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Mystics at Stars preview: Washington looks to get another win on Wednesday

Ned Dishman, NBA/Getty Images

The Washington Mystics (9-9) will head west to take on the (4-13) San Antonio Stars, at the other phone booth, the AT&T Center, on Wednesday evening.

Game Info

When: Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 at 8 p.m. EST
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas.
TV: WNBA League Pass

Injury Report

The Mystics should be good to go. For the Stars, Kayla McBride will be out for the rest of the season. Super bad news for the Stars. I think all W fans wish her a speedy recovery!

Keys to the Game

The Mystics won the last meeting between these two teams on June 29th, 84-67. The most outstanding stats from that game were the Mystics' 24 assists and 18 points off turnovers.

What has been disconcerting to me, is that the Mystics are last in the association in fast-break points. Really it is not surprising if you watch games. Time after time, you will see a steal/block/turn by the opponent and watch a Mystics player run down the court and either get a foul called or turn it over. There have been a finite number of instances when said player slows down and uses their trailer for a basket. Hill clearly uses it as an opportunity to get to the free throw line, but as of late, I have seen her acknowledge her much taller trailer on the fast break, and not coincidentally, the Styx have played much more like a 'team' in those games, winning by large margins. The latest Lynx game springs to mind.

The San Antonio Stars are sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference.

The Stars are 3-5 at home.  One of the bright spots for them is clearly Kayla McBride. The third-year Notre Dame alum is averaging 17.1 points and 4 rebounds a contest, as well as some outstanding play by rookie Moriah Jefferson who logged a career-high 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting and five steals against the Indiana Fever on July 1st.

In the Mystics last contest, against the Chicago Sky, it was the frontcourt that kept the Mystics in the game. Meesseman, Vaughn and Hawkins combined for 34 points on 16-of-28 shooting, fifty-seven percent. The backcourt of Cloud, Hill, Ruffin-Pratt and Latta combined for 10-of-37 on twenty-seven percent shooting, a total of 31 points. Clearly Hill's aptitude for getting to the free throw line this year has been super helpful, she made 9-of-11 from the charity stripe, while the frontcourt players I mentioned, added another 6-of-6. Looking over the box score from that game is easy to recognize that shooting 6-of-21 from three is not ideal. [Meesseman did hit 2-of-3.]

Kia Vaughn had a season-high 20 points in the last contest and has been doing a great job off the bench. Coach Thibault calls her number often and she has shown up game after game; she, Tianna Hawkins and Kahleah Copper have been lethal with Coach T's current rotations. The Mystics are first in the association in bench points, that is no surprise at all.

Who Wins?

The Mystics rolled downhill in the month of June, very similar to last year. They seem to have found a nice balance of minutes for everyone, especially when the Styx are blowing someone out.

But I have to admit that I would like to see Meesseman and Hill get their full compliment of minutes even when they have double-digit leads. I really think the fact that she has not had the opportunity to get 35 points on someone has a lot more to do with rotations than her ability to get there. And the same goes for Hill.

I definitely think this is a game that both of them could do that very thing. However, as I have said before, if the Mystics lose their focus, forget to hang on to the ball or let a poorly called game get in their heads, they will not beat a team as thirsty as the San Antonio Stars.

I think they should have this one, there is very little evidence to suggest otherwise.