The Washington Mystics are currently 4-3, fresh off a doubleheader sweep against the Seattle Storm earlier today. They are also keeping their identity. I know, I said the “I” word. Their identity is a lockdown defensive team that gets by on offense.
I like the first part. The second part worries me, however.
Washington now has the WNBA’s top defense at 93.3 points per 100 possessions. They also have the second worst offense at 95.2 points per 100 possessions. At the end of the day, the Mystics are above .500 right now. But a team led by a strong post scoring duo in Elena Delle Donne and Shakira Austin also needs some backup from the guards. Delle Donne remains an offensive force, averaging 18.6 points a game, while Austin is averaging 13.9 points a game.
Thankfully, Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins have gradually emerged from their early season woes. Cloud scored 19 points today, while Atkins added 12 in a game that was for Sue Bird’s number retirement. Now, Atkins is averaging just a hair above 10 points a game while Cloud is just under that. Brittney Sykes is also close to averaging 10 points a game.
While the core is playing well, some of Washington’s key additions are still struggling on offense. Kristi Toliver’s shooting woes are still apparent with her averaging just 24 percent shooting and 3.8 points per game. I’m wondering if it would be better to give Li Meng some more minutes. She is making 55 percent of her shots in just 6 minutes per game and I think she could still remain consistent with some more time.
Do you think the Mystics will start clicking on offense soon? I was always confident in their defense, but it’s not going to do much good if they also can’t score efficiently.