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Mystics at Sun preview: It's a must-win game situation in Connecticut

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Stewart W. Small

On Saturday night the Mystics (0-3) head north and face off against the Connecticut Sun (1-1).

Game Info

When: Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 7 pm EST

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut.

TV: WNBA League Pass.

Injury Report

The Mystics are still missing Ivory Latta, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Ally Mallot to injury. LaToya Sanders is out due to overseas commitments, and Natasha Cloud was ill for Friday's game.

How good are the Sun?

I put together this comparison of how both teams are executing in relationship to the other ten teams. The Connecticut Sun after two games are in the top quarter of the Association in four advanced statistical categories. You can clearly see we having a tough time on both ends of the court. Please note that the stats don't take into account Washington's loss on Friday.

Game 3

Mystics 0-2

SUN 1-1

[Offense]

Points/Poss

8

9

Points off Tos

12

7

Points in Paint

8

11

2nd Chance Pts

7

2

Fast Brk Points

7

2

Bench Scoring

8

5

Rebound %

4

10

[Defense]

OPP Pts/Poss

10

7

OPP Pts/TOs

8

9

OPP Pts/Paint

10

4

OPP 2nd Chance

12

7

OPP FB Pts

3

2

[Last Game]

Assists

16

18

OFF Rbds

10

14

Steals

2

12

BS

5

7

Turns

15

11

The Mystics are better than the Sun in some areas, most notably rebound percentage and points in the paint.  But I have added a few stats from both team's previous game, and the number of steals they had versus the Mystics amount, is clearly something to look out for. Particularly because we are prone to turning the ball over early in the season. I am pretty sure every team we face is going to pressure us given that we have a very short bench and have had limited time together to get in lock-step.

Keys to the Game

The Mystics are in a very tough position right now. Not only are they missing important players out with injury, Hawkins and Dimitrakou combined for 12 minutes on the floor against the Wings, and  21 minutes against the Sparks, yielding 7 points. We need more production from them.

The matchup I am looking forward to is Kelsey Bone and Stefanie Dolson. I wrote about their comparable styles last year, and this would be an excellent time for Dolson to catch fire. If Dolson can't get going, I look for Kia Vaughn to have another solid night.  She quietly contributed 12 points and 4 rebounds in the loss to the Wings.

Bria Hartley must have another standout performance not unlike her season debut and her seven assist performance on Friday.

I think Kahleah Copper will settle down over the next few games, particularly Connecticut on Saturday. Rookie jitters have affected her ball handling, but she is definitely bringing the energy!

Who Wins?

Given how their performance went against the Sparks earlier yesterday, I'm going to say that they will win this game. It stinks to start out 0-4, so I expect to see the Mystics come out of the gate with urgency. Urgency that amounts to handling the ball well, and getting it to our House of Posts for the first win of the season.

But it's clear that the Mystics still need more time to get in rhythm.