“There have been a lot of positives in terms of how much character they have, how much heart they have, and how they continue to grow and get better. Their spirits are good, they continue to work hard and they continue to believe in each other,” said Mystics head coach Trudi Lacey.
This young group of players are learning how to play with one another and building chemistry with each game.
“I think we’ve see a lot of improvement. I think as a team we know each other better, we’ve shown more chemistry and you start to see that coming out with how close these games are down the stretch,” said rookie point guard Jasmine Thomas.
The Mystics have played nearly every opponent down to the wire, but unfortunately they have been on the wrong end of too many close games. In the second half of the season, improving their execution down the stretch is something the team has stressed with great emphasis.
“We’ve been in every game and I think we learned what we need to do in order to win games. Now it’s just a matter of executing down the stretch and instead of losing some of the close games we will pull them out,” said Lacey.
Crystal Langhorne echoed similar sentiments when discussing the Mystics first half.
“We’re continuing to play hard; we just need to figure out how to close out games. We’re playing close games every time out, so now we need to figure out how to win at the end.”
The team realizes how close they are from being a contender and they continue to bring maximum effort on a nightly basis.
“We can play with everybody, we can compete with anybody, and when you have that mentality you know you will play hard,” said Langhorne.
Langhorne has had an outstanding first half of the season which resulted in a spot on the 2011 Eastern Conference All-Star team. She is averaging 18.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, which is good for 1st and 2nd on the team respectively.
The season has been a great learning process for many of these players and they now have half a seasons’ experience under their collective belt. As they continue to grow and improve, they are hopeful the results will start to swing in their favor.
The Mystics officially open the second half of the season on Saturday night when they play host to the New York Liberty at Verizon Center.
It would be the perfect time to start a winning streak and steer the ship back on course.