Chamique Holdsclaw’s stay on the Washington Mystics’ injured list likely will extend one extra game.
Eligible to be activated for Saturday’s home game against the Detroit Shock, Holdsclaw said yesterday she doesn’t want to rush her return and probably will sit out one additional game to allow her right hamstring ample time to heal.
Tonight’s game against the San Antonio Silver Stars (2-5) at MCI Center is the second game Holdsclaw will miss after being placed on the injured list last Wednesday.
By sitting out the Shock game, Holdsclaw, the Mystics’ leading scorer (16.3) and the WNBA’s leading rebounder (15.0), will give herself two full weeks to recover, and barring any kind of setback during rehab, Holdsclaw should be activated for the June18 home game against the Sacramento Monarchs.
“I can run, I can jump, I can shoot, but the thing that is bothering me is the lateral movement,” Holdsclaw said. “I’m predicting maybe four games [on the injured list]. Until I can get lateral … that’s a big part of my game, being able to cut and move, I’m not going to risk it.”
Mystics coach Marianne Stanley also doesn’t think the timing is right for Holdsclaw to be activated for Saturday’s Shock game. The Mystics (1-3) play the Shock in the second of back-to-back games after playing in Connecticut on Friday. Washington’s schedule doesn’t give Holdsclaw a full practice with her teammates if she comes off the injured list for the Shock game.
“If she has no practices prior to Saturday, it’s going to be difficult to have her play,” Stanley said. “But if she is feeling good, it’s not like she doesn’t know what we are doing, it might be a limited role. I’m not even going to speculate about that.”
Meanwhile, the Mystics made a roster move yesterday in an attempt to strengthen their backcourt, waiving rookie forward Tamara Bowie and signing 6-foot rookie swing player Jocelyn Penn.
Penn, the ninth overall selection of April’s WNBA Draft by Charlotte, was waived by the Sting on May21. As a senior at South Carolina last year, Penn became the first women’s player in the last 13 years to record two 50-plus point games in a career when she scored 50 against Wofford on Dec.4 and 51 against Stetson on Jan.4.
Penn finished fourth in the nation in scoring last season at 24.3 points. For her career, Penn shot 59 percent from the floor. The Mystics didn’t sign Penn for her scoring ability, although it never hurts to have another scorer, but more for her defensive prowess and athleticism. Penn is the SEC’s all-time leader in steals with 359.
“[Mystics assistant coach Linda Hill-MacDonald], who was my assistant coach in college, she told me to work hard, play defense, rebound and transition,” Penn said. “The Mystics are known for their transition and their running game. If I come out and do those things, coach Mac said I would be good.”
With Holdsclaw out, others are being asked to score, and so far the returns haven’t been positive. The Mystics are next to last in the league in field-goal percentage (36.8 percent) and are the worst 3-point shooting team (24.6 percent) in the WNBA. Washington is coming off a team record-low 14-point first half in its last game, a 63-53 loss to the Cleveland Rockers.
Forward Stacey Dales-Schuman is struggling with her shot (33.3 percent from the floor) over the past three games after a stellar 20-point effort on six of 10 shooting in the Mystics’ season opener.
Stanley believes it’s just a slump and nothing to be alarmed about. Dales-Schuman, who shot nearly 40 percent on 3-pointers last season, is just seven of 23 (30.4 percent) from behind the arc this season. Twenty-three of Dales-Schuman’s 36 field-goal attempts this season have been 3-pointers.
“One thing I’ve noticed this year, is that defenses have heightened and are much more pressurized,” Dales-Schuman said. “When your main scorer goes out, [opponents] can apply more pressure. When I shoot the ball, my intent is not to force. My objective as a player is where can our team get the best shot on the floor. Where is the best shot? So, if it happens to come from me, fine.”