Posts Tagged ‘ Washington Mystics ’

Part 1: Another WNBA installment of “Did you know?”

August 5, 2011 2:37pm
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Part 1 of 2

We did a segment earlier this season where we shared some interesting statistics on the WNBA. We wanted to re-visit this idea and find some new interesting statistics and tidbits for each of the league’s 12 teams. Here’s is Part 1 of “Did you Know?”

Atlanta Dream: The Dream are the league’s 2nd fastest team ahead of San Antonio and Minnesota and behind Phoenix. What is interesting is that generally the faster they play, the worst they do.  In their 5 fastest games, all played with at least 86 possessions, the Dream are 1-4, -9 point differential. In their 5 slowest games all played at less than 79 possessions, the Dream are 4-1 with a +8 point differential.

Chicago Sky: Much has been said about the horrid 4th quarter performance by Chicago as they scored 1 point in the entire quarter to lose at New York by 10 on Thursday. While their 4th quarter efficiency was certainly the worst this season for a single quarter (if not the worst ever, which I think it was) their efficiency for the entire game was only the 2nd worst offensive output of the year.  Seattle’s 74-50 loss to the Sparks, in the 1st week of the season, takes the cake. While Tulsa has come close many times, they never dipped below a 70 efficiency.

Connecticut Sun: I tend to think of the Sun as very balanced and deep. While that might be true, Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery have each come up with big single game performances this season. Charles has recorded a 31 point game, a 23 rebound game which is 5 higher than anyone this season, including 15 and 14 rebound performances, and 5 block game. Meanwhile her teammate on the perimeter Montgomery, has recorded a team high 33 point game which included 6 3-pointers, a 10 assist game, and a 5 steal game.

Los Angeles Sparks: It is assumed that Candace Parker is really, really good. Possibly the best women’s player in the world. The Sparks only played the first 6 games (6.5 as she was injured in their game at New York) with her in the lineup. With her in the lineup LA went over 110 offensive efficiency in 3 of their 1st 6 games and held their opponents under 100 in 3 of their first 6 games. Since then that New York game, without Parker in the lineup LA has gone over 110 only once in 12 games, and held opponents to less than 100 in only 2 of 12 games.

Minnesota Lynx: Taj McWilliams-Franklin was the only Minnesota starter to not make the All-Star team, which might automatically designate her the most underrated player in the league. She leads Minnesota with 15.8 net plus/minus rating and has been crucial to the success of this Lynx team. While she isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, her veteran leadership and understanding of where to be on the floor is exhibited by her 3rd best net plus/minus in the league.

Washington Mystics: The Mystics might be suffering through a difficult season, but at least they know who they are, and attempt to play to their strengths. Relying on their front line of Langhorne and Anosike, with not much bench to speak of, Washington has played at the slowest tempo in the league. They also crash the boards as they have the 3rd most second chance points which in part explains why they have taken the 2nd most shots from the 1-5 feet.

In part 2, we will look at the remaining 6 teams in the WNBA.

WNBA Weekend in Review

July 18, 2011 9:34am
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The 2011 season is moving along quickly as the All-Star game is this Saturday. After tonight’s game between San Antonio and Los Angeles, every team will have played between 13 and 15 games.  Besides probably Tulsa, every team still has a legitimate shot at a playoff spot.

Going streaking:

The Phoenix Mercury head into their re-match against the Minnesota Lynx with their league leading 6-game win streak on the line and first place in the Western Conference.  Last game saw the Mercury storm back in the closing minutes to take a 112-105 victory, in the highest scoring game of the season.

The Tulsa Shock have now lost a league leading 9 games in a row. After leading the Sparks for most of Friday’s game, Tulsa couldn’t generate the necessary scoring chances once the Sparks stopped turning the ball over. The Shock will have a chance to re-group as they don’t play again until Tuesday after the All-Star break, hosting the Atlanta Dream.

There’s no place like home:

After a short 1-2 road trip, and two double-digit losses, the Connecticut Sun returned home to the comfy confines of the Mohegan Sun and defeated the Indiana Fever on Sunday. The Sun are undefeated at home, at a perfect 6-0.

Meanwhile the Seattle Storm finish up three game road trip tomorrow at Chicago before heading home. The Storm now stand at 2-5 on the road with their two wins coming against Tulsa and a Mystics team that was missing Crystal Langhorne. Seattle is coming off two road losses including a 69-62 defeat to Minnesota on Saturday.

