Frisco Del Rosario (frdelrosario) wrote in sports_journal,
Frisco Del Rosario
frdelrosario
sports_journal

Washington Mystics

The 2005 Washington Mystics shot 510 three-pointers, an average of 15 attempts per game. In two 2006 preseason games, the Mystics have attempted 29 treys, 15 and 14, but it should not be more of the same, because Washington's off-season acquisitions were point guard Nikki Teasley, a .395 percent three-point shooter for the Sparks, and forward Crystal Robinson, the Liberty's all-time leader in three-point percentage (.383).

Add Teasley and Robinson to Laurie Koehn (.467, only four of her tries all year were for two points) and Coco Miller (.375), and coach Richie Adubato should get some ideas. However, Adubato was one of those coaches one wonders about -- 12-58, 28-54, 22-60, 2-27, yup, 2-27 -- and I don't expect such coaches to show much imagination. Fifteen three-point attempts per game in 2005, 14.5 three-point attempts per game in 2006, and so it goes.

Backcourt

The field goal percentage across the league is about 43 percent, so a three-point shooter only needs to hit about 30 percent for an equivalent result. Last year, All-Star Alana Beard shot .380 -- below average -- and .338 -- more than acceptable. She led the Mystics in scoring (14.1 ppg), and also chipped in 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

Washington's rookie of the year Temeka Johnson went to Los Angeles in exchange for Nikki Teasley. They play the same position, and about as well, but the rookie is years younger. Could it be that Washington is prepared to let Teasley loose from the three-point line? She was better than 40 percent in her first three seasons.

The Mystics have two more shooters; Miller was the league's most improved player in 2002, while Koehn was the NCAA's all-time leader in three-point shooting.

Frontcourt

Robinson can shoot treys from the small forward spot, and she's also on the Liberty's career leaders list for assists and steals (career ratio of 2.48 assists and steals to turnovers). DeLisha Milton-Jones was the Mystics' second-leading scorer from the power forward position; she'll be joined by Latasha Byears, one of the leading rebounders in league history and among the top 10 in career field goal percentage.

Centers Chastity Melvin and Nakia Sanford both shoot a good percentage underneath.

Outlook: The Mystics were fifth in field goal percentage in 2005, and that could improve (though, again, they ought to attempt several more threes). They were next-to-last in rebounding, but adding Byears ought to help there. Washington was second in the league in turnovers, and Robinson is another good caretaker for the ball. While most observers believe that New York will fall from 18 wins for losing four of their starters, it looks like Washington could be the team that picks up that slack in the east.
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