The Washington Mystics are just three games into their season, yet concerns have already emerged about team defense. The Mystics (1-2) are second to last in the WNBA in points allowed (77.7) and are the third-worst rebounding team in the league with 27.7 per game.
The Mystics take to the road to address those issues, traveling tonight to play the Minnesota Lynx (1-2), their second consecutive Western Conference opponent. The Mystics are just 15-47 in their history against the West.
"In order for us to have any success at it, we have to do it together, and until we do that, we're going to struggle with rebounding because a lot of it is effort," Mystics Coach Michael Adams said. "Sometimes we're getting beat to the ball."
Washington's opponents are outrebounding the Mystics by nearly eight per game. Many of those extra rebounds are leading to second-chance opportunities.
"Offensive rebounds, boxing out, have been a serious issue for us," point guard Tamicha Jackson said. "A lot of times when you're playing defense, you have to rotate and help, and so sometimes when you're rotating and the ball goes up, you're not there to box anybody out."
Adams indicated after the Mystics' 95-79 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday that he would be making lineup changes, but said yesterday that he would use the same starting five against Minnesota.
"I spoke a little too soon," said Adams, in his first season as a head coach at any level. "I think I was just frustrated. It's only three games, and I felt like it was 10 games."
Adams said he isn't too concerned about his team's defensive woes.
"We're not going to dwell on the things that have happened the last three games," he said. "I think you can look at the stats after 10 games and make adjustments."
* SUN 82, SPARKS 73: Katie Douglas scored 25 points and Nykesha Sales added 19, leading host Connecticut to its first win.
Sun rookie Lindsay Whalen and Douglas each had seven assists and the Sun shot 51 percent.
-- From News Services and Staff Reports