Sun v. Mystics - The Final



psconn

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Here we go. Feeling the same way about this series as the last - the Sun must play their absolute A-game to come away with championship #1. They have much less margin for error than the Mystics have. They will need something like LA Game 1 & 2 post play, and LA Game 3 guard play consistently over the series to prevail. They need real impact from the bench.

Both teams have similarly tight lockerooms and team-first attitudes.

Neither team needs help from stupid post-game comments to get up for this. There are compelling story lines that you'll hear ad nauseum:
  • both franchises looking for their first championship,
  • winningest coach in league history looking for his 1st championship,
  • Thibault being fired by the Sun with the chance to win a championship in the Sun's house,
  • "disrespeCT",
  • Miller's 2016 plan to be right here this year,
  • the Sun's 'no next year' attitude due to anticipated roster changes,
  • Clarendon return(?),
  • 'all-in' trade for Plaisance who arrives with a post-trade back injury and contributes little (so far),
  • Shoulder chip: Mystics won last game by 43 points
  • etc. (JJ/Bahamas, AT shoulders/"bully", Courtney, Emma, EDD MVP...)
Let the games begin... Let's go SUN!!
 
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I really appreciate a series like this because I truly like both teams (players and coaches) and their story to get their first etc.


In such a matchup, I can just enjoy the quality of basketball and not feel the pain if my team is not doing well.


Just want it to go 5 and no injuries. :)
 
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Whom do you think the Sun will assign to guard EDD? The fact that Alyssa Thomas guarded Candace Parker in the LA series suggests that it will be her, but at this point in their respective careers, I think EDD will be a much more difficult assignment than Parker. I don't really see how AT can stop Elena from getting any jump shot she wants, given the height disadvantage and Elena's quick release. That would leave Jonquel Jones to guard Latoya Sanders (a matchup which should favor JJ), and Shekinna Stricklen to guard Meesemann (about an even match, I think, except that Strick does not normally play as many minutes as Emma, leaving Bria Holmes with the assignment when Strick is on the bench).

But I think the Sun may discover that AT can't really guard EDD, especially if she gets in some foul trouble as often seems to be the case. So they may need to put Jones on EDD and let AT guard Sanders. Having JJ on the perimeter on defense will limit her ability to get defensive rebounds, which could turn out to be problematic.

Clearly, EDD is by far the best player in the series, and that plus home court advantage should give Washington an edge. If you consider EDD primarily a perimeter player on offense, then guarding the 3-point line should be the Sun's top priority, since the Mystics' paint presence shouldn't be particularly concerning to the Sun -- certainly far less intimidating than what they have already faced from LA. If the Sun can limit Washington's productivity from the 3-point line and control the boards at both ends as they did against LA (still not sure how they managed to do that), they should have an excellent chance.
 
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Let me mention something else that came up during the broadcast of the final game between the Sun and LA. Holly Rowe made the surprising assertion that since Alyssa Thomas has two torn labrums (one in each shoulder), she is unable to raise her arms above her head, and that is why she shoots free throws so poorly and never takes jump shots.

This cannot be literally correct. You could see AT lifting her arms above her head to defend and to get rebounds, so she is not as limited as Holly says. However, I can imagine that torn labrums would have some effect on her ability to shoot jump shots and free throws.

The broadcast also said that she has declined surgery to fix her torn labrums because she does not want to sit through the seven months of recovery time without playing. That may well imply that if the Sun win a championship this year, she will still play overseas during the winter for the income, but then take off the 2021 WNBA season to have the surgery and recover from it. So that's another reason to think that she may not be available to the Sun in 2021, and that Morgan Tuck may get her chance to be in the starting lineup. It is very encouraging that Morgan has gotten through all of the 2020 season (with at most 5 games left to go) without being unavailable because of injury or knee pain for even a single minute.
 