The bottom of the Eastern Conference:

Although the Washington Mystics are 6 games behind Eastern Conference leading Indiana, they only trail 4th place Chicago by 3 games and have more than half a season left to play.  The Mystics showed lots of resolve in their overtime win over the Sparks, where they mounted the 2nd biggest comeback in WNBA history. Even in the last of their 5 game road trip, and a season full of injuries, Washington showed they should not be forgotten yet.

Just above Washington is the preseason conference favorite Atlanta Dream. Atlanta has been possibly the biggest disappointment this season, but put together their best effort on Saturday. Even playing without Sancho Lyttle, Atlanta looked like the team many pundits believed we would see before the season.

The Mystics playing without Langhorne, lose at home to Seattle

July 4, 2011 7:54am
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The Washington Mystics were without Crystal Langhorne for Saturday’s loss to the Storm. Carla Peay of the Washington Times writes how rookie Victoria Dunlap shined in her absence, but it was still not enough as the Mystics fell 73-63. Coach Lacey was happy about the defense, but noted they did not do enough offensively.

Part 2: Thoughts and stats through the first two weeks of the WNBA season

June 23, 2011 11:59am
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PART 2 of 2

Part 2 of our quick takes and looks at some of the underlying stats for each team in the league.

 

New York: Between learning a new scheme under new head coach John Whisenant, and having Pondexter handle more of the point guard duties, the Liberty have gotten off to a slow start.  Don’t be surprised to see this white-line defense turn a corner, as Whiz’s Monarch teams were consistently among the league’s best defensively.

Did you know: New York has yet to keep an opponent under 100 efficiency for a single game. The Sparks scored over 1.18 points/possession in their latest outing.

 

Phoenix: With a healthy and rested Diana Taurasi, the Mercury looked to be a team that would run out of the gate to start the season. Combined with a difficult schedule and poor defending the Mercury lost their first 3 games, but have since gained some momentum with two straight wins.

Did you know: Not that it is anything new with the Mercury, but they they are the only team to score and allow more than 1.06 points/possession. With coach Gaines, a Westhead disciple, don’t except to see Phoenix stop flying up and down the court anytime soon.

 

San Antonio: With coach Hughes back on the sideline, and the emergence of rookie Danielle Adams, the Silver Stars are one of the early season surprises. They were the league’s only undefeated team before Tuesday, as they fell in their rematch with Phoenix, playing without star Sophia Young.

Did you know: The Silver Stars lead the league in offensive efficiency and are the only team to top 100 offensive efficiency in every game this season.

 

Seattle: With essentially the same team back from their 2010 championship season and the addition of Katie Smith, the Storm were expected to start right where they left off. Instead, the defending champs have started slow in part to Lauren Jackson, who is not 100% healthy. Despite injuries, they still stand at 3-2 and welcome Minnesota to the Key Arena for a 2nd time this season.

Did you know: Seattle has recorded the single worst offensive output in a game this season, where they scored only 50 points in approximatively 75 possessions in a loss to Los Angeles on June 19th.

 

Tulsa: After suffering two blowout losses at the hands of the Silver Stars, the Shock have since been more competitive although have only one win to show for it. 2nd overall pick, Liz Cambage has given Tulsa an inside presence, but they have suffered from lack of depth at the guard position after losing Amber Holt for an extended period of time.

Did you know: After Thursday’s game at home against New York, the Shock will have been the first team to play 8 games, with the latest three games played at home.

 

Washington: No team might have experienced more turnover during the offseason than the Mystics. They lost Smith, Harding, and then Currie to injury (and Beard has yet to play this season). They brought in Anosike and a new coach in Lacey Trudi. One constant from last season has been the continued great play of Langehorne. One constant from this season has been atrocious defense.

Did you know: The Mystics have the lowest scoring bench in the league at 12 pts per game. That is more than 9 pts below the league average.


News and notes to get you ready for the Sun and Mystics tonight

June 16, 2011 9:58am
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The Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics meet up for the 2nd time this season, as the Sun travel to the Verizon Center. In their first meeting at the Mohegan Sun, the Sun shot 8 of 16 from the 3-point line, with an effective FG% of 64%. Only the Sparks, in their home win over Phoenix have posted a higher offensive efficiency in a single game this season.

Washington has been hit or miss as they came off a huge win at Atlanta, but followed it up with a loss in their home opener to Chicago. They allowed the Sky to score at better than 1.2 points/possession  helped in part by getting to the free throw line on 30% of their possessions.

