16-18, .471 (5th in East)
2007 Starting Lineup
2007 Key Reserves
2007 Draft Recap
2008 Key Additions
2008 Key Losses
The 2007 Mystics season featured a franchise-high eight-game losing streak, a coaching change, a trade, an injury to its star player Alana Beard, and a furious run for the final playoff spot in the competitive Eastern Conference. The Mystics, who finished with a 16-18 record, fell just short of a postseason berth as New York took the fourth and final playoff spot in the East due to a tiebreaker.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
After their early season struggles, the Mystics came together under interim head coach Tree Rollins to become a postseason threat. Alana Beard led the way despite being saddled with a nagging shoulder injury that would require offseason surgery. She averaged 18.8 points and 1.94 steals – both team highs – and was named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team and named an All Star for the third consecutive year.
Joining Beard on the All-Star team was veteran forward DeLisha Milton-Jones, who averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds. After trading post-presence Chasity Melvin to the Chicago Sky in exchange for swingman Monique Currie, Nakia Sanford was called upon to step up and fill the hole in the middle. She responded by posting career-highs in points (11.0) and rebounds (7.1, a team high).
WHAT WENT WRONG
The first three weeks of the season did not bring a win to the Mystics, but it did deliver plenty of turmoil. In a strange eight-day stretch, the Mystics completed the Currie-for-Melvin trade, saw veteran forward Crystal Robinson retire to join the coaching staff, followed by head coach Richie Adubato resigning two days later and being replaced by assistant coach Tree Rollins on an interim basis. All the while the losses kept mounting, putting the Mystics in too large of a hole to recover from in their hopes of making a return trip to the postseason.
As Adubato’s tenure ended with four straight losses, so did the start of Rollins’ campain. But after the team grew accustomed to their coach and incorporated Currie and Sanford into their new roles, the team built some momentum.
While Beard played at an All-Star level, she was hampered with the nagging shoulder injury, which kept her from playing at full strength on a consistent basis.
The Mystics were also the worst shooting team in the league – connecting on only 40.4% of their shots. They were also near the bottom of the league rankings in rebounds per game at 32.9, which was the third worst in the league.
FUTURE / NEEDS
During the offseason, the Mystics retained both Beard and Sanford, signing both players to multi-year contracts and brought in point guard Amber Jacobs as a free agent. Washington lost center Yelena Leuchanka in the Atlanta Dream expansion draft and recently parted ways with veteran point guard Nikki Teasley.
After Rollins instrumented the season turnaround for the Mystics, he was rewarded with the head coaching job during the offseason and will be able to guide the Mystics from the start in 2008.
Beard, who underwent surgery on her left shoulder on Sept. 28 to repair a tear in her labrum, recently returned to the court and is expected to be back at full strength next season.
The Mystics hold the sixth pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft and could look to add another point guard to join Jacobs (3.2 points, 1.4 assists in 2007, her rookie year in Minnesota) and Nikki Blue (3.6 points and 1.6 assists in 2007). They could also look for another post player to help Milton-Jones and Sanford down low.