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Mystics vs. Lynx preview: Elena Delle Donne’s home debut is on Monday night

Basketball - Olympics: Day 15 Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Mystics host the Lynx on Monday in their only home preseason game of the season

General Info

When and Where: Monday, May 8, 2017, 7 p.m. ET, Verizon Center

Streaming: Monumental Sports Network (free trial online and for Monumental Sports team season ticket holders)

Who’s out for the Mystics - Emma Meesseman and Kristi Toliver have not reported to camp yet though Russian basketball season ended last week. That’s because both are taking a small break before training camp. They are expected to be in D.C. on May 10, this Wednesday.

What to watch for

Elena Delle Donne’s Mystics debut at Verizon Center

The regular season begins next week, but we have yet to see her play in D.C. in a Mystics uniform. After several years of lackluster crowds at Verizon Center, we’ll see if she can galvanize a bigger crowd on a Monday night.

Which guards and wings figure to be in the mix once the regular season’s in full swing?

Last Tuesday against the Fever, Tayler Hill and Ivory Latta sat out the game due to small injuries, though they’re nothing much to worry about. This allowed other players to step up in their place.

I was happy to see first round pick Shatori Walker-Kimbrough play 20 minutes last week and score 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting in her time on the floor. I don’t think she’ll be a starter this season. But if she can repeat that performance on Monday, she’ll be in good shape to be a regular rotation piece next season.

Of the other players who were on the floor last Tuesday, third round draft pick Mehryn Kraker added 11 points and three of five three pointers. In a vacuum she came into training camp with little chance of making the opening night roster. But if she can repeat that performance once again, along with a strong performance at camp, don’t be surprised to see her make the final cut.

Can the Mystics force the Lynx to be turnover prone?

Last Tuesday, the Mystics forced the Fever to commit 12 turnovers, while they only committed six themselves. The Lynx hosted the Dream in another preseason game last Friday and demolished them, 113-67. Yes, the Lynx made the Finals just last season. But most of their bench player played at least 11 minutes each and made positive contributions.

Natasha Howard led the way with 19 points despite playing just 14 minutes. The starters like Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, and Seimone Augustus did not do most of the damage in that game.

In preseason matches, I’m not looking at the starters too closely because we know they’re making the team. So let’s not focus too much on Delle Donne or Hill. But for the bench players, even those who made the team last season, Monday is their last chance to show in games, that they are worth keeping this summer. Let’s see which Mystics reserves tonight show the most hustle on defense, whether they win or lose against the Lynx.