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Keys to the Palace: The Delle Donne and Meesseman frontcourt have little help

Stewart W. Small

The Washington Mystics are in the playoffs, but they lost two games in consecutive days to the Liberty and Wings. This hurts the Mystics’ playoff position as they now are probably stuck in the first round which is a one and done affair. We saw the Mystics’ two stars: Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman show out. But after them, I feel like almost everyone else laid a collective goose egg.

Let’s get to the virtual hardware:

Key to the Palace

Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman

Pardon me for taking shortcuts today, but the Mystics’ offense will inevitably run through both of their forwards. They didn’t have much time together, but I’m glad to see that we’re seeing them show their potential out there nevertheless.

They combined for 51 points in a loss to the Wings last Saturday and scored a combined 27 points in the Mystics’ close loss to the Liberty. The wins aren’t there, but both Meesseman and Delle Donne are adjusting to each other very well. The opposition knows they can’t stop them. The most they can do is slow them down. And that doesn’t happen much either. All in all, I was happy with their performances last weekend.

Guest Pass

Krystal Thomas

Thomas had two solid games statistically. But she missed some easy bunnies in the Wings game. She otherwise played the way we expect her on any given night, but she wasn’t great.


Tierra Ruffin-Pratt

TRP shot 3 of 16 last weekend and never shot above 30 percent in either game.

Ivory Latta

Latta shot 2 of 10 last weekend with two equally unwatchable 1 of 5 shooting performances.

Kristi Toliver

Toliver didn’t have a super weekend as she shot 4 of 14 from the field. She also was quite turnover prone with six total turnovers in the Mystics’ last two games.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

With Delle Donne back from injury, SWK has gone back to the reserve unit. She failed to make a single shot over the weekend and didn’t play particularly much. It’s harsh to give her a lockout with her getting adjusted to being a reserve again. But at the same time, she’s realistically playing 10-13 minutes a game when this team is healthy and she’s not doing much while she’s there.

Allison Hightower and Tianna Hawkins

Didn’t see much to write home about with their performances this past weekend. But they didn’t help the Mystics do better on the court.

Didn’t play

Tayler Hill and Natasha Cloud were out due to injury. Haley Peters did not play last week and her third 7-day contract was not renewed. That was because the Mystics signed her with the injury hardship exception, so it probably means that Cloud will be ready to play very soon.