Washington looks to rebound from their home opening loss by establishing some defensive identity coach Lacey has talked about. The Mystics will of course lean on their inside game as both Langhorne and Anosike have been difficult for opposing defenses to contain. Some additional intrigue comes into play as the newly signed Kerri Gardin faces her former team tonight.

Connecticut will look to overcome their road woes, a stigma that has plagued the team going 9-26 over the past 2 seasons.

“We need to have a better defensive presence,” forward Asjha Jones said. “We shown some flashes. But our goal is to let our defense win games for us.”

The Connecticut Sun website also conducted a quick chat with Asjha Jones, as they checked in on her development this season.

The game tips off at 4pm EST and can be seen on WNBA.com Live Access.

Washington Mystics Assistant Coach Marianne Stanley talks about this year’s team.

June 13, 2011 7:03am
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The Washington Mystics finished up this week of basketball with an overtime win in Atlanta, over the defending Eastern conference champions, before falling at home on Saturday, to the Chicago Sky. Earlier in the week assistant coach Marianne Stanley talked with Hoops Insider about her return for her second consecutive season on the Washington Mystics bench and her expectations for this year’s team.

Stanley has extensive experience coaching in the WNBA. She was the Washington assistant in 2001 and was the head coach in 2002 and 2003. In addition to her stop in Washington, she has also been an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Sparks and the New York Liberty.  In 2002, she was voted the WNBA Coach of the Year and inducted in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.


HI: What is like to be returning to the Mystics after so many years?

MS: “This is my second year with the Mystics and I am really excited to return. My experience here in Washington has always been very positive, as this is my second stint with them.  I am really excited about the organization and how committed they are to the team. We’re just trying to put the best product on the floor and I am happy to be a part of that. I am excited and really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

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Defending Eastern and Western Conference champions not impressive thus far

June 10, 2011 7:10am
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After the first week of the season, the Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm have one win combined between them (a 78-71 win for Seattle over the visiting Phoenix Mercury). The Atlanta Dream, with superstar SF Angel McCoughtry, have dropped their first two games of the 2011 season (both home games), the latest defeat coming in OT against the Washington Mystics on national TV. The Seattle Storm, meanwhile, took one on the chin at the hands of the Minnesota Lynx, a game in which they had to climb out of a 24-point hole and did not score until there were two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Though neither team looks sharp at the moment, one has to keep in mind that the season is barely a week old and most teams are still evaluating personnel for rotation spots or trying to get healthy following the bumps and bruises suffered during training camp.

Injuries plaguing Mystics

June 8, 2011 2:52pm
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The Washington Mystics are the first victims of the 11-man roster restriction. Veteran SF Monique Currie suffered a torn ACL while playing overseas in Turkey this past winter. Star SG Alana Beard missed all of the 2010 WNBA season after having surgery to repair a torn tendon in her left ankle. She is now hobbled by a left foot sprain (did not play against the Connecticut Sun on June 4), but the injuries are not related.

The latest injury news pertains to the health of rookie center Ta’Shia Phillips. Phillips suffered an ankle tendon injury during workouts on Tuesday, and her availability for Thursday’s game against Atlanta is in question.

With Phillips’ injury, the Mystics are down to eight healthy players. Under WNBA rules, the Mystics can sign a replacement player until one of the three injured players returns.

Alana Beard’s latest injury

June 4, 2011 4:43pm
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According to the Washington Post, Alana Beard suffered a left foot sprain in practice on Friday (unrelated to her ankle injury) and would be a game-time decision. She did not dress. The Mystics would have been a long shot to win against the Sun with Beard, but the task will be nearly impossible without her.

Mystics working it out during the Preseason

May 28, 2011 2:44pm
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Preseason gives teams a chance to try new things against real competition. With a new coach in Trudi Lacey, a lot of new players and Alana Beard returning from injury, the Mystics are hoping all the kinks can be worked out in time for the start of the season next weekend.

From the Washington Post, Steve Yanda writes, “Lacey, who is beginning her first season at the Mystics’ helm, has made defensive effort a high priority, and Washington may well have to rely on that while its offense works out a few kinks.”

With the addition of Nicky Anosike from Minnesota, and the return of Beard, Lacey’s quotes might be more coach speak than anything. You can expect her Mystics are going to give a great effort every night. Washington understands exactly the purpose of preseason; to work out all the kinks because ultimately only the regular season counts in the standings.

Injury Report