The score was 51-36 with the Washington Mystics leading the Las Vegas Aces at halftime. A week later, that’s score still stands. Following an earthquake in Southern California and parts of Nevada, the July 5th Mystics vs. Aces game was suspended due to safety concerns.
The earthquake occurred with under 30 seconds left before halftime. Las Vegas was eagerly looking to regroup at the break and attempt to come back from a 15-point deficit. The Mystics were led by LaToya Sanders with 14 points and were shooting 59%. Liz Cambage paced the Aces with 12 points by connecting on 75% of her shots.
With neighboring events like NBA Summer League affected and the city on alert, fans and players waited to see what the next steps would be at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The official announcement to suspend the game came in around an hour later on the Aces’ official Twitter account at 12:40am ET. The League stated it would reschedule the second half for a date to be determined.
For Coach Laimbeer, he’d probably relish the opportunity. Shooting just over 41% from the field, the four other Aces starters not named Liz Cambage accounted for just 14 points on 6-18 shooting. Tamera Young and Dearica Hamby combined for 10. While the Aces out-rebounded DC by two, the Mystics pulled down five more offensive rebounds to lead that category 10-5 thus providing second chance scoring opportunities.
Rescheduling the game gives his team the opportunity to work out the kinks. It affords the Aces more time to gel as a unit and work on their on-court chemistry. When the Aces are going, they can dominate. However, when they’re flat, it’s not the prettiest scene.
Questions for the re-do
With the game to reconvene at a future date, there are many questions surrounding the rosters and how those could look.
The Mystics are currently without Emma Meesseman due to EuroBasket obligations. When she returns, will she be able to play? Las Vegas currently has 11 players on its roster (each team is allowed 12). Should they sign anyone else, does that player get to participate? If so, how will that impact the game? If any players are waived/traded, are exceptions made? The following rule from the official WNBA Rule Book sheds some light on the situation:
One would think that the “any other factor” would allude to roster changes. Elena Delle Donne suffered a broken nose in the first minute of play during the Mystics’ July 7th 98-81 loss against the LA Sparks. She’s currently listed as day-to-day. Will that injury have an impact on the time frame in which the game is expected to be rescheduled?
Last season, the Aces forfeited a game against the Mystics due to travel delays. That decision, unfortunately, potentially cost them the final playoff spot. Will this game have playoff implications as well when it comes to seeding? It’s still early, but the two teams are currently the top two in the league with similar records.
Both teams could be stronger whenever that date is decided. Either way, the decision could very well shake up some things – no pun intended.