The Mystics played their last preseason game on Monday night, where they were blown out 74-59 by the Minnesota Lynx. Elena Delle Donne had a minor groin injury and didn’t play. Tianna Hawkins led Washington with 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting, while Natasha Cloud scored 11 points. Tayler Hill added 7 points and only played in the first half. For the Lynx, Rebekkah Brunson and Sylvia Fowles scored 14 and 11 points respectively.
The Mystics and Lynx both played an evenly matched contest, except for the third quarter. In that period, Washington was outrebounded 11-3 and shot just 3 of 15. It was a bit bizarre because the Lynx turned the ball over six times, but the Mystics couldn’t capitalize on those turnovers. Furthermore, Minnesota shot 7 of 10 in the third quarter, which explains the outcome.
Ultimately, here are some takeaways:
There will be some chemistry issues
Before people start freaking out and thinking that this team is destined to miss the playoffs this season, let’s also put some perspective into this. Washington was missing three of its top four players. Delle Donne sat out, while Kristi Toliver and Emma
Meesseman will arrive later this week — but she’s only here for a couple weeks for so before playing in some of Belgium’s more important friendlies. She also appears to want to satisfy the fans here in D.C. and at home in the Benelux, because the Belgian team starts training this week as well.
Tianna Hawkins makes a strong case to be Meesseman’s replacement in June
I felt kinda bad about Hawkins getting cut toward the end of last year. I get that her contract was guaranteed, but getting cut right after receiving a concussion doesn’t sound like good PR to me — especially since Hawkins never was truly replaced.
Anyway, Hawkins had the strongest performance of every Mystics player, and even finished the first quarter with a buzzer beater:
Peep @t_hawk21's first quarter buckets on buckets. #MysticsLynx pic.twitter.com/yJWe0ekWJD— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) May 9, 2017
With Meesseman’s starting spot up for grabs for most of June, Hawkins’ performance last night should be reassuring to Mystics fans that they can hold the fort while she’s out.
The Mystics’ first regular season game is on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET against the San Antonio Stars, who have a dual point guard backcourt featuring rookie Kelsey Plum and sophomore Moriah Jefferson.