So after four teams completed their schedules for the opening half of the season on Thursday, the remaining eight finished it all off yesterday. At this point, everyone needs a rest, including the bedraggled writers. So one last time until we pick it up again in a month, let’s head to the Bullet Point Breakdown and take a look at the games that closed out the WNBA until August 16th.
- Thanks to the collapse in Chicago (and the inconsistencies in Atlanta), New York somehow started yesterday only 2.5 games outside the playoffs. This despite some deplorable performances in the first half of the season, and a 6-11 record. On the bright side, they had DeMya Walker fit enough to start again at power forward, and Kia Vaughn ready to play off the bench after recovering from her concussion.
- The less said about Washington’s play in the opening months of the season the better. They once again went with Jasmine Thomas over Shannon Bobbitt as their starting point guard.
- Cappie Pondexter and Essence Carson came out firing in the early passages for New York. The Liberty might have had most of their posts back, but all the shots were still coming from the guards.
- Washington had Monique Currie playing aggressively on offense – again, Mystics coach Trudi Lacey has jerked her minutes around so much lately, Currie may have felt the need to shoot while she could – with Crystal Langhorne the inevitable main alternative. They balanced out New York’s guard scoring in an even first quarter.
- The rest of the game, with all due respect to Washington’s efforts, largely came down to a dismal performance from the New York Liberty. Yes, we can give some credit to the defense the Mystics produced, but that’s the WNBA’s 10th-rated defense we’re talking about. They’ve barely been able to stop anyone all year. New York were bringing most of this on themselves.
- There was so little energy and application from New York. It was like they expected the return of Walker and Vaughn to provide the necessary production, so the effort level they’d produced when they were down to practically one post player disappeared. Without the extraordinary offensive display Pondexter came up with in their previous game against Indiana, it left the Liberty falling behind. Even to a team as bad as Washington.
- So the Mystics led 36-27 at halftime, partly because they’d managed to shoot 43%, but mostly because the Liberty were a dreadful 27% from the field.
- The second half didn’t get any better for New York. It looked like the Liberty players would rather have been on vacation already, and some of them had checked out a little early. Continue reading