The Mystics overcame a slow start to beat the Dallas Wings 101-89 on the road on Tuesday night. The Mystics fell down 8-2 early, but once the offense started clicking there wasn’t much the Wings could do to stop it. Dallas stayed in it through most of the 4th quarter by attacking the basket (they took 28 free throws to the Mystics 22) and big shot making from Skylar Diggins-Smith (23 points), but the Mystics simply have too many weapons.
Elena Delle Donne led the Mystics with 23 points, while Kristi Toliver and Tayler Hill each added 17 each. The Mystics shot 44% from three and 22 assists and 7 turnovers as a team. They are now 6-2 on the season.
Is Tayler Hill poised for (another) breakout year?
Hill had a breakout year in 2016, and her 2017 is looking to be even better. Hill is benefiting from the space provided by Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver, but her improvement goes beyond that. Hill is 26, right in her prime, and her combination of athleticism and veteran patience is something special.
She is averaging career highs in EFG%, TS%, and free throw rate. She is shooting 36% from three and dishing out 2.7 assists per game. If this continues she will more than meet the expectations the Mystics had when they drafted her 4th overall.
The defense needs to get better eventually
The Mystics’ star-studded offense is both unstoppable and not yet at its best, something that should scare the rest of the league. It would be more than enough to get them to the finals in a system that still relied on conferences, but with the WNBA seeding teams without regard to conference just making the finals will likely involve getting through a few Western conference heavyweights.
Eventually, the Mystics need to figure out how to be okay defensively. Their offense has allowed them to get by lesser teams, but that won’t cut it in a five game series against the Minnesota Lynx or Los Angeles Sparks.
The Mystics do not have the personnel to be elite defensively, but improving their communication while defending the pick and roll and cutting down on the fouls (they had 20 tonight) will be a good start.