Mystics Win WNBA Championship

Aaron Waithe

The Washington Mystics won the WNBA title, defeating the Connecticut Sun.

On October 10th, 2019, the Washington Mystics beat the Connecticut Sun 89-78 to win the 2019 WNBA Championship at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. The Mystics managed to beat the Sun in a best of five series 3-2.

It took the Mystics all five games in order to win the series, as they battled with the Sun. This was the Mystics first ever WNBA title in franchise history, and second finals appearance after making it to the finals last year but fell short to the Seattle Storm in a 3-0 sweep. This year was much different. 

The Mystics dominated for the majority of the year, finishing with a 26 win and 8 loss season, and first atop the WNBA. The Sun finished in a close second with 23 wins and 11 losses on the year.

The Mystics were looking to be led by the leadership of the league’s Most Valuable Player Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne won this honor for the second time in her career this year after winning it with the Chicago Sky in 2015. Delle Donne signed with the Mystics in 2017 for a maximum contract of 3 years worth $345,000 with an annual value of $115,000. In order for the Mystics to do well, everything revolves around Delle Donne. She is a presence on both ends of the floor, as she can shoot, rebound, and play defense and when the Mystics signed her they hoped she would lead them to the promised land.

In game one, Delle Donne went for a double double scoring 22 points as well as securing 10 rebounds on the night. Delle Donne’s leadership was on full display as she also getting 2 blocks and 1 steal on the night. Although Delle Donne shined, game one was highlighted by Emma Meesseman, who scored 22 points off of the bench, leading the Mystics to a game one victory.

Game two was a different story, with the Sun beating the Mystics 99-87. Delle Donne exited the game with back tightness, and the Mystics were never able to recover. She finished with zero points on the night as she left the game early. This allowed Jonquel Jones of the Sun to have a fantastic game. She finished with 32 points and 18 rebounds on the night, as the Suns were able to beat the Mystics on the road to take home court advantage for the remainder of the series. 

In game three the Mystics went on the road and had a solid team win. The Mystics were led by Natasha Cloud who finished with 19 points, Kristi Tolliver who finished with a double double as she dropped 10 assists and 20 points on the night. Another key for Washington was again Meesseman who finished with 21 points off of the bench. 

In game four, the Sun were able to force a critical game five. The Sun were scoring the ball from all over, as all five starters recorded at least 14 points. The highlight was again Jones who finished with a double double of her own, with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Sun. The Sun defense also shined holding Delle Donne to only 11 points, as most of Washington’s starters were unable to consistently make shots.

Game five was a game for the ages. In front of a sold out crowd the Mystics rose to the occasion at home. Delle Donne and Meesseman once again shined. Delle Donne finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds, and Meesseman finished with another 22 point performance off of the bench. Although the Mystics were able to score the ball in bunches, it was their defensive effort late that helped them. The Mystics outscored the Sun 27-14 in the fourth quarter leading them to a 89-78 victory to claim their first ever WNBA title.

Although the Sun lost, they can have a lot to look forward to. Jones finished the series with 96 points through the 5 games. The Sun will look to move forward next year behind her stellar offense, and will try and make another bid at a WNBA Finals appearance. 

As for the Mystics, they will celebrate on their own but not for too long. The team announced that it will not hold the championship parade until the Spring. The reason for this you might ask is that most of these players will go take on second jobs, whether it is playing overseas or going home to work, this is a year round job for many of these players. This then opens the conversation about the wage gap as the WNBA MVP is only earning $115,000 compared to the NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who made just over 24 million dollars this past year.

The Mystics will look to defend their title starting next year in May of 2020, hoping to regain some of that magic that took them to the top this year.