The Washington Mystics (17-12) take on the New York Liberty (18-12) Friday night.
Where and When Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. 7:30 P.M. ET
Streaming MSG, Monumental and League Pass.
Injuries Elena Delle Donne is still recovering from hand surgey, but may be available, and Tayler Hil is out for the season. Natasha Cloud may be available after sustaining a hip injury.
Mystics Breast Health Awareness Auction
There is only a couple days left for the Breast Health Awareness auction, so be sure to check it out!
As the playoffs loom, the Mystics have five games left in the season, and they are currently sitting in fifth place right behind the Liberty.
The schedule does not get any easier over this last stretch, with games against the streaking Seattle Storm, a make-up game against the Connecticut Sun and ending the season with a game against the formidable Minnesota Lynx.
The good news is that the Elena Delle Donne may be back for the Sun game on August 29. The Mystics will definitely need her! Connecticut is currently in the third position for the playoff race, and could sneak up a spot if things break well for them, including beating the Mystics.
What to look out for
Tina Charles is having another terrific season, averaging 19.8 points and 9.2 rebounds. Brittany Boyd, Shevonte Zellous and Sugar Rodgers are all averaging double figures in scoring, as well.
The Mystics were able to hold the Liberty to 54 total points on June 29, and specifically, Tina Charles to eight points, eight rebounds and cause her to commit four turnovers, in that Mystics win without Emma Meesseman.
Elena Delle Donne and Tayler Hill shot 4-27 in that game, but Ivory Latta and Tianna Hawkins scored a total of 28 points, so hopefully they will save the day again!
The Liberty are averaging 77 percent from the free throw line, so that is an advantage for the Mystics who are averaging 84.6 percent. The Mystics managed to go 23-of-25 in their last contest against the Fever, and it made the difference.
I don’t expect the refs to show Emma Meesseman any respect in that regard, but she has scored 15 points or more in 11 of the last 12 games. If she does get to the line, she has hit 28 out of her 31 attempts over the course of those 12 contests, so there’s that.
The Mystics will need big games from Kristi Toliver, Krystal Thomas and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough to take the pressure off of Meesseman in the paint. SWK was quiet last game, so was Ivory Latta, but that doesn’t mean they won’t go off in Madison Square Garden.
I never expect Tierra Ruffin-Pratt to score 18 points, but it could be a very pleasant surprise since she has been on some-what of a roll recently.
The Mystics got a chance to do some charity work with Flashes of Hope this week. It looks like they had a good time with the kids!