WNBA 2017: The Delle Donne Era for the Mystics has begun


May 14, 2017, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. – Mark down May 14, 2017, as the official start of the Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne Era.  While there were just 6,126 fans on hand, all of them recognized the significance of the team’s first game of the 2017 WNBA season.

For tonight’s game, the Mystics played against the San Antonio Stars, who were without their two stars Moriah Jefferson (selected second overall in the 2016 draft) and Kelsey Plum (selected first in 2017).  As a result, both teams were handicapped in some way.  Still, the Mystics were able to beat the Stars, who never led, comfortably by a score of 89-74.  The biggest leads by the Mystics were 17 points in the first half and 18 in the second.  They outrebounded the Stars 39 to 22 and outscored them by 34 to 20 in the paint.  Forward Delle Donne recorded 24 points (8 of 12) in 23 minutes and was +18 while on the floor.  Guard Tayler Hill contributed 15 and center Emma Meesseman 13.  For the Stars, Monique Currie came off the bench and scored 31 points.

Since this is the first game that the five starters are playing together, it would not be a good barometer to measure team chemistry.  Pick and rolls are infrequent. Errant passes and vulnerability to double-teaming should be reduced with more playing time together.  Time will tell as to how well and how quickly the two newest Mystics, Delle Donne and guard Kristi Toliver, will integrate with the rest of the roster, but expectations are very high.  Talks that they might make the WNBA Finals are a possibility, as this is the kind of team that Coach Mike Thibault would have liked to assemble since coming to Washington, D.C.

Photos: WNBA 2017: Washington Mystics 89, San Antonio Stars 74
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine