The Washington Mystics held their end of season media availability yesterday to the media. General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault spoke about the playoff series against the Storm, where he acknowledged that untimely turnovers and the lack of homecourt advantage contributed to their series loss. He also acknowledged that the 2022 playoff series loss to the Storm may be a rallying moment like their 2018 Finals loss. In 2019, the Mystics won the championship with reinforcements. 2023 could provide the same.
Natasha Cloud and Alysha Clark were both in agreement that the Mystics were still not quite in the mode of processing the last season, and that some opportunities were lost. If the Mystics won just one more game, they would have hosted the Storm in their series. Clark also noted that the Mystics embraced their identity as defensive stalwarts, which helped them finish as the top defensive team in the regular season.
Alysha Clark said she was proud of the growth during the season. Said there were times they could have gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel with players in and out of the lineup. They decided to lock in and accept that defense was going to be their identity.#WNBA #Mystics25— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) August 22, 2022
Cloud also spoke in detail about her interaction with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. She was impressed that he spoke and broke down the Mystics’ games against the Storm with her.
Rui Machida also explained that she intends to play in the WNBA next year after averaging 1.8 points and 2.6 assists per game in her rookie season.
Rui Machida says, yes, she wants to continue playing in the WNBA in the future after this first experience. (She’ll be a FA) Lots of things she learned this first year and managing her health was a challenge with few days off. #wnba #mystics25 pic.twitter.com/Bd7DoAPXsx— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) August 23, 2022
While the Mystics had a great defensive team, their offense needs reinforcements. Thibault noted that there will have to be some changes to augment that, though we can expect to see Elena Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins, Cloud and Clark return.
Do you see the Mystics and Storm developing a rivalry in future seasons? Could you see the Mystics go further in the playoffs next year? Let us know in the comments below!