Michaela Smalley | September 25th, 2019
After a fantastic WNBA Playoffs series between the Washington Mystics and the Las Vegas Aces, Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics are “running it back” to the WNBA Finals for the second year in a row.
After being swept by the Seattle Storm during the 2018 WNBA Finals, Washington has been playing this season with a chip on their shoulders, not taking no for an answer, and always striving to get better. They developed the slogan “run it back” as a reminder that they have unfinished business that is winning the franchise’s first WNBA Championship. Though the Mystics journey back to the finals has been a very impressive one, the most important aspect of it has been their focus on creating their “own brand” of basketball. With highly athletic and versatile players like Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman (among others), the team set out from the beginning of the off-season to perfect their game at the free-throw line and from behind the 3-point line. They have also become dominant in dictating the pace of play for over 90% of the games they played this season.
Mystics guard-forward Elena Delle Donne has done nothing short of dominating and revolutionizing the game of basketball this season. Despite battling injuries to her knee and nose, Delle Donne became the WNBA’s 2019 MVP. Winning MVP this season made her the first WNBA player to win the award on two different teams. Delle Donne’s first MVP award came during the 2015 season when she was a member of the Chicago Sky. Through all of the sweat and glory, she has also been a very humble leader and unifier for the team since joining the Mystics in 2017.
Mystics Forward Emma Meesseman, who is also a member of the Belgian National team is a new addition to the Mystics this 2019 season and has brought to the team a versatile skill set off guard and post skills, high basketball IQ, and lethal shooting ability. Adding Meesseman to the squad is essentially like adding another Delle Donne to the mix as they are highly comparable in skill set, basketball IQ, leadership ability and their body type. Having two powerhouses like these two make the Mystics very difficult to beat at home or away.
Highlighting these two by no means should take away from the complete package of grit and skill that are Washington Mystics as a team. This team has the highest free-throw percentage, three-point percentage, and most road wins this season of any team. This team would not be the team that they are if they did not have all of their parts contributing to the whole group. This Mystics team has definitely earned the right to run it back to the finals this season and it will be a treat for basketball fans everywhere to watch as they take on the talented Connecticut Sun at home to start the finals series. Game one will take place on September 29th at 3:00 p.m. ET at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C.
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