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The Mystics’ backcourt injuries won’t make their quest for the top WNBA playoff seed easy

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Kristi Toliver and Aerial Powers are out due to lower body injuries before the Washington Mystics play the Dallas Wings later tonight. But it’s also concerning given the tight race for a top playoff seed.

Los Angeles Sparks v Washington Mystics
Aerial Powers has been the Mystics’ primary backcourt option off the bench and started several games before her gluteal injury.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Mystics will play the Dallas Wings later tonight. In all likelihood, Washington will win the game given their overall depth. Dallas is just 10-20 and well out of the playoff picture. And if the Mystics win. they will also clinch their best regular season record in franchise history and have a 23-8 record.

That said, they have a backcourt injury bug to deal with.

Starting point guard Kristi Toliver hasn’t played since Aug. 8 due to a bone bruise on her knee, one that may be worse than originally anticipated. Fortunately, Natasha Cloud is already Washington’s leading assister so she can play point guard full-time instead.

Aerial Powers took Toliver’s starting spot but she too will miss the Mystics’ game tonight due to a left gluteal injury.

Perhaps this injury is minor. But it still should make the Mystics worry a bit about their hopes of clinching the top seed in the WNBA Playoffs.

Washington is currently half a game ahead of the Connecticut Sun for the top seed overall. But Connecticut holds the tiebreaker because they won the head-to-head series in the regular season. Fortunately, the Mystics have four more games to play while the Sun have three. But they won’t

The third-seeded Los Angeles Sparks are just three games behind the Mystics, but a four-game losing streak by Washington and a four-game win streak by L.A. is enough to drop Washington out of a Top-two seed and a bye to the WNBA semifinals.

Most WNBA teams with a top seed and room to spare can take things easy a little bit. The Mystics and their backcourt can use that right now. Unfortunately, the team overall won’t have that luxury given how tight the playoff race is at the top of the standings.