droughts -- plus their 15 turnovers which turned into 21 Fever points -- proved to be costly.
I guess you can say that their offensive droughts weren't quite as bad as the Wizards' 1-of-18 shooting performance in the third quarter of their March 23 loss to the Warriors. But still, bricking shots and the high number of turnovers like the Mystics did on Thursday is simply pathetic.
This is especially the case when they're trying to get the number one seed in the Eastern Conference despite not having some of the "brand name" star power that other teams in their own division have. I honestly thought that I was watching a rerun of the 2012 Mystics season again when they were a league-worst 5-29! Maybe I'm just mad -- and I can handle losses for the most part -- but for God's sakes. A team can't be shooting sub 20 percent for three quarters in a game! Don't tell me that Indiana's defense is that good!
End of Rant. Hopefully, this is the only truly dud loss they have. Now, let's get to two other takeaways from the Game/Week, which includes a cool stat I found:
1. Emma Meesseman needs to better adjust now that WNBA teams are focusing on neutralizing her
Meesseman did score 9 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, but she had trouble against Fever franchise combo-forward Tamika Catchings and other players Indy threw her way. Meesseman's going to get a lot of attention this season as other WNBA teams realize that she is D.C.'s best player.
2. Ivory Latta is the WNBA's best three-point shooter and it ain't even close
Latta is known for being one of the WNBA's most dangerous three-point markswomen. She is already leading the WNBA in three-pointers made with 26 made shots this season out of 71 attempts.
But for games up played up through June 28, Latta shot 14 of 33 (42.4 percent) from deep when the shot was 22 to 25 feet away from the basket according to the Minnesota Lynx's "Lynx Data" blog. She also shot 11 of 34 (32.4 percent) of her threes that were 26 or more feet away from the basket. The latter figure leads the WNBA by a big margin. Why? Four other players are tied for second place with 26+ foot threes made with a grand total of three made shots each.
BF's Mystics Player for Week 5 (June 29 to July 5): Stefanie Dolson
Dolson has been a consistent force all season at the center position and was a rare bright spot during Thursday's game. She scored 12 points and 8 rebounds in 26 minutes of action. She did commit four turnovers as well, but overall, she is a net positive for the Mystics when she's on the court, especially when she's with Meesseman.
Who do they play in Week 6 (July 6 to July 12)?
The Mystics will have another one of these one-game-in-one-week situations. They will host the New York Liberty at 11:30 a.m. in Verizon Center on Thursday, July 9. The Liberty's currently tied with Washington for second place in the Eastern Conference with identical 6-4 records.