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Mystics vs. Dream preview: Washington faces Atlanta in preseason opener

The preseason is here!

2021 Washinton Mystics Media Day Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Info

When: Wednesday, May 5 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.

How to watch: N/A

Pregame notes

The Washington Mystics are facing the Atlanta Dream at home Wednesday in they preseason opener.

The Mystics are a different team this season

Last year with the addition of Tina Charles, we never got to see what the Mystics could have been after winning the 2019 Finals. Now, Charles, Elena Delle, and Natasha Cloud will suit up after not playing last season.

LaToya Sanders, who also opted out last season, retired in March and is now an assistant coach for the Mystics. Aerial Powers left to play for the Minnesota Lynx. Tianna Hawkins signed a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Dream in the offseason. It will certainly be odd to see Hawkins and even former Mystics player Shatori Walker-Kembrough in Dream jerseys.

Will Elena Delle Donne play?

Don’t count on it. Head Coach Mike Thibault told the media on Sunday that Delle Donne had not participated in any group drills. Thibault said that she “gave a timetable of the first game to play” but admitted he wasn't sure if that was accurate or not.

Delle Donne opted out of last season and underwent two back surgeries last year. Her first back surgery took place in January 2020 and her second surgery was in December 2020. In Delle Donne’s latest episode of “Beyond the Game” on YouTube, she shared some before and after surgery footage.

Atlanta has a coaching change, literally from ... yesterday!

The Dream announced that Mike Peterson was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach Monday night. The news came after former head coach Nicki Collen was named the head coach for Baylor University’s women’s basketball team.

Roster cuts are still coming...

The Mystics still need to make decisions on which players will make their final roster. Wednesday’s game could be one of the last opportunities for some players to make impressions on the coaching staff.

On Sunday, the Mystics waived forward Tyra Whitehead and then waived Blanca Millan Monday afternoon.

It’s sad to see players get cut before the preseason. But at the same time, the Mystics’ roster has looked rather set before training camp. We’ll see how the final roster looks once the preseason ends later this week.