The Washington Mystics (12-17) continue their critical three-game homestand against the Seattle Storm (13-17) on Friday. They have split the series with the green and gold on the road so far. So let’s see how Emma, Tayler, and the gang do against this young, up-and-coming, superstar-laden team.
Date: Friday, September 9, 2016
When and Where: 7 p.m. ET. Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV/Streaming: Watch this online at Monumental Sports Network (within the D.C. area) or WNBA League Pass anywhere else.
The Mystics are missing Bria Hartley (pregnancy), while LaToya Sanders has a stress reaction in her foot and Ivory Latta is nursing a sore knee.
For the Storm, Crystal Langhorne recently had an eye injury last Saturday against the Chicago Sky. She returned on Wednesday when she scored a season high 21 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and dished 3 assists in a win over the Liberty.
Storylines and keys to the game
- Playoff seeding is on the line - The Storm currently has the 7th seed in the playoffs, while the Mystics are 9th. That said, they’re just half a game apart. This is a must-win for both games for their postseason hopes. Seattle hasn’t made the playoffs since 2013, while Washington is going for their fourth consecutive appearance.
- Meesseman faces her predecessor - Meesseman had a great game on Wednesday with her 17 point, 8 rebound, and 6 assist performance against the Sky. I stand by my point that she was the biggest force in that game. Langhorne comes to town today and she’ll be a reminder of a 2014 Draft Day trade that gave Meesseman the green light to be who she is now. Bria Hartley’s pregnancy and Tianna Hawkins’ release may make some believe that the Styx should have kept Langhorne, but I disagree. I guarantee you that Meesseman’s improvement alone was worth it. And besides, Hartley will be back next year and Hawkins may very well be back as well. Either way, I want to see Meesseman win this matchup.
- Can Washington’s backcourt keep up with Seattle’s? On July 15, the Seattle Storm destroyed the Mystics, 80-51. That loss was the worst one this season, and to Seattle’s credit, it’s one of their best. The worst performers in that contest was the Mystics backcourt, who scored a combined nine points. Meanwhile, Seattle’s starting backcourt of sophomore star Jewell Loyd and veteran Sue Bird combined for 38 points alone. Both Loyd and Bird are enjoying seasons with improved production and efficiency. For Bird especially, she looks like she added some spring to her step this season -- and she’s almost 36 years old. The Mystics cannot afford to let Seattle’s star backcourt toy them around like we want John Wall and Bradley Beal to do this fall for the Wizards.