Takeaways: Washington Mystics optimistic about future after getting swept by Lynx in WNBA semifinals

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Sylvia Fowles /
5 of 5

The future is bright

Okay, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve to end on a happy note — and despite getting swept by the Lynx, it’s not hard to come up with plenty of reasons for Mystics players, coaches, staff, and fans to be excited about the future.

The pieces are there. This starting five is really, really good, and were finally hitting their stride and chemistry late in the season. Rookie Shatori Walker-Kimbrough showed big-time flashes of potential when she started when Delle Donne was injured, and after taking the offseason and overseas to grow physically and mentally, should be a much bigger factor in 2018, and provide the team with the athleticism and shotmaking it often needed from the wing. Tayler Hill will be back, although it remains to be seen exactly when, and exactly how effective she will be post-injury. (Of course, Hill came back to the team less than two months after giving birth in 2014, so underestimate her at your own peril.)

Injuries are always a problem in the WNBA, but hopefully, this offseason, key cogs like Ivory Latta, Natasha Cloud, and Ruffin-Pratt will be able to take time to get healthy. None of them are planning on going overseas right away.

The team could use another reliable scorer, and a good post player coming off the bench to help Thomas, but, as Toliver said, the pieces they have right now are pretty special.

“I have 100 percent confidence in this team, and we have enough to make serious noise in this league,” Toliver said. “I just want those guys in the locker room to know that we’re proud of who we are and where we’ve come and I wouldn’t chose Minnesota or LA or Phoenix over those people in that locker room every day of the week.”