August 25, 2022
Locked on Women’s Basketball: What’s next for Elena Delle Donne, Alysha Clark and the Washington Mystics?
Howard and Jenn discuss how the Mystics' first-round playoff series ended too quickly and more
It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Howard Megdal and The Next‘s Mystics beat reporter Jenn Hatfield. The two discuss how the Mystics’ first-round playoff series ended too quickly with a 2-0 series loss to the Seattle Storm.
Jenn talks about the Mystics’ quick exit from the WNBA playoffs:
“It actually took me a couple of days just to process the season was actually over. And the players felt that, too. They had exit interviews — so they lost on Sunday and had exit interviews on Tuesday, with a travel day in between, and they seemed a little bit rattled still. Ariel Atkins said she was still in season mode. She hadn’t flipped that switch off yet. So I think all of Mystics land is a little taken aback by the quick exit. But at the same time, they did show flashes this season of a lot of good things.”
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“I think that story actually holds up very well. She almost had a 50-40-90 year; if not for a slight slump at the end of the year, she was well within striking distance. Perhaps the easiest thing to point to was showing that she was playing much like her former self. As I asked her in her exit interview, I said, ‘Elena, before your injury, you got “the Elena treatment” from defenses: lots of doubles, a lot of attention, all the eyeballs, everyone trying to stop you.
“‘Do you feel like you got the same Elena treatment this year as you had in years past? Or do you feel like defenses guarded you somewhat differently in your new body?’ And she said, ‘I think it’s pretty much the same. Lots of attention. I’ve got to be very good at passing out of those’ and all of that, but she said, ‘Yeah, no real differences here.'”
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