The Mystics Arrived at the Target Center
in Minneapolis last night -- in sole possession of the WNBA's longest losing streak (8 games) -- to play the red-hot, league-leading Lynx
. Not surprising, that losing streak was extended to 9, as Minny routed Washington
. Also not surprising, Crystal Langhorne
(13 points) was the Mystics' leading scorer in yet another losing effort.
The only real surprise last night was that GM/HC Trudi
shook up her starting line-up -- giving the nod to Gardin
, and Walker
in place of Coleman
, and Anosike
. That change made watching the first half of the game marginally more interesting, that and the fact that the game was fairly close for most of the 20 minutes played before halftime. But the second half was a different story. The Mystics completely fell apart, scoring just 6 points in the third quarter. Ouch.
In the final period -- mostly playing against Minny's bench -- the Mystics were somewhat more respectable, putting up 17 points (versus Minny's 20).
The Mystics' 9-game losing streak is not only their longest of this
season, it's also their longest since the Vortex of Doom
season of 2008. Who can forget that
season of despair? It was horrible. But there was a silver lining; that abysmal season finally brought about real
change to the Mystics in the form of Angela Taylor
and Julie Plank
. (We keep looking for a silver lining to this abysmal season . . . but all we can see at the moment are more dark clouds.)
About the only thing we enjoyed last night about the Minny game was that Alan Horton, the Minny announcer, repeatedly commented on how successful Angela and Julie were in Washington. Although Horton was off-camera, you could almost see him scratching his head in bewilderment, trying to make sense of why they are no longer with the Mystics. (In terms of bewilderment, Alan, you're not alone.)
It's hard to believe, but the Mystics (5-24) still have 5 more "garbage-time" games to play this season. How discouraging it must be for the players. And we know it's discouraging for Mystics' fans. The Mystics' next game is at home on Thursday against the Atlanta Dream. The Dream have won 8 of their last 10 games, including consecutive victories over the Eastern Conference-leading Fever. Atlanta, which got off to a slow start this season, is seeking to solidify its claim on the fourth and final playoff spot in the East, and possibly move up to 3rd or even 2nd place. In other words, Atlanta is playing for something, while the Mystics are playing for . . .