How The Mystics Can Win Their First Championship
By Jasmine Brown
The Mystics are making their first Finals appearance since their founding in 1998. The Seattle Storm, after an eight-year playoff drought, are headed back to the Finals as well. If there are any two teams that match up the best, it’s definitely the Mystics and Storm. Here are some key takeaways and how the Mystics can win this series.
Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart literally have the same body type and make the same type of plays. Both are lanky, can shoot from deep, and with the help of their arms, put up some really good blocks and intimidate offenses. Delle Donne has averaged 21.4 points and 12 rebounds in the playoff, while Stewart is averaging 24 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Like Delle Donne and Stewart, LaToya Sanders and Natasha Howard have lanky frames, but they smaller than the average centers. That doesn’t stop them from causing disruption in the front court. It would be interesting to see how both match up in this series
The last time a Washington professional basketball team made it to the Finals, it was the Washington Wizards when they won the 1978 title over the then Seattle Sonics. Interesting enough, that was exactly 40 years ago. Even more interesting is that the Mystics are playing exactly 20 years after their founding. Nice numbers to note ahead of this matchup.
The Storm’s Sue Bird lit up the fourth quarter by putting up 14 big ones to eliminate the Mercury. The Mystics do tend to leave really good perimeter players open. However, Bird is not just a good perimeter player, she’s Sue Bird. If they want to make it a series, the Mystics will have to step up and make really good defensive plays, but also translate that into good offensive shooting themselves.
Tianna Hawkins exploded for 17 points in 10 minutes in Game 5 against Atlanta. Also looks for minutes from rookie Myisha Hines-Allen and Monique Currie, who have put up good numbers this season. Also, Aerial Powers scored 18 points in Game 4 in Delle Donne’s absence, so look for this bench to step and make some really unpredictable plays. Guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt has been a terrific defensive player for the Mystics this year despite her being a bench player. She has clamped the biggest names down, so expect her to do the same.
This point is pretty much self-explanatory. Ariel Atkins is not playing like a rookie. She is averaging 15 points and 4.3 rebounds and is one of the best players on offense and defense.
This series is going to be fun and depending upon how each team plays, this could go to a Game 5, which most people would want.