Thank you for your responses to this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey. Our Washington Mystics responses are below. Tomorrow, I’ll share the national NBA results.
Mystics fans are very confident in the direction of the team
In our first survey for the 2023 Mystics season, a combined 70 percent of respondents said that they were confident in the team on a scale of 1-5, with these respondents giving 4s and 5s. In fact, 48 percent of respondents gave the team a 5! And we get over 100 responses for Mystics surveys by the way.
Why are fans confident?
- Multiple people said one name: Mike Thibault
- “They return a lot of players that are very familiar with one another which can be even better than the so called new super teams see Vegas and NY where talent abounds and no chemistry with the incoming stars. Not to mention the Mystics happen to be very talented and Cloud [can trash talk the greats while locking them down]. Didn't even mention Shakira Austin [and EDD] yet!”
- “Having the best defense last season and capitalizing on it this season just shows Washington knows what it takes. I’m confident theyâ€™ll find their rhythm offensively and go back to that 2019 transitional offense that kept opponents guessing.”
And why are they not?
- “There is no scorer who can complement Delle Donne. What good is the top defense in the league if the offense is stagnant?”
- “Mike Thibault was a great head coach. It’s up in the air as to how Eric will do.”
- “Still worried about shooting/spacing on our roster. Overall we should be a pretty good team, would be feeling even better if NY and Vegas didn’t assemble the Avengers this offseason, but alas.”
I rated my confidence at a 3. I’m happy with the moves that the Mystics made to bolster the guard position. But I’m not confident that they have the offensive firepower to move that far this year.
Mystics fans believe they will win the championship this year!
Half of our respondents believe the Mystics will make the WNBA Finals with 43 percent of respondents believing the Mystics will win the WNBA championship while 7 percent believe they will be runner ups.
Like the Mystics teams of 2018 and 2019, this team is designed to be a dark horse championship contender. Could I see them winning the title this year? Absolutely. They have a former MVP in Elena Delle Donne, an All-Star defensive juggernaut backcourt with Ariel Atkins and Natasha Cloud and a rising star post in Shakira Austin. There is also a lot of depth.
But the Mystics don’t have multiple MVPs and All-WNBA players on their roster like the New York Liberty or Las Vegas Aces. To win the championship, they’re going to also have to hope that one or both of these teams have unforeseen chemistry issues and/or injuries. Case in point? 2019.
Yes, the Mystics won the championship. But I don’t think they would have beaten a Seattle Storm team with Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart if both weren’t out due to various season-ending injuries. I’m not mad about the title, but I think our respondents were a bit TOO homerish on this one.
Our next Mystics survey will come out after the first week of the regular season!