The Washington Mystics are off to a 7-4 start but despite the record, the team acknowledges that they are still searching for their identity.
In the Mystics’ four losses, the main culprit has shown up as a disjointed offense. This issue also reared its ugly head again on Friday night when the team let the games slip away to the 2-7 New York Liberty.
“Its been a little tough for us. I think what’s been a bit of a struggle is different nights, different people are in,” Elene Delle Donne said. “Different coaches are coaching. Its been hard to get a flow and hard to know what we need to get in tough moments.”
Although the Mystics understand who they are as an organization, Delle Donne admitted that they are still searching for their identity on the court.
That’s not entirely surprising with new pieces making their way into the lineup over the past eleven games. Alysha Clark and Delle Donne continue to be limited from game to game due to injury recovery.
Elizabeth Williams and Kennedy Burke are also working their way into the rotation. While Shakira Austin has been an asset, it seems that the coaching staff hasn’t found a consistent place for her in the lineup.
The Mystics may be shaky offensively but they are off to a favorable start to the season and sit at number three in the Eastern Conference. While this is encouraging, Ariel Atkins believes it’s not about the record. It is about the Mystics playing up to the standard they have for themselves.
The team may not be meeting their standard yet but there were still plenty of positives in their 74-70 loss. Natasha Cloud scored a team-high 17 points (6-16 FG) and dished out a game-high eight assists.
Ariel Atkins tallied 15 points (5-10 FG, 2-4 3PT) and has now scored in double figures in six consecutive games and in team-best 10 total games this season. Elena Delle Donne netted 15 points on 7-13 shooting, adding a team-high eight rebounds to her stat line.
The Mystics hope to turn around on Sunday when they go on the road for a matchup with the Chicago Sky. The last time these two teams faced each other, the Mystics fell 82-73.
Now is as good of time as any for the Mystics to get back on track.