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Containing EDD has to be spread around. In a series where both teams have to be tired it often comes down to toughness more than talent. But if the W is like the NCAA then the team with the best player will win.
 

psconn

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Whom do you think the Sun will assign to guard EDD? The fact that Alyssa Thomas guarded Candace Parker in the LA series suggests that it will be her, but at this point in their respective careers, I think EDD will be a much more difficult assignment than Parker. I don't really see how AT can stop Elena from getting any jump shot she wants, given the height disadvantage and Elena's quick release. That would leave Jonquel Jones to guard Latoya Sanders (a matchup which should favor JJ), and Shekinna Stricklen to guard Meesemann (about an even match, I think, except that Strick does not normally play as many minutes as Emma, leaving Bria Holmes with the assignment when Strick is on the bench).

But I think the Sun may discover that AT can't really guard EDD, especially if she gets in some foul trouble as often seems to be the case. So they may need to put Jones on EDD and let AT guard Sanders. Having JJ on the perimeter on defense will limit her ability to get defensive rebounds, which could turn out to be problematic.

Clearly, EDD is by far the best player in the series, and that plus home court advantage should give Washington an edge. If you consider EDD primarily a perimeter player on offense, then guarding the 3-point line should be the Sun's top priority, since the Mystics' paint presence shouldn't be particularly concerning to the Sun -- certainly far less intimidating than what they have already faced from LA. If the Sun can limit Washington's productivity from the 3-point line and control the boards at both ends as they did against LA (still not sure how they managed to do that), they should have an excellent chance.
Alyssa typically guards Elena and everyone else's top forward.
 

psconn

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Let me mention something else that came up during the broadcast of the final game between the Sun and LA. Holly Rowe made the surprising assertion that since Alyssa Thomas has two torn labrums (one in each shoulder), she is unable to raise her arms above her head, and that is why she shoots free throws so poorly and never takes jump shots.

This cannot be literally correct. You could see AT lifting her arms above her head to defend and to get rebounds, so she is not as limited as Holly says. However, I can imagine that torn labrums would have some effect on her ability to shoot jump shots and free throws.

The broadcast also said that she has declined surgery to fix her torn labrums because she does not want to sit through the seven months of recovery time without playing. That may well imply that if the Sun win a championship this year, she will still play overseas during the winter for the income, but then take off the 2021 WNBA season to have the surgery and recover from it. So that's another reason to think that she may not be available to the Sun in 2021, and that Morgan Tuck may get her chance to be in the starting lineup. It is very encouraging that Morgan has gotten through all of the 2020 season (with at most 5 games left to go) without being unavailable because of injury or knee pain for even a single minute.
Yup, 2 torn labra. Limiting and uncomfortable for sure. Don't know where this nonsense about not being able to raise her arms above her head started. One outlet made that statement accompanied by two pictures that clearly refuted the assertion.
 
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I'm all-in on the Sun. I just bought my tickets to the 3rd game. But it wouldn't kill me if Thibault won a title.
 

Bigboote

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Containing EDD has to be spread around. In a series where both teams have to be tired it often comes down to toughness more than talent. But if the W is like the NCAA then the team with the best player will win.
If it comes down to toughness, my money's on Alyssa Thomas.

But, I wouldn't bet on either team. A week ago, my money would have been on the Mystics. But after the drubbing the Sun gave the Sparks, I think it's a tossup. Yes, the Sparks weren't firing on all cylinders, but some of that was due to the Suns' defense.
 
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Mystics in 5. The Sun is a great home team but poor on the road (even though they won game 3 in LA). The talent edge goes to the Mystics. EDD is the best player in the series and she is healthy. If Meesemann play like she did in the 4th quarter in game 4 (plus the total effort in games 1 and 2) it will be no contest. The Mystic have an injury issue as well with Toliver. She shot the three pointer poorly but did everything else very well. Cloud is alot better than I thought. Atkins was very mediocre in the series Ariel Powers can be really good. I would put Thomas on Sanders because they are the same height and she doesn't look for her shot as much. Thomas could also guard her former teammate Tianna Hawkins in the series. Let's hope for a very entertaining series.
 
