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Mystics vs. Lynx preview: Washington looks to get revenge against Minnesota

Stewart W. Small

For the second time this season, the (7-8) Mystics will take on the (13-1) Minnesota Lynx, at the Phone Booth. The Lynx won the first encounter 83-76, on June 11.

Game Info

When: Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 4 p.m. EST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: WNBA League Pass, Monumental Sports Network

Injury Report

None.

Keys to the Game

The Mystics are a hair under .500 right now, and would certainly like to treat the hometown crowd to a win over the association leading Lynx on Sunday.  It is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities.

The Styx held a lead at half-time in their last meeting, until their shooting fell off a cliff in the third quarter, scoring a total of 8 points. Hill, Hartley and Cloud shot a combined 8-for-26. Thirty percent.

In their last contest, against the Phoenix Mercury, it was Natasha Cloud that broke out, shooting 6-for-11, including five three-pointers. And got this shout out from one of the 20 greatest WNBA players of all time: [also her agent.]

Hill, Hartley and Latta combined for 5-for-20. Twenty-five percent.

I think anyone can appreciate the volume of free throws that Hill is getting on a nightly basis, but shooting thirty percent is not going to get it done. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt has not broken double digits this year averaging 24 minutes a game. She has scored a TOTAL of twelve points in the last three games. I expect more from her, because last year she absolutely had twenty point games.

The Mystics have lowered their number of turnovers, eleven in the last contest, and had 22 assists and 30 rebounds. Even in a loss, I can't be mad about those numbers. Not to mention, Vaughn and Copper have been terrific off the bench, really showing the depth of the team that Coach Thibault has assembled.

Who Wins?

The things the Mystics do right, they do really well. Spreading the floor, letting the big kids go to work on smaller, less athletic teams. But the things they do wrong, like ball-hogging and taking terrible shots, will bury any team that is playing against seasoned winners: The Minnesota Lynx, in this very real case.

If the Mystics lose their focus, forget to hang on to the ball or get distracted in general, as illustrated in their home losses, they have a very slim chance of winning.

But this is a team that the Mystics match up well against, so I am very optimistic about a home win, pushing their record back to even on the season.