As much as the team may be disappointed with not winning a championship right now, the Mystics did have a successful season. Washington finished 8 of 23 on 3-pointers in Game 3 and 11 for 60 (18.3) in the series. Both Seattle teams were coached by Lenny Wilkens, a regular at Storm games. I didn't know if I'd be playing at this point.
Also not taking this trip to the Finals for granted are the Mystics.
That construction schedule manifested in an unplanned postseason barnstorming of our local Atlantic 10 basketball arenas.
The Seattle Storm blew out the Washington Mystics on the road Wednesday, Sept. 12 to secure the franchise's third WNBA Championship, its first since 2010. Many question marks surrounded Washington's offseason, from who in the frontcourt could aid Elena Delle Donne to how the team would adapt without the presence of Emma Meesseman, who averaged 14 points and 5.7 rebounds but announced in January she would sit out the season to train for this month's World Cup with Belgium. Despite the signs on the baselines, the rally towels, even the actual home wooden floor brought in for the game, the Mystics' red, white and blue looked out of place. Despite being down two-games-to-none, backs against the wall, energy and optimism abounded.
Back in their offices at Capital One Arena on Thursday morning, the Washington Mystics went about the quotidian details of breakdown day before disbanding for the offseason. Our team has handled it. "All year you could just see the escalation". Seattle's Dan Hughes and Washington's Mike Thibault have enjoyed incredible individual success leading teams, but neither has ever won a title. Emma Meeseman for starters will be a huge boost when she returns next season.
Before the game, Thibault seemed to understand what his team was up against; where it might struggle; what it could learn for next year and beyond. "That's what really separated us again". We can build on this.
The coach's first priority was speaking with the team's young players, who will leave within a week to prepare for their seasons in overseas professional leagues. Too many short range shots left at the rim cost Washington crucial points. This has been an outstanding season for this team and without a doubt, their best season in franchise history.
The 24-year-old was also named the WNBA Finals MVP on Wednesday following her 30-point performance. Because whether or not non-fans have been paying attention, the WNBA has gotten really, really competitive. "We're not just going to be satisfied that we got here this season - we've got to improve because everyone else is".
Part of that is simple recognition.
"Each (championship) is special in its own way, but this one is probably going to have a different meaning for me", the 37-year-old veteran point guard said. I've been having a hard time putting it all into words.
"It took us a lot of experimenting throughout the year to find our best groove, and we didn't really get it until after the all-star break, and it carried over into the playoffs", he said. We have only played together with this core group basically for two years, and we have some reinforcements coming next year. "When you know what can go wrong, you kind of overthink it". We didn't know - I mean, I didn't even know her favorite beer, and that's a pretty important thing to know about Panda.
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