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Mystics vs. Sparks preview: Washington finishes July with a match against L.A.

Stewart W. Small

The Washington Mystics (9-14) are at home to host the Western Conference leading (20-3) Los Angeles Sparks on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Game Info

When: Friday, July 22, 2016 at 7 p.m. EST.

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

TV: WNBA League Pass, Monumental, MSG.

Injury Report

Tayler Hill did not play in the last game due to a left leg injury. Kahleah Copper left in the third quarter, from an undetermined problem.

Keys to the Game

The Mystics have lost both meetings between the two teams, by 30 points and 11 points, respectively.

This tweet sums up the last game perfectly from the WNBA below.

On July 10, the Sparks had three players with 20 point games, Ogwumike, Parker and off the bench, Lavender. The Mystics had one, Meesseman, and two players with double digits, Copper (13), and Dolson (10).

The main match-up: Emma Meesseman vs. Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker

I have compiled some stats to compare the three, below. I simply went to Basketball-reference.com and looked up the WNBA association leaders for the 2016 season. I did not include every category they were mentioned in but paired it down to the essentials. What I have done is show the corresponding number for the player in the top ten this year.

W Top 10 Leaders Yrs Field Goals 2pt FG Made 2pt FG Att 2pt FG% 3pt FG% EFG% PER Win Shares
D.C. Meesse 4 7 5 9 8 1 2 7 8
L.A. Ogwumike 4 2 2 6 1 1 1 1
L.A. Parker 8 8 10 7 10 9 9

Meesseman and Ogwumike are first and second in the WNBA in Effective field goal percentage.

The real issue: Every other Mystics player

After sustaining a 0-5 road trip and another loss at home before the Olympic break, I think it is worth pointing out that the last game against LA was not out-of-hand, and the rest of the squad needs to play their best ball to win, there are no other options.

Who Wins?

I guess the good news is that the Sparks have lost two in a row. But that only means they will be more focused when they show up at the Verizon Center Friday evening.

At this point, there are no Mystics line-ups to rely on that will consistently end up doing things on both sides of the floor. Meesseman averages 30 minutes a game. Coach Thibault very rarely uses her for more than that, and she has been the only consistent thing on the team. I am hoping that there will be a collective effort in this game, minus the collapses, that got them nine wins. Dolson and Cloud are welcome to have big nights.