Washington Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey didn’t hesitate Friday when asked what Monique Currie brought the team when she entered the game as a reserve.
Scoring, Lacey said.
The Mystics had just dropped their fifth straight game and ninth of the past 10. But Currie scored a season-high 21 points in 26 minutes to be a bright spot in a 77-64 loss to visiting Connecticut.
However, Currie’s scoring effort may not be enough for her to break into the starting lineup.
Lacey expects to give her new rotation — which includes Currie playing as a reserve — another chance Sunday when the Mystics (2-10) host the Phoenix Mercury (4-9).
“We’ll evaluate everything and see where we are,” Lacey said. “But we need to get healthy.”
Friday was Currie’s sixth straight game as a reserve after starting the previous eight. For the season, she is averaging 11.2 points and 24.8 minutes.
Lacey said Currie gave the team a lift with her rebounding and defense. But Lacey also thought that Currie’s role had aided her point total.
“You have to look at the overall performance of the season,” Lacey said. “She has 21 points because she is coming off the bench. If you think about it, she is playing against the second group. That is helping us, giving us a spark off the bench.”
Currie, an All-Met who played at Bullis and was an all-American at Duke, disagreed somewhat.
“I don’t think coming off the bench helps me score,” Currie said. “What helps me score is if I’m aggressive and taking good shots.”
Coming off the bench is new for Currie, as she’s been a starter her entire career.
It’s a difficult situation to be in, she said, but she’s embraced it. She said she needs to approach the game with the same mind-set as if she were starting and won’t worry if she’s starting or coming off the bench.
“I don’t make the calls with that,” Currie said. “Whether I’m starting or whether I’m coming off the bench, I’m going to do the same thing I do.”