WNBA 2013: One year, big difference for the Washington Mystics


June 8, 2013,  Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. – There is no jumping or shouting in the Verizon Center…yet.  But what a difference a year makes for the Washington Mystics, who defeated the Minnesota Lynx, 85-80.

Mike Thibault, who has the most wins of any active coach with 209-135 (.608) record in the last 10 years, is the new head coach of the Mystics.  Eight of the 12 players on the 2012 roster are gone, and have been replaced by four rookies and three veterans.  With these changes, one would think that just getting a team on the floor would be an accomplishment in itself.

In reality, Thibault already had a plan for the Mystics’ fourth game of the season, experimenting with different lineups against the Lynx.  Early in the second quarter, he inserted three rookies on the floor, matching them up against Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen of the Lynx.  In the final minute, with the Mystics barely clinging to a small lead, Thibault kept rookie guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt in the game, which paid dividends.

Monique Currie made nine of 12 field goal attempts, with six rebounds and four assists, and had 23 points.  Ivory Latta scored 24 points and was named the WNBA Player of the Week.  But for my money, the three rookies – Ruffin-Pratt, Tayler Hill and Emma Meesseman – who played a combined total of 41 minutes with 10 points are the Players of the Game, mostly because they helped Washington win even though they are not quite familiar with each other’s playing styles yet.

Mystics fans, there IS a difference in the team after one forgettable 2012 season (5-29).  After four games, their record is 3-1.  It is time to come back to the Verizon Center and support the Mystics!

Photo Gallery: Washington Mystics 85, Minnesota Lynx 80
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine