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Mystics at Sky preview: Washington looks to kick off July with a road win

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emma meesseman vs delle donne Stewart W. Small

The Washington Mystics are on a roll. They won seven of their last nine games, had a 4-1 homestand, and are 9-8 in the Eastern Conference.

To put things into perspective, they would be the number four seed in the WNBA Playoff tournament. That’s pretty damn good considering that they were once 2-6 and looked like one of the worst teams in the league.

Today, they play the Chicago Sky (6-9), who they last faced back to back times on June 1 at home and on June 3 on the road. They lost both contests, but his time, they hope to make things right.

Game Info

When: Friday, July 1, 2016 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: Allstate Arena, Rosemont IL

TV/Online: WNBA League Pass in D.C., UToo Sports in Chicago.

Injuries

The Mystics should be fine. For the Sky, Betnijah Laney is out for the season due to a knee injury.

Key points to the Game

This team is not as “bad as its record” - Since Chicago beat Washington 98-72 on June 3, they have lost five of their last seven games. That said, all but two of those games was decided by single digits. Yes, both of the games decided by double digits were losses, but they were quite close to winning most of their games anyway.

Slow down Elena Delle Donne - Despite Chicago’s slump in the standings, the Sky’s franchise player has scored 21 or more points in each of their last four games and shot at least 50 percent from the field in three of them. You can laugh and say that the Sky lost three of the four games.

The Mystics need to sucker punch the Sky in the mouth to start the game - In each of the Mystics’ last two blowout wins, they did so by scoring very fluidly in the first quarter while holding their opposition to below average — if not awful offensive performances. It will be key for Washington to do the same tonight — and especially to Delle Donne.

If they can simultaneously shut down a superstar trio Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, and Seimone Augustus, they should be able to do the same to Delle Donne. Just don’t let Allie Quigley be a Mystics Killer, if you know what I mean.