The WNBA is back everyone! And we can’t be more excited! The Washington Mystics, defending champs, begin their reign for a two-peat Saturday against Indiana. It’ll be interesting to see how everything will come into play especially since we’ve seen the NBA scrimmage games already.
When: Saturday, July 24 at 5 p.m. ET
Where: IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
How to watch: CBS Sports Network; NBC Sports Washington; Monumental Sports Network; WNBA League Pass
Mystics: Natasha Cloud (Personal, Out); LaToya Sanders (Personal, Out); Tina Charles (Medical, Out); Elena Delle Donne (Back, Out)
Fever: Lauren Cox (WNBA Medical Protocol, Out); Erica Wheeler (WNBA Medical Protocol, Out); Kathleen Doyle (Ankle, Questionable)
What should we focus on?
Well let’s get straight to it and address the elephant or elephants in the room: Ariel Atkins is the only returning starter and we don’t have a secured starting lineup as of yet due to this. We could make so many predictions as who will make the starting lineup, but we all know Head Coach Mike Thibault makes all types of changes until he finds the perfect fit for the team. There’s a likely chance the five starters who come out on Saturday may not be the same after a week or so.
Another aspect to look at is who’ll lead the team in scoring. With Elena Delle Donne most likely not playing this season, someone else has to pick it up and be the leader. The big question is who might that be. My predictions are obviously Atkins and Emma Meesseman, but my sleeper pick would honestly have to be Aerial Powers. Powers has proven time and time again that when her number is called she’s ready to charge and give it all she’s got. With major key players not being on the team this season, it’s going to take some chemistry and effort to not be the weak link or give opponents that advantage over them.
The big focal point for the Mystics is to “Apply Pressure” and I guarantee that will be done this season and many will regret pushing them down in the rankings.