The Mystics play the Dream on the road in their first match up of the WNBA semifinals.
When: Sunday August 26 at 3:00 P.M. ET
Where: McCamish Pavillion in Atlanta, GA
How to watch: ESPN2
Dream: Angel McCoughtry is out for the season
Atlanta won the regular season series, but this is an even matchup
In their first match, Atlanta won by 17. They shot 60.3% from the field while the Mystics struggled with 41.1%. Natasha Cloud and Elena Delle Donne were the only Mystics players with double-digits. In their second match-up, the Mystics improved by only losing by 3 points. While their shooting percentage did decline to 40% that game, Washington did have four players with double-digits.
Their last meeting of the regular season was on July 31 and Elena Delle Donne carried the Mystics to the finish line in a big win right after the All-Star Break. Delle Donne went off with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Also, the team’s shooting percentage increased from their first two match-ups to 45.6%. Going into this semifinals game, Washington needs to aim for greater offensive accuracy. This is when it matters most.
McCoughtry being sidelined is a huge loss for Atlanta
If there’s a time Atlanta needs McCoughtry, it’s now. In a game against the Las Vegas Aces on August 7, McCoughtry tore ligaments in her left knee. Her being ruled out for the season is devastating for the team because she had played in all 29 games, averaging 16.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in 27.5 minutes. The Dream will have to rely on Tiffany Hayes and Renee Montgomery who are averaging 17.2 and 10.3 points per game respectively.
Every Mystics player has to come together
Like their trademark Twitter hashtag and their ending huddle calls, the Mystics have really come together this last month. Less weight has been put on Delle Donne shoulders as more Mystics players have contributed more on the offensive end.
In Washington’s last game against the Sparks, six Mystics players scored double-digit points. Delle Donne led the way with 19 points while LaToya Sanders and Ariel Atkins scored 14 points each. Natasha Cloud and Kristi Toliver followed with 13 and 11 points respectively. Tianna Hawkins added 10 points.
This hasn’t happened a lot this season but when it has, the Mystics have been in a greater position to win. In order to beat Atlanta in this first semi-final game and future games, every Mystics player needs to be ready to contribute on both ends of the floor.