Mystics Defeat Liberty Superteam on WNBA Opening Night; No.1 Draft Pick Arya Boston Makes Debut but Struggles Persist.

The 2023 WNBA season has officially started, with a number of high-profile games on the schedule. In the first match of the night, the Washington Mystics easily defeated the New York Liberty, who seemed to struggle with the Mystics’ elite defense. The Connecticut Sun also took a double-digit lead over the Indiana Fever, ultimately preventing a comeback. Other games on the schedule include the Minnesota Lynx facing off against the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury taking on the Los Angeles Sparks.

There are numerous notable stories to follow throughout the season, such as the debut of No. 1 overall pick Arya Boston, the arrival of the Liberty’s new superteam, and Britney Griner’s competitive return to the court after missing last season while being detained in Russia. CBS Sports will continue to provide updates and highlights throughout the season.

One of the most highly anticipated debuts was that of Arya Boston, who made her debut for the Fever and the WNBA on Friday. Boston was one of the most acclaimed prospects to join the league in recent years, having previously been named the Naismith Player of the Year and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year while leading her college team to a national championship. She finished her first WNBA game with 15 points, nine rebounds, and six-of-ten shooting from the field.

Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun also had an impressive game, with 18 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks. With Jonquel Jones gone, Thomas is now shouldering more responsibility but demonstrated that she’s more than capable of carrying the load.

In the game between the Mystic and Liberty, it was clear that the Liberty’s new superteam was out of sync. Brianna Stewart and Jonquel Jones, former MVPs, combined for just 17 points on 5-of-16 shooting, while Courtney Vandersloot recorded nearly as many turnovers as assists. Despite the disappointing performance, the Liberty’s new acquisitions have the potential to improve throughout the season.

Elena Delle Donne, who has struggled with back issues in recent years, appeared to be back at her best, finishing the game with 13 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals. The Mystics’ defense, which includes All-Defensive First Team players Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins and the addition of All-Defensive Second Team player Britney Sykes, played a key role in shutting down the Liberty.

In the game between the Sky and Lynx, Kalea Copper proved to be the number one option, with 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals through the third quarter. The Lynx’s lack of a traditional point guard on the roster was a noticeable issue, with the team committing over 20 turnovers.

Finally, Britney Griner, who missed last season while being detained in Russia, made her return to the court for the Mercury against the Sparks on Friday.

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