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Mystics at Storm preview: Washington D.C. Faces Washington State

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The Washington Mystics (9-12) are on the road to take on Breanna Stewart and the (7-13) Seattle Storm, at the Key Arena, late Friday evening.

Game Info

When: Friday, July 15, 2016 at 10:00 p.m. EST.
Where: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington.
TV: WNBA League Pass, JOETV.

Injury Report

Both teams should be good to go.

Keys to the Game

The Mystics won the first meeting between the two teams. Albeit in a an over-time win, 84-82, on May 26th. The Mystics were in a similar rut at the time, and that was a great win to steady the ship.

So the main match-up is Meesseman vs. Stewart

Below, I have put together some head-to head numbers for the season between the already anointed super-star, first pick of the 2016 draft, UConn champion, Breanna Stewart and the Mystics' own second-round draft selection at the nineteenth pick, in 2013, Emma Meesseman [won a couple non-WNBA championships that pay the players]. Meesseman was 19 at the time she was drafted and she is slightly over a year older than Stewart, the UConn sensation did just win an ESPY, no arguing that.

I have chosen 12 categories besides minutes, to take a look at how both the players are doing over roughly two-thirds of the season.

2016 Season Minutes Points 2pt% 3pt% FT% Reb Asst PersFouls USG% WinSH TO% Orating Drating
Meesseman 30 15.4 53.8 54.3 83.7 5.6 2.1 2.6 21.6 3.1 9.2 120 105
19/35
Stewart 35 19.5 53.3 33.8 82.4 9.7 3.4 2.8 25.8 3.4 13.6 111 100
27/80

Stewart is averaging just under a double-double, that is impressive. But what is astonishing to me is the fact that Meesseman has connected on 19-of-35 three point attempts, to Stewart's 27-of-EIGHTY. Fifty-three trips down the floor for a miss. I have no doubt that many of her offensive rebounds are grabbing her own misses. I think the only thing that could be more unsettling is that Tayler Hill is 32-of-103. Seventy-one three point misses. Just ouch, that is painful.

Below, I have matched up Meesseman and Stewart according to their first game.

26-May-16 Minutes Points 2pt% 3pt% FT% Reb Asst PF Steals Blks
Meesse 39 19 75 33 0 13 2 2 2 3
1of3 0/0
Stewie 41 25 47 60 66 7 3 2 4 4
3of5 2of3

So this was the show-down that a lot of my European friends were looking forward to. To me, it is such a close match-up. Meesseman grabbing 13 rebounds and Stewart blocking 4 shots was impressive on both accounts. There was literally a smidge of difference between the two teams, as well, the Styx won by two.

Who Wins?

It is fascinating to me that a team like the Storm with three players averaging double figures - Stewart, Bird, Loyd, and frankly Langhorne is at 9.8 ppg - can be losing this many games. The Styx have two players, at 15 and 15 ppg - Meesseman and Hill, with Latta a distant third at 9.1 - and have won two more games. Coach Thibault is legit, that news is old.

Can the Mystics win this one? Of course.

At this point, anyone who has been watching the Mystics can reliably say that someone besides Meesseman will get going. That was a joke. No one can say that. I would like to think that. There is evidence to suggest that the Mystics sub-atomic shooting percentages should go up and other starters will contribute more.

Regardless, I think that there may be some radical re-working of the line-up before the Olympic break, just because Coach T can. Kahleah Copper and Tianna Hawkins have done enough in my opinion to see starter minutes. The Styx have nothing to lose but yet another game.

***

Cool thing for Seattle fans, the organization will be retiring former star Lauren Jackson's number 15 jersey after the game.