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Mystics vs. Sparks preview: Washington goes for a big win against a big-time opponent

Emma Meesseman drives to the hoop against Sparks F Nneka Ogwumike. Stewart W. Small

The Mystics play the Sparks on Wednesday night. Here’s the scoop:

Game Info

Where and when: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at Capital One Arena at 7 p.m. ET

TV/Streaming: ESPN2 and WatchESPN. YES!

Injuries: The Mystics will miss Elena Delle Donne and Tayler Hill. Riquna Williams and Essence Carson are questionable for the Sparks.

Leak Advisory: Unlikely

According to The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, there are no thunderstorms projected in the Washington area tomorrow. The temperatures will be in the mid 80’s to 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

What to Watch For

This is a possible WNBA semifinals or finals series: The Mystics are fourth in the league while the Sparks are second as of Tuesday. If the season ended today, the two teams would only face each other in the Finals, but it’s possible that the Mystics could move up to the #3 seed, or the Sparks could be #1 as well, at least mathematically.

Krystal Thomas and Emma Meesseman need to make their presence known on the boards: The Mystics have a great frontcourt, but the Sparks are just one of the very few teams who have a better frontcourt from top to bottom. If Washington wins tomorrow, both Thomas and Meesseman need to make their rebounding presence known. We’ll also need to see Thomas score at a decent clip as well. I don’t expect a second straight 20 point game from her, but a 10 point game would be much appreciated against Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike.

Can Shatori Walker-Kimbrough continue to build on her performance vs. Indy? SWK scored a career-high 13 points last Saturday against the Fever. That said, seven points came from the foul line. I don’t think she’ll be at the foul line as much tomorrow seeing L.A.’s frontcourt, so I’d like to see her shooting efficiency move up some as well.