Takeaways: Mystics come out swinging but Lynx prevail in Game 2

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 14: Lindsay Whalen /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 14: Elena Delle Donne /

The Mystics’ search for a third scorer

Between Della Donne, Kristi Toliver, and Emma Meeseman, Washington has a strong core. Unfortunately, they’ve rarely had all three playing their best basketball simultaneously this season. The postseason has been no exception. Della Donne and Toliver each scored 25 but their teammates combined for 33.

We got stuck with two people having to do a lot of scoring. Otherwise, our bench did a good job coming in and getting scoring but it was a struggle to get them good shots,” said Mystics coach Mike Thibault. “I thought Elena got a handful of shots in the second half and we need to get her some different looks for Sunday. We need our team to do a better job of screening people.”

“We depend on having one or two people score and it’s tough for them to be put in that position. It’s part of the process we’re going through. We missed tonight and throughout the last half of the season having those third or fourth scorers to be consistent for us. It’s kind of a different person every night. When they do that, they’re just daring the other people to make shots.”

The Lynx may be the Lynx but getting 50 from your two best players should put you in a good position to win. But if those are the only things you have going for you, that’s tough against a team that can flip the switch instantly.

One of the reasons is the continued struggles of Meeseman. Meeseman, a career 51.7 percent shooter, has now converted on just 17-of-49 shots from the field. At times on Thursday night, she seemed passive and hesitant to shoot. This led to over-passing on one possession that ended in a shot clock violation. Not getting the usual production you expect out of your all-star center would hamper any team.

Coach Reeve spoke highly of the Mystics’ roster after Thursday’s contest.

“If they get a third one, we’re in trouble. We put a tremendous amount of effort into stopping Delle Donne and Toliver and they each scored 25. I can’t even imagine– they have a third one; they have some really good players.”

Much like the Lynx are difficult to defend when multiple players are going, the Mystics would be, too. Minnesota had four of its five starters in double figures, with Lindsay Whalen being just one point away from being the fifth. The Mystics sent help with multiple defenders all night long and the Lynx found reliable targets to convert those opportunities. Time is running out for the Mystics to find theirs.