As much as the team may be disappointed with not winning a championship right now, the Mystics did have a successful season.
Stewart will go for a second World Cup gold later this month with the United States senior national team.
When Breanna Stewart left the University of CT after winning an unprecedented four straight NCAA titles, coach Geno Auriemma said that she might be the best of a long list of former UConn icons who have become WNBA All-Stars, Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. "She truly was the MVP of this league".
"We understand that the difference here is we have a chance to win a championship and not just advance to the next round", Bird said.
There are few players with Stewart's level of versatility and when she is scoring in all three phases, she is simply impossible to stop.
"That's the Stewie I remember", Auriemma said. "I didn't coach her on the U-17 team in 2010 but I saw her". We went through a rebuild a couple of years ago, and who's to say we'd get here this quickly. There is no doubt in the back of my mind that the Washington Mystics will be back next year contending for a championship and now that rookies like Ariel Atkins have playoff experience, the Mystics now know what it takes to get back to the promise land. "She has yet to let any of us down".
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But the Storm have yet to win on the road in the playoffs, despite posting the best road record in the regular season.
The Mystics, in their first Finals in franchise history, were far from disgraced rallying from 18 points down to trail 72-67 with 6:49 remaining.
Stewart had 30 points, and Howard, who had been a bit player in Minnesota last year when the Lynx won the title, was a monumental contributor all year in Seattle after her acquisition in a trade. The others are Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tamika Catchings, and Brittney Griner.
Lost in all of that Game 5 commotion was Stewart's strong performance, something that Bird said happens too often.
But what was most noticeable, from a UConn perspective, was that Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream was also placed on the first team. After losing a combined 39 games in her first two seasons, including a pair of single-elimination playoff losses, the perennial victor knew it was time for a change.
Stewart was the league MVP and was selected the Finals MVP after averaging 25.6 points in the three games.
Series MVP Breanna Stewart led with 30 points and eight rebounds.
Taurasi, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, tied for third in the league at 20.7 points per game and was fourth in assists at 5.3 per game.