Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the WNBA. Each week we ask questions of the most plugged-in Washington Mystics fans and fans across the country.
Most Mystics fans are confident in their team direction, (unlike the Wizards).
Thank you for filling out your responses to this past week’s Washington Mystics Reacts survey. About 100 people responded.
In our first question, we asked you how you feel about the Mystics at the midseason point and whether you feel the team is going in the right direction. The vast majority, 78 percent, believe that they are!
- “The Mystics have already beaten the Las Vegas Aces twice this season. Those victories indicate they belong in the championship discussion.“
- “Despite the coronavirus health protocols causing key players and coaches to miss games, as well as [EDD’s load management,] the Mystics have prevailed. I expect EDD to be on the court more during the second half of the season, the Mystics to have more practices and get more rest time than other teams because they have played more games than other teams [as of June 30].”
- “Coach’s game plan. While the Mystics aren’t a top seed in the regular season, their job is to prepare for the postseason. And that is exactly what they’re doing.”
- “Winning record with Elena there half of the time and poor or inconsistent play respectively from Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins. Shakira Austin appears to be our starting center for a long time.”
Some people aren’t confident in team direction, so here are some sample responses.
- “They look like a solid middle-of-the-pack playoff team (a Wizards fan can only dream of being middle-of-the-pack), with some impressive wins, but it’s hard to see this team making a deep playoff run. EDD doesn’t and probably will never be back to her level of play in 2019, but without her, the team really struggles.”
- “The talent level on the team is very mediocre compared to the Sky and Aces.”
Shakira Austin has been the Mystics’ most impressive player so far this season. Fans are close to giving her an “A” for her performance as well.
Before the season, she was projected to be a reserve. But injuries and her own strong play have changed things. Rookie center Shakira Austin was voted as the player with the most impressive season with 40 percent of respondents choosing her. Veteran guard Natasha Cloud (WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN ALL-STAR) was second with 30 percent of the vote.
Let’s get back to Austin for a second. We also asked you to grade her performance. Fans gave her a median grade of “B,” but the results were skewed toward the “A” range, where 37 percent gave her the highest possible mark.
Only five percent gave Austin a “C.” There’s no need to talk about the lowest two grades.
Myisha Hines-Allen is the Mystics player with the most disappointing season
I wish everyone on the Mystics is averaging a double double in points, rebounds and/or assists and that the team was undefeated. But that’s not reality. Someone is likely not having a great season when another player is.
Thirty-four percent of Mystics fans chose Myisha Hines-Allen as the player with the most disappointing season. She is averaging 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season starting only 12 of 22 games this season. Hines-Allen has battled injuries in each of the last two seasons, which explains part of her decline since 2020 when she made the All-WNBA Second Team. But it’s still disappointing to see her not in her “Florida Bubble” form. Sorry, you’re not getting this toy ball word out of me!
Tianna Hawkins was second for this question, getting 29 percent of the vote. She is averaging 5.1 points per game this season, about the same as last season in Atlanta, but her numbers are still off from her 2019 averages (9.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game).
Fans split on whether Elena Delle Donne should have been an All-Star this year
It doesn’t get more divided than this. Exactly half of you believe that Delle Donne should have been named an All-Star and half of you didn’t. Last week, the WNBA released its list of reserves, and Delle Donne was passed over for players like Rhyne Howard, Alyssa Thomas, Brionna Jones, Natasha Howard. And I didn’t forget. Emma Meesseman!
While Cloud was snubbed from the All-Star Game, she doesn’t have the star power Delle Donne does. In fact, Delle Donne finished fifth overall in fan voting for the All-Star Game. She wasn’t named a starter because the media and the players didn’t show her enough love, putting her into a tie with Meesseman and then-Phoenix Mercury center Tina Charles (who is also a former Mystics center).
If you think EDD deserved to be an All-Star like me, it’s because her on-court impact for Washington is still as good as any star in the WNBA. And furthermore, the All-Star starter voting should by for the fans alone, just like the good ole days.
Still I have to acknowledge that many of you don’t think Delle Donne deserved to be an All-Star this year. The biggest reason why is likely her availability. Delle Donne missed nearly half of the Mystics’ games in the first half of the season. Other players in consideration played more games in most cases. And Meesseman, who was tied with Delle Donne in starter voting, played every game.
Either way, I’m feeling sour about next Sunday’s All-Star Game in Chicago. Hopefully, Ariel wins the MVP.
We’ll have more SB Nation Mystics Reacts surveys as the 2022 WNBA season continues!
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