Washington Mystics sign Japanese Point God Rui Machida, who shocked the world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Olympic record 18 assists a game.
Who is Rui Machida?
This is one of the highlights of Machida with her current team in Japan.
I said it on the IG but again I’m really looking forward to the Pick and Roll or Pick and Pop games with Elena Delle Donne (is she coming back?) and Myisha Hines Allen.
Machida has a really high basketball IQ, which many of Japanese players do also, and her decision making skill is probably what makes her special and the reason why she made the assist record at Tokyo 2020.
Her ability to make plays out of nothing is also remarkable. She would not do fancy cross over or back the behind passes but her quickness and change of pace/ direction also her ability to see the defender are really fun to watch.
If there’s anything Machida would struggle in the WNBA, that would be the language and the size.
I am not sure if she speaks English (in Japan most people speak only Japanese) and I doubt she could. (she may be learning now)
Obviously communication is the key in basketball especially as a guard. (I personally played in D2 college basketball in the states. I had a hard time catching/ understanding what my teammate or the coach said.)
Although basketball language is somewhat English even in Japanese (make sense? For example, “traveling” in Japanese is “toraberingu”), it would more or less take time to get used to.
Listening. Time will solve shortly. Speaking. Maybe harder.
Another weakness would be her size. She is 5-3. Probably the shortest player in the league. She or the team will need to figure out how to stop her man when she was played on the post.
Is she starting?
No I don’t believe so. I believe Natasha Cloud will start because of her experience and balanced skill set and the height.
Machida would be competing a back-up PG position with Sydney Wiese as well as a Swedish rookie Klara Lundquist (only training camp invite at this moment). I have only seen Lundquist’s highlight but she is nice too actually.
Wiese may play as back-up SG when Atkins is on the bench. It really depends on which of Lundquist or Lee Seul Kang (Korean national team star SG & Training camp invite) stays on the roster.
Japanese players are talented
Machida is the 4th Japanese to play in the WNBA. I personally think that there are more Japanese players especially G and F position that have high skills and are capable of playing in the WNBA.
But the biggest issue again is the language.
I really hope to see more people challenge the WNBA. (and hope there will be more WNBA teams)
Also Japanese league starts accepting foreign players (currently they don’t) so that the level of basketball improves.
Thank you for reading!