Tuesday night games did not disappoint, with star performances across the board
Washington Mystics vs. Indiana Fever
Coming into last night’s game, the Mystics decided to shake up their starting lineup from the first few outings of the season. Myisha Hines-Allen and Sydney Wiese replaced Erica McCall and Leilani Mitchell, and it’s paying dividends albeit a one game sample size.
It was only the second contest of the season for the wubble breakout star in Hines-Allen, who went scoreless in 15 minutes of action in her first game. Last night was a different completely different story, as she dropped 15 points and 10 boards. The overall chemistry of the lineup change was evident on the court and on the stats sheet, as every starter and bench player had a positive plus minus for the game.
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Tina Charles led the way with 30 points, becoming just the sixth player in WNBA history with three straight 30+ games, and the first center ever to do so. Her hot start has included a newfound propensity for the long ball. She’s averaging 5 attempts from deep per game and hitting them at a 35% clip. This is forcing less-mobile defenders to guard her on the perimeter, a task that no one seems to have mastered yet, allowing Charles to excel at all aspects of the offensive game.
The Fever continue to struggle making shots, especially inside. Indiana falls to 1-5 with the loss, and get the Aces on the road on Friday.
Atlanta Dream vs. Chicago Sky
This was one of the fastest and slowest games of the season all at once. The Dream and their young guards looked like they were running for their lives on offense, and it worked, but there were also a total of 53 free throws, one of the highest totals in a game all year.
The pace favored the Dream heavily, who seemed much more comfortable up tempo. The Sky had 21 turnovers, including an uncharacteristic 8 from Courtney Vandersloot.
One of the brightest spots for Atlanta is that Courtney Williams is taking threes now!
Williams has always been known for her midrange jumper accuracy, but by expanding that range to beyond the arc (over 50% on the season so far), she drastically increases her efficiency on offense. Oh, and Tiffany Hayes is back. The Dream veteran poured in 26 en route to a 90-83 upset win.
Connecticut Sun vs. Seattle Storm
The big question coming in the year for Seattle would be whether losing key players from last year’s championship team would prove too detrimental on the team’s depth. After going up 10 late in the third quarter, Seattle’s bench played so poorly it looked like they were trying to let Connecticut back in the game with three consecutive bad pass turnovers.
The Sun officially have a three-headed monster inside, as it’s hard enough to stop one of DeWanna Bonner, Jonquel Jones, and Brionna Jones, but combined they are nearly unstoppable, combining for 62 points in the matchup. That being said, the Sun bench was even less impressive, scoring only two points with the last bucket of the fourth quarter.
It was an excellent regulation finish, slightly marred by the refs being very generous with dishing out fouls on both teams with little contact. Overtime, however, was all Seattle and Jonquel Jones. Two threes from Sue Bird and a tough, tough layup from Jewell Loyd immediately buried the Sun in a deficit that Jones was not able to come back from despite impressive step-back jumpers. A terrible final possession from the Sun and Seattle hands Connecticut their first loss of the season in one of the most exciting games in the early season.