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Mystics at Lynx preview: Washington looks to get win without Thibault on Friday

She’s dying to play the Lynx tonight.
Stewart W. Small

The Mystics play the Lynx on Friday on the road. Here’s a preview.

Game Info

When and Where: Xcel Energy Center, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET

Streaming: WatchESPN


Who’s out: Mike Thibault and Eric Thibault are out for the Mystics due to bereavement leave. Emma Meesseman’s still hanging out at Tomas Satoransky’s house in Prague. Everyone else is available.

What to look for

How will Marianne Stanley manage as the only coach on Friday? That’s the million dollar question. The head coach and one of the two assistants are out for this one. It’s possible that the other basketball operations staff members will get an opportunity to be assistant coaches for one night (or two). But things will be a bit tight on that front Friday.

Can Tayler Hill continue her scoring streak and keep her efficiency up? Hill scored 20 points in just 21 minutes on June 9 against the Lynx and shot 7 of 13 from the field. Minnesota’s backcourt is experienced, but now long in the tooth. I hope she can put up numbers. But I also hope she can shoot at a high percentage because 40 percent shooting seems like an aspiration for her instead of an expectation...

How will the Lynx adjust to an Elena Delle Donne-led Mystics team? This sounds crazy, but the Mystics have never played against the Lynx with their franchise player. Delle Donne did not play against the Lynx in the preseason nor the June 9 game due to minor nagging injuries. Minnesota blew out Washington in both matches so far. But with Delle Donne presumably ready for this game, it should be a more even matchup.

Who wins?

I expect the Lynx to win comfortably. The Mystics only have one coach out there, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is another game where the Mystics are fully rested, but they may not be fully engaged. They will try to pull it together and win one for the coaches, but the Lynx are just too experienced to not pounce on disadvantages when they see them.