The Washington Mystics traveled to Chicago for a matinee game on Wednesday. Delle Donne, who demanded a trade from Chicago in the offseason, was shipped to Washington so she could fulfill her dream of playing professionally while still being close to home. Today marked her first trip back to her old stomping grounds with the Chicago Sky.
The Mystics were last place in the Eastern Conference last season and owned the third-worst record in the league. Chicago, on the other hand, was second in the East and they obtained the fourth seed in the playoffs. Now, the Mystics have added a lot of talent and experience while the Sky have seemingly entered rebuild mode. Washington brought in some championship experience in the form of Kristi Toliver, some young talent in the form of Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, and of course the superstar talent in Elena Delle Donne.
Today, Delle Donne’s scoring prowess was on full display. She poured in 21 points while shooting 7-15 from the field. She was scoring in the post, as usual, as well as knocking down contested shots from all over the floor. Tayler Hill and Kristi Toliver both struggled with their shot all game. They finished with a combined 3-15, so Tierra Ruffin-Pratt picked up the slack. Ruffin-Pratt, Toliver’s starting backcourt mate, tallied up 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Chicago had four players in double-digits, but as a team, they finished with a horrid 30% field goal percentage and a 25% three-point percentage. Cappie Pondexter, the leader of the team, recorded a double-double along with Stefanie Dolson. Which usually sounds like it would lead to a win, but they both could only muster up a 4-15 shooting night.
In the end, the game came down to defense and owning the glass in which the Mystics had the edge in both. Washington had the advantage in rebounds by six, and they had the better assist-to-turnover ratio on top of that. Even though this game only improved the Mystics to a .500 record while the Sky are 1-3, this season should show the true impact of Delle Donne. Sort of like how Kevin Durant made his former team no longer a contender and greatly increased the championship aspiration of his new team, Delle Donne is doing the same with Washington and Chicago.
Check out Elena Delle Donne’s highlights below courtesy of the WNBA: