All year, the Washington Mystics have generated one of the best offenses in WNBA history. They rank first in offensive rating (112.7 points per 100 possessions) and lead the league by a staggering 11.4 points in that statistic. No team in WNBA history has ever led the league in offensive rating by more than 4 points per 100 possessions or finished with an offensive rating of over 109.
While the stats show the team’s offensive dominance, the Mystics have something special that goes beyond the quantifiable. Something that I was not truly able to pin point until I listened to Taylor Swift’s new album, Lover (which is excellent and you should listen to it right now).
At the end of the last song, Swift tells someone in the studio that “I want to be defined by the things that I love, not the things I hate, not the things I’m afraid of, not the things that haunt me in the middle of night.” That is the ethos of Lover and, unexpectedly, it’s the ethos of the 2019 Washington Mystics.
After getting brutally swept in the Finals last year, Washington could have chosen to be defined by the things they hated and haunted them in the middle of the night. The series against Seattle last year was a nightmare, one that could have made any team look inward and develop a gruff, unfeeling drive to avenge their loss. But the Mystics refused to let that loss define them. Much like Taylor Swift, they chose to be defined by what they love: beautiful basketball and each other.