For the Dream, Angel McCoughtry scored 20 points grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 3 assists. Erika de Souza, Aneika Henry, and Tiffany Hayes also had at least 11 rebounds each to help ATL get a 53-30 rebounding advantage over DC.
In Game 1, DC killed ATL in the assists margin. This time, it was ATL doing the same, as the Dream had 16 team assists, and the Mystics only had 8. Also, with overall field goal percentage the Dream didn't shoot that well, only making 35.2% of its shots while the Mystics made only 25% of theirs.
For the Mystics, Mike Thibault accepted his 2013 WNBA Coach of the Year award which was well deserved. Then we have to give props to our favorite rookie here on the site, Tayler Hill, for being the team's leading scorer tonight, where she scored 11 points, and made three three point shots, two of them right in front of Bradley Beal and John Wall who were among several Washington Wizards players in attendance for the game. Emma Meesseman was the only other player to shoot at a rate of 50% for the game and no one else had a performance that was all that great, though the rookies overall played decently, better than the starting lineup for sure. The starters were all just horrible today.
The series heads to Atlanta on Monday which will decide the winner of this series. And now some words on how I feel about this game.
If the Mystics were hoping to finally gain some newfound respect in the DC sports atmosphere, well, they didn't answer the bell tonight and they came out flat, failing to score until nearly half the quarter was over. With the exception of Tayler Hill, they played pitifully. If this game was a potential gateway to get more people to watch the team again, well, this is not the way to do it.
First, I don't know why Matee Ajavon is still starting. She's been in a cold slump and is getting outperformed by Hill on a now CONSISTENT BASIS! Coach Thibault MUST play Hill more, and MUST START HER on Monday's do or die game. That's right, give Hill the reigns and let everyone see what she can do!
This isn't hyperbole. Really, there's nothing to lose and EVERYTHING TO GAIN by starting her right now when everything is on the line. Hill is playing at her highest level all year long and may finally be the somebody that fans hope she can be!
Then Crystal Langhorne failed to show up WHAT SO EVER in this game after a 12 point, 15 rebound performance on Thursday. If I hear the double team excuse as to why she's not shooting, I DON'T CARE!!! Players who are considered to be "the best" on their teams, at least by some fans and media, do NOT disappear like the way Langhorne did tonight. Even Angel McCoughtry, who was in foul trouble for much of the game and eventually FOULED OUT STILL MADE THINGS HAPPEN IN THE FOURTH QUARTER TO GET THIS GAME OUT OF REACH AND SHE MADE ONLY 6 of 23 SHOTS!!!!!! And for the the Mystics, Ivory Latta, who is the team's real best player, didn't have a good game, didn't dish any assists, BUT SHE STILL HAD NINE POINTS!! I HAVE NO IDEA HOW LANG EVEN GOT TO PLAY ALMOST 25 MINUTES IN THIS GAME!!! NONE!!! MEESSEMAN DID A MUCH BETTER JOB THAN HER TONIGHT AND SHE WASN'T ALL THAT GREAT EITHER!!!
I know. I'm really pissed. And really, every fan and everyone on this team should be. Mike Thibault just won the league's biggest honor for a coach and then the Mystics put on a performance like that for the fans and also some folks who bought a ticket to see if this team is really on a track for perennial success.
Sure, I get that this team is playing with house money. I get that they're all overachieving. But the flat performance and not scoring a field goal in over FOUR MINUTES TO START THE GAME!!!??? That is PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All of that said, this series is still winnable for the Mystics as it is for the Dream. The Mystics by winning Game 1 of the series had two chances to close the Dream out. They failed at home earlier tonight. But will they fail to close them out TWICE? I certainly hope not. Sure, I know I'm on record questioning how the playoffs can be good for this DC team, but once any team is in the playoffs, it's always a WIN-NOW situation! Hopefully, DC can play on Monday with the same fire that they showed last Thursday, instead of what I saw earlier tonight.