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Mystics at Fever preview: Washington faces another must-win in Atlanta

We’ll see if Washington can somehow keep their postseason dreams alive through the weekend.

Basketball - Olympics: Day 13 Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The (13-19) Washington Mystics play the (16-16) Atlanta Dream on the road tomorrow. Atlanta has clinched a playoff berth and are jockeying for position with the Fever and Sky.

Game Info

When: Thursday, September 15, 2016.

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia.

TV/Online: NBA TV nationally, Fox Sports Southeast if your name is Lyndie Wood. She lives in ATL.

Injury Report

For the Mystics, Ivory Latta and LaToya Sanders sat out last game again. So it is very doubtful they are playing the rest of the season.

For the Dream, Sancho Lyttle has a foot issue.

Keys to the Game

The Mystics must win this game and Sunday’s game to even have a chance at the playoffs and hope the Phoenix Mercury lose both of their games. If Phoenix wins one of their last two games, Washington’s eliminated.

In the last contest against the Liberty Stef Dolson and Tierra Ruffin Pratt both had break-out games, 23 and 19 points respectively. Why fans never saw this iteration of All-Star Stef Dolson all season is beyond me.

Sure it was nice to see her play both ends of the floor with aplomb, but doing it in the 32nd game of a 34 game season is just cruel. If she had shown up at 75 percent of this showing, twice in July, I would not have to listen to the ‘mediocre’ narrative that is on full tilt at this point whether by Albert or Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation NBA. I respectfully disagree with them on that. I hold Dolson responsible for that because she gave me very little ammo this season to defend her, but she is still an All Star. There is nothing mediocre about that.

Matchups

I always find it interesting that head-to-head, Emma Meesseman and Angel McCoughtry have such completely different styles.

They don’t play the exact same position, but McCoughtry scored 36 points and made 18 more 2 point shots than Meesseman. She did so by taking 177 more attempts than Meesse. Meesseman is 165-of-303 (54.45 percent) on two point attempts while McCoughtry is 183-of-480 (38.125 percent). I could not watch someone miss that many shots.

Needless to say, Meesseman is consistently top ten in win Shares and McCoughtry isn’t. But this year the table has turned against Washington as the Styx look likely to miss the playoffs like the Dream did last year. Unlike last season, Washington will be without veteran help in the form of Kara Lawson and the aforementioned Latta and Sanders who have been sidelined.

I am curious as to how much energy the Mystics bring to the last two games. Last year, they beat the Fever in overtime to clinch a playoff berth. But this year they have to win out and also hope the Mercury lose out if they want to see the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.

If nothing else, they are having fun in Atlanta: