WNBA 2010 playoffs: Dream drubs top-seeded Mystics in Game 1, 95-90

Matee Ajavon was one of the few bright spots for the Mystics in Game 1.
(photo by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine)
Matee Ajavon was one of the few bright spots for the Mystics in Game 1. (photo by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine)

Washington, Aug. 25, 2010 – In the fable attributed to Aesop, the tortoise is supposed to move slowly but steadily and defeat the hare at the end of the race.  But tonight, the Atlanta Dream (the hare) approached the WNBA Eastern Conference Semifinals as a brand new season, out racing, out hustling, out defending, and out shooting the Washington Mystics (the tortoise) for the entire game.

The 95-90 score did not reflect the complete dominance of the Dream, especially since one-third of the Mystics’ points came from the charity line (29 out of 90 points).  From the very start of the game, it was clear that the Dream played with greater focus and intensity than the Mystics.   Just four minutes into the first quarter, Dream guard Coco Miller, in her first start of the season, made a jump shot to put Atlanta up, 10-1.  For a short while, the Mystics slowly crawled back and tied the score at 24 with about eight minutes to go in the second quarter.  Then, the Mystics suddenly were unable to buy a basket, scoring just nine points for the rest of the quarter with a horrific 4 for 18 shooting, 0 for 6 from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Dream’s offense and defense were in full gear, outscoring the Mystics in that eight-minute span to go up 17 points, their largest lead of the game.

The Mystics’ starters made just 15 of 51 attempts for an average of less than 30 percent.  On the other hand, the bench of Marissa Coleman and Matee Ajavon provided a glimmer of hope with their hard-charging style; their total contribution of 30 points in the second half made the final score more respectable.

The Mystics should have taken heed of what the Dream coach said, “If you don’t defend, you probably aren’t going to win.”  We will see if the tortoise can slow down the hare this coming Friday night at Atlanta.

all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine