It goes without saying that few expected to see the Washington Mystics seriously contend for the 2020 WNBA season. As of today, they are 3-6, which includes a six-game losing streak, and I’m honestly not sure how that’s going to end.
I’m disappointed that some players, like Elena Delle Donne, were unable to get health exemptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. But I’m even more disappointed that other players like Emma Meesseman, haven’t stepped up to my liking to hold the fort in light of her absence.
It seems to me that Meesseman is selective about WHEN she wants to play like the Top-10 or even Top-5 talent that she is. I get that Florida is a global coronavirus hotbed. But ... the league has kept players out of that mess for the time being. I’m just saying.
Where is PLAYOFF EMMA? Just saying.
The Mystics aren’t doing well this season. And I honestly think they will be a lottery team when this 22-game bubble is over. Forget about the injury to Aerial Powers. They just aren’t showing the fight that other teams — like the Seattle Storm — are showing.
And it’s disheartening.
I get that the coronavirus and political unrest have made many feel glum, myself included. But every team is dealing with those same two issues. Hate to say it, but the other teams don’t and won’t feel sorry for Washington. After all, the Mystics are still the defending WNBA champions, and nothing will ever take that way from them.
Since the Mystics as a whole aren’t playing with much motivation and don’t have much of a shot to win the 2021 title anyway, I think now is a good time for us to also root for recent Mystics alumnae who have shown urgency and defied expectations.
First, former assistant coach Marianne Stanley has become the head coach of the Indiana Fever. They are 4-5, one game ahead of the Mystics in the standings. Kelsey Mitchell is their leading scorer at 19 ppg, but rookie point guard Julie Allemand is averaging 8.2 ppg and 5.7 apg while shooting at 50 percent from the field. Allemand, like Emma Meesseman is from Belgium and is a major part of their recent global success. I’m definitely interested in what the future lies for her this season.
Shaï Mamou, the same Shaï whom I semi-trolled yesterday for being a Ian Mahinmi admirer, admired Allemand’s hot start recently on Francophone Belgian site “Swish-Swish.” So you know, Mamou is FRENCH FRENCH, not a Belgian from Brussels or Liège who wants Meesseman to be “la bourgmestre* de Ypres/The mayor of Ieper.”
*Shaï, I know “mayor” is “maire” or “mairesse” in French French, but we have to go with your northern neighbors because of Mademoiselle Meesseman, okay?
The WNBA season is nearly half over, but it wouldn’t shock me to see Stanley get a vote or two for being the WNBA Coach of the Year.
There’s another Mystics alumna whom I’m happy to see doing well. Bria Hartley, one of Washington’s 2014 first round draft picks joined the Phoenix Mercury in the 2020 offseason. She is averaging 16.1 points and 4 assists per game off the bench for a 5-4 team that includes new addition Skylar Diggins-Smith and long-time veteran Diana Taurasi.
The fan in me wished that Hartley would be crossing over and draining threes with Meesseman and Elena Delle Donne as her teammates. But I also get that to get talent like Delle Donne, a team like the Mystics had to give up a lot of younger players, including Hartley.
In a coincidence, Mamou also interviewed Hartley on her 2020 season on “Swish Swish.”
The 2020 WNBA season certainly isn’t going the way we would have hoped for the Washington Mystics. But I am also happy that some recent Mystics are still making their mark in their Florida bubble nevertheless.