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This is the Mystics’ year..finally. Only 8 losses all year, 3 of those at home. They were 12-5 on the road. They won’t wilt now. This is what they've been working for all year. They finally win one for Thibault and the franchise.

Carnac sez... the Mystics bring out the broom, win in 3. ;)
 
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I agree. EDD and Meeseman are the best players on the Ct. Coach T is the best coach despite 0 rings. He has the M’s playing team ball and aggressive defense. They are fun to watch.
 
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Mystics up 55-46 at half. Both teams > 60%.

Alyssa unbelievable 7-7 but she and Courtney cant do it all. Need help from other players.
 

nwhoopfan

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I didn't get a chance to watch. Mystics up 10 under a minute left. They ain't the Sparks. The Sun looked good in the last series but LA was flat out awful.
 
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I didn't get a chance to watch. Mystics up 10 under a minute left. They ain't the Sparks. The Sun looked good in the last series but LA was flat out awful.
Both teams played well and fought back when the other team made their runs. All the stars came out. But Atkins was phenomenal and Jasmine could not get buckets. That was the difference.
 
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This is the Mystics’ year..finally. Only 8 losses all year, 3 of those at home. They were 12-5 on the road. They won’t wilt now. This is what they've been working for all year. They finally win one for Thibault and the franchise.

Carnac sez... the Mystics bring out the broom, win in 3. ;)
Mystics win game 1. One down two to go.
 

psconn

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Sun had the D and got the looks down the stretch. Champions make those shots.

The Mystics have no exploitable weaknesses and can't be relied upon to lose these games. The Sun have to play great as individuals and have an A+ game as a team to take a W.

On to game 2.
 
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Alyssa played 40 minutes again. Courtney at 38.5. I know our bench is a weakness but that kind of usage will hurt in game 2 I imagine.

Morgan was the closest to help off the bench and had a few good results but had 4 fouls in 9+ minutes.
 

psconn

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Maybe he should’ve developed the bench during the season...
Suggesting Miller needed to do... what, exactly, to "develop" the bench?
How is the bench not "developed", anyway? Who on this bench has been deprived of development opportunities?

Clarendon- About a year and a half with the Sun. Injured. Was usually the first off the bench before injury.
Plaisance- 6 year vet. Injured between trade and report. Still limited by her condition.
Banham- 4 year vet all with the Sun. 12+ mpg. Started 5 games last year. Just coming off an injury.
Tuck- 4 year vet all with the Sun. 9 career starts. Averages almost 11 minutes.
Holmes- 3 year vet. Frequently first off the bench most of the season. Averaged 15+ minutes per game.
Hiedeman- Rookie, 10+ mins, many in key spots with starters.
B. Jones- 3 year vet, all with the Sun. 8+ minutes per game (over 10 mins on 9 occasions, over 20 twice) lowest mpg on the team among the uninjured.

Unlike a certain Div 1 team we know and love, WNBA teams have NO easy games, and virtually every game is critical for teams trying to make a serious post season run. Everyone shortens the bench in the post season but against a super team like DC, the best players will play every minute they can.

The bottom line is that any bench deficiencies are talent related, not experience/preparation/opportunity related. No one would like to see bench players emerge more than Miller, and I've seen how hard the coaches work with newer players and promising draftees to get them up to speed right from day one of camp.
 
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Ariel Atkins is a BALLER. Karen Aston didn’t get any of this potential out of her.
Karen Aston hardly gets anything out of the players. She might be the second worst at developing talent, especially considering all the highly rated players she gets.
 
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Ariel Atkins is a BALLER. Karen Aston didn’t get any of this potential out of her.
She was the difference in the game. I thought Cloud played really well. Hit three 3 point shots. Those were difference makers. Thibault ability to develop players is amazing.
 
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