Hater’s Guide to the 2023 Washington Mystics Season
How could you build on the success of last season for the Washington Mystics? 2022 was the restart that the franchise needed after a disappointing 2021 season.
The 2022 season of the Mystics showed a lot of good and bad. From the top, head coach and general manager Mike Thibault wanted to reset some things from a culture perspective.
While the season at times showed what the Mystics lacked in certain areas, The grit and grind showed with a 22-14 record. Then came the first round of the playoffs, with a fifth seed facing the fourth-seeded Seattle Storm. The season ended with a two-game sweep.
Next came the offseason, and after 10 years of changing the culture, head coach Mike Thibault stepped down. Enter his successor, Eric Thibault, and then the offseason moves with the signings of Brittany Sykes and Kristi Tolliver and the trade of Amanda Zahri. B. The Mystics did have the 4th overall pick of the 2023 draft but were traded to Dallas.
The Mystics will start the season with 11 players. This Mystics team looks more balanced compared to last season. Let’s break it down: Alysha Clark, who missed the 2021 season due to a foot injury and couldn’t get a consistent pace. Elizabeth Williams and Rui Machida, are pro players are valuable players that any team will value, but they are replaceable parts. The Mystics’ depth was an issue at times, and credit general manager Mike Thibault for ensuring depth for each position this season.
For the Mystics defense, the bread and butter of the team last season were the best, allowing less than 98 points since their 2015 season, respectively. Brittany Sykes and Amanda Zahri bring a lot more to the table for this team on the defensive side of the ball.
Next, 40 regular-season games will paint a picture of what the offense for the Mystics looks like. The Mystics finished last season with the 7th-ranked best offense, with a pace that was last in the league. Now defense will dictate, as the Mystics will need to create turnovers.
Coach Eric Thibault, who fixed the halfcourt offense for the Mystics, which at times last season was very stale,
Lastly, this roster has a mix of players that can develop into their roles. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough would be a great candidate for Sixth Woman of the Year. Shakira Austin could find herself in the conversation for defensive player of the year.
The point is that with this roster, other than the Las Vegas Aces, the Mystics are the most balanced team, and the potential and motivation are there for the Mystics to make the playoffs and a trip to the WNBA finals. Elena Della Donne stated she’s ready for the season and does not expect to sit games; the only missing piece is Myisha Hines-Allen, who is recovering from a knee injury.