The Washington Mystics are ready for a comeback after 2 difficult years

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The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) season begins, and one of the big stories could be the Washington Mystics.

The Mystics won the WNBA title in 2019 but barely had time to celebrate. The 2020 season was interrupted by the global coronavirus pandemic, and 2021 was marred by numerous injuries. Last season, the Mystics struggled to go 12-20 (12 wins, 20 losses) and missed the playoffs.

The team’s prospects for 2022 are better. The first reason is that Elena Delle Donne is back after missing most of last season with back injuries.

Delle Donne is a unique talent. She is 6ft 5in tall and a gifted shooter. Delle Donne is the only WNBA player to join the “40-50-90 club”. In 2019, Delle Donne shot more than 40% from beyond the three-point arc, 50% from the field and 90% from the foul line.

Delle Donne may need to rest more than usual this season but whenever she is on the pitch she should help.

Speaking of help, Delle Donne should have plenty of it. Before Alysha Clark is coming back from a foot injury which caused him to miss the entire 2021 season. Ariel Atkins, Natasha Cloud and Myisha Hines-Allen are all back from last year.

Atkins and Hines-Allen are good lessons for kids who play team sports. Sometimes, just like in the last two seasons of the Mystics, a team can miss its best player. It’s a bad break for the team but it can give the remaining players opportunities to play more or take on different roles.

Atkins and Hines-Allen took advantage of their playing time and added responsibilities. After taking on more of the load over the past two seasons, they should be ready to play big roles in this year’s improved squad.

The Mystics also added 6-foot-5 rookie center Shakira Austin from the 2022 WNBA Draft. Local basketball fans may know Austin. She stood out at University of Maryland before it was transferred to University of Mississippiwhere she earned All-Southeastern Conference honors.

Longtime Mystics coach and general manager Mike Thibault was quick to share his expectations for this year’s team. He told The Washington Post that he believed the Mystics would be competing for a championship.

It wouldn’t be easy. Women’s basketball and the WNBA get better every year. The Chicago Sky is the defending WNBA champion. The Sky had a magical ride through the playoffs after finishing the season with a 16-16 record.

the Connecticut Sun, Ace of Las Vegas, Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm won over 20 games last season and should be strong again.

But if the Mystics stay healthy, they should be able to play any of them.

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