- The Washington Times - Friday, May 28, 2004

Washington Mystics coach Michael Adams hinted he might go with a bigger lineup tonight against Minnesota in an attempt to alleviate the team’s rebounding problems.

Either 6-foot-3 rookie Kaayla Chones or 6-4 Nakia Sanford could be in the starting lineup against the Lynx (1-2) at Target Center. The Mystics (1-2) have been outrebounded in every game this season.

“We’ve got to get the job done, first of all, on the glass that we haven’t been able to do, and we’ve got to stop people,” Adams said. “[Chones or Sanford] may get some playing time at that [power forward] spot because we need some rebounding there.”

By inserting Chones or Sanford, forward Chamique Holdsclaw would get pushed to small forward. Rookie Alana Beard would move from small forward to shooting guard, and struggling guard Coco Miller probably would be benched.

The Mystics are next to last in the WNBA in rebounding, grabbing 7.6 a game fewer than their opponents.

“We need to get anyone who can rebound in the game,” Miller said. “Whatever it takes to win is my approach. [Rebounding] is probably one of the most important things for us to do this year.”

The Mystics also are getting little production from their shooting guards. Miller, who was Washington’s second-leading scorer last season, is averaging 2.7 points and shooting 30.8 percent. Swing player Stacey Dales-Schuman, who averaged 10 points last season, is averaging 5.7 and shooting 37.5 percent coming off the bench. Beard, who is averaging 9.7 points mostly from the foul line, is shooting 25.9 percent from the floor.

The three were expected to complement Holdsclaw, who is the WNBA’s No.2 scorer at 23.7, but it hasn’t happened.

“It’s still early in the year,” Miller said. “We’ve only played a few games. We just have to put these games behind us and get our confidence back on the offensive end of the floor.”

Oddly, the Mystics are the third-highest scoring team in the league at 71.6 but are getting little from a top scoring position.

Tonight wraps up a whirlwind four-game opening week for the Mystics, who play only twice next week.

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