The Mystics were embarrassed on Wednesday by the Los Angeles Sparks, 95-62. In short, the Sparks’ frontcourt of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike combined for a 39 point performance on 17 of 23 shooting. And even in the backcourt, Odyssey Sims scored 18 more points on 6 of 9 shooting while dishing 7 assists.
The easy narrative is that the Sparks were on fire and the Mystics were cold all around. But it’s a little more complicated than that.
It’s true that Krystal Thomas failed to get her first 10 rebound game in weeks while Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Natasha Cloud, and Ivory Latta shot a combined 0 for 12 from the field, we did see Emma Meesseman score 20 points on 9 of 17 shooting, grab 7 rebounds, and dish three assists. But that’s not all. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough also scored 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting.
You can see the Mystics’ highlights of Wednesday’s game (via ambreezy visuals) which center on Meesseman’s efficiency.
But let’s focus on a couple of plays where Walker-Kimbrough made open shots from the corner. First, with 2:10 left in the second quarter, Meesseman passed to Walker-Kimbrough for a corner shot from the left wing. It wasn’t quite a three pointer, but SWK was clearly o
SWK had a foot on the line, but she's developing her corner 3 game. pic.twitter.com/llHG1DRyEA— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) August 18, 2017
In the very next possession, Meesseman drove to the basket facing a triple team (one of several she faced that day) when she delivered a John Wall-style pass to an open Walker-Kimbrough on the right corner. Then ... swish!
SWK made a good shot here. Could be a good corner three point shooter since DC needs one right now. pic.twitter.com/WqrJ6ZeauD— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) August 18, 2017
Meesseman had three assists on Wednesday, two of them to Walker-Kimbrough in this sequence.
The Mystics are missing Tayler Hill for the rest of the season and Elena Delle Donne for at least another week or so while Ruffin-Pratt and Cloud aren’t reliable corner three point shooters. Though Meesseman and Toliver can make and take threes, the Mystics don’t have have too many catch and shoot players at the wing. If Walker-Kimbrough can develop her catch and shoot game like she did on Wednesday, then that will be a great thing indeed.