When: Thursday July 30 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL
How to watch: ESPN, Monumental Sports Network
Mystics: Natasha Cloud (Personal, Out); LaToya Sanders (Personal, Out); Tina Charles (Medical, Out); Elena Delle Donne (Back, Out); Tianna Hawkins (Questionable, Back)
What needs to be done to come out victorious
Washington and Seattle meet again. It’s sort of odd that whenever Seattle has a healthy team, the Mystics do not (i.e. 2018 WNBA Finals), but that’s neither here or there. When understanding and analyzing the game on Tuesday against the Connecticut Sun, it goes to show Washington, although a depleted roster, can keep up with big-time scorers. That will need to happen as well Thursday night as we’ll see a healthy Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.
I think the biggest factor that Head Coach Mike Thibault has addressed is trying not to get into foul trouble too early. Washington only has 10 players, well nine counting a slight injury to Tianna Hawkins. This was a very big flaw that could’ve cost them the game against the Sun. Ariel Atkins ended the game with six fouls, Alaina Coates with five, and Aerial Powers and Myisha Hines-Allen with four. Atkins, Powers, and Hines-Allen were our key big scorers in the game who need the majority minutes to keep Washington afloat going forward.
The Mystics need to get Coates more active because she’s definitely needed in the paint. She can add some aggressiveness defensively blocking shots and also getting to the line offensively forcing the Storm to get a case of foul trouble.
All in all though Washington has proven in these first two games, they can get the job done. Players of the Mystics who normally come off the bench are now proving they can handle the workload and are ready to push and apply pressure to any team that’s in their way. An opponents advantages are not an obstacle for the Mystics. Washington’s only obstacle is themselves. If they continue to trust one another and play together, there’s no doubt the Mystics can survive this season.