June 10, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Making sense of the 0-12 Washington Mystics

'They're sticking together. They aren't blaming anybody. They're not pointing fingers, they're not splintering'

On the latest episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, host Natalie Heavren sat down with The Next’s Mystics beat writer Jenn Hatfield to discuss the Washington team’s dreadful start to the season. They analyze the team’s first twelve games and recap guard Jade Melbourne‘s impressive performance in New York. They also discuss the performances of rookies Aaliyah Edwards and Julie Vanloo and find some other bright spots in the team’s start to the season.

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Before Heavren and Hatfield can get to the Mystics’ record, they have to start by discussing Melbourne’s 21-point performance against the New York Liberty over the weekend. Per Hatfield, in the post-game presser, Melbourne “talked about how she tries to play the same way every day and takes pride in being a spark off the bench. She always wants to keep that attacking mentality, and we definitely saw that [yesterday] with her performance.” Hatfield also points out that Melbourne is particularly successful on the road — why, though, she doesn’t even quite know.

Heavren and Hatfield then go on to break down the Mystics’ frightful 0-12 start. “This is the fourth-worst losing streak to start a season in WNBA history,” Hatfield explains, “and it’s easily the worst in franchise history.” But, per Hatfield, head coach Eric Thibault thinks the team is approaching their challenges in the right way. “They’re sticking together. They aren’t blaming anybody. They’re not pointing fingers, they’re not splintering.”

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Heavren asks Hatfield to identify, through the frustration of the Mystics’ start to the season, some accomplishments and improvements she’s seen. Hatfield immediately asserts that the Mystics are “responding to other teams making runs on them faster … That’s definitely a point of improvement.” Hatfield also takes a moment to break down the strong performances of rookies Edwards and Vanloo. Per Hatfield, Thibault loves the “motor and energy that [Edwards] plays with.” And, as Hatfield explains, Edwards is also connecting really well with Vanloo — the two have “produced the most assists of any Mystics duo so far this season.”

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