A year after getting swept in the WNBA Finals, Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics are back.
The Mystics will face Connecticut as the top two teams in the regular season will meet for the championship as Game 1 of the best-of-five series is Sunday in Washington.
Last season the Mystics were swept in three games by Seattle as Delle Donne was dealing with a bone bruise in her knee. This year the league’s MVP is completely healthy and raring to win her first title. She’s got help as Emma Meesseman, who missed the 2018 season while preparing for the Women’s World Cup with Belgium is back.
“We didn’t have Emma. We’re a different team when she’s on it,” Delle Donne said. “We got a really good Connecticut team coming in. They are playing really great basketball. We’ll focus on them and figure some things out.
Meesseman was a huge reason that the Mystics were able to advance past Las Vegas, winning the series on Tuesday night. She had 22 points in the clincher.
The Mystics and Sun played three times in the regular season and Connecticut won twice. Washington did win the final matchup by an eye-popping 43 points. The two teams haven’t played since June 29.
While Washington had to work to put away Las Vegas, Connecticut cruised through the semifinals, sweeping Los Angeles in three games. After getting eliminated in single-elimination playoff games the previous few years, the Sun were determined to get one of the top two seeds and the double-bye that goes with it. After finishing with the second-best record behind Washington in the regular season, Connecticut accomplished that.
The Sun have benefited by having a healthy year for their starting lineup as the team used the same five to begin every game. The Sun’s starting five of Jasmine Thomas, Alyssa Thomas, Shekinna Stricklen, Courtney Williams and Jonquel Jones all have the ability to have big games, making them tough to game plan against.
That’s what coach Curt Miller expected when he took over the team in 2016.
“This was our vision,” Miller said after finishing off the sweep Sunday.
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