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Mystics vs. Fever preview: Washington kicks off 2018 season at home

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The Mystics kick off their regular season against a rebuilding Indiana team.

Stewart W. Small

The Washington Mystics kick off the 2018 WNBA regular season with a matinee against the Indiana Fever.

Game Info

When and Where - Capital One Arena, May 20, 2018 at 1 p.m. EST

TV and Streaming - NBA TV nationally and locally. Monumental Sports Network will stream the game locally, while WNBA League Pass will stream it if you are outside of the D.C. area.

Injuries - For the Mystics, Tayler Hill is out due to her knee rehab. For the Fever, Shenise Johnson is out due to a knee injury.

What to look for

Can the Mystics’ wings outperform Indiana’s? - In the Mystics’ preseason game last week, Fever first round picks Kelsey Mitchell amd Victoria Vivians weren’t able to do much. But now the games count. athey already have a taste for what Washington has to throw at them, so I expect a better showing from them, even if the Fever’s home opener was earlier this afternoon.

Will Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Natasha Cloud show more offense? TRP led Washington in the preseason agme with her scoring and I hope to see it continue. As for Cloud, she started her preseason with an 0-6 shooting performance against a Lynx team that wasn’t at full strength. She must show an ability to score this season if she expects to be a long term piece in Washington.

A Belgian is on the Fever - Belgium wasn’t known for basketball until quite recently because of Emma Meesseman and Ann Wauters. With Meesseman remaining overseas this summer, it is reasonable to assume that Belgians won’t watch many WNBA games or wait for a “See, we told ya Emma is irreplaceable” moments. But they’ll certainly watch this game at 7 p.m. Central European Time. It won’t be because they’re rooting for D.C. though.

The Fever have rookie guard Hind Ben Abdelkader on their roster this season. She is one of several Belgian guards who have helped elevate the nation to being one of Europe’s elite teams at the youth level when she was a teenager. Ben Abdelkder played a season of college basketball for the California Golden Bears, so she comes to Les Etas-Unis with more familiarity with American basketball than Emma Meesseman did in 2013.

The Brusselaar probably would have been on Belgium’s EuroBasket Women 2017 team, but she was recovering from injury. Ben Abdelkader is currently not in consideration for the World Cup team. But an injury to Kim Mestdagh or Julie Vanloo could change things. Indiana is probably lottery bound this summer anyway so I doubt that the Fever will have to miss Ben Abdelkader. But again, she is one of Europe’s top shooters.

A moment in Mystics vs. Fever history

On August 12, 2017, the Mystics had a rain delay due to a leaky arena roof in their home match against the Fever. To pass the time, both teams danced it out for the fans.

I don’t know who to pick as a winner, but if Stefanie Dolson were still a Mystic, there’s no doubt she would steal the show!

Who wins?

The Fever lost 82-64 on Saturday at home to the Chicago Sky. I expect the Mystics to beat them easily on Sunday. That said, Indiana has a team worth rooting for given their youth so don’t call them a modern day version of the infamous 2012 Mystics team.