The New York Liberty defeated the Washington Mystics in overtime 90-85 in Game 2, eliminating the Mystics and advancing one step closer to the WNBA Finals and a possible matchup with the Las Vegas Aces. New York was able to escape with a win due to Washington's crucial late-game turnovers.
New York is on their way to the semifinals and will face a formidable opponent in the Connecticut Sun or Minnesota Lynx. New York entered the postseason with an advantage in scoring, rebounding, and shooting percentage. Although Washington won the last regular season matchup between the two, the better team advanced.
Washington ramped up their intensity in the second half of the game but were unable to recover from their turnovers. Since Washington's championship in 2019, the team has experienced two first-round losses (2020, 2022) and one missed playoff appearance (2021).
With another Mystics first-round exit, it's time to start looking at how their personnel may change. It's clear that the Mystics struggled to gel all season but the amount of talent makes it hard to understand why this didn't work better.
Here are three players on the Washington Mystics that will definitely not return next season.
Mystics that definitely won't return next season: 3. Kristi Toliver
Mystics fans were excited when the two-time champion, Toliver announced that she would be coming back to Washington D.C. Unfortunately, the reunion didn't go as planned due to injury.
The Maryland product finished the season averaging 3.6 points, 0.7 rebounds, and 0.7 assist which is not a full display of her greatness. As she started to get closer to returning, she experienced another set back, tearing her ACL.
Toliver will not return to the Mystics next season because of the length of time it will take for her to heal. Not to mention, Washington signed her to a one-year deal.
The 5-foot-7 guard will go down as one of the greats in league history but her age combined with her injury may make it hard for a return. From a financial and developmental perspective for younger players, the Mystics will have to part ways.