When: Thursday, August 18 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
How to Watch: ESPN2, TSN
Mystics: Natasha Cloud (Questionable); Myisha Hines-Allen (Questionable; illness)
Storm: Mercedes Russell (Head, Out)
The WNBA playoffs are here. The Washington Mystics will begin their best-of-three series against the Seattle Storm on the road Thursday night. They went 1-2 against the Storm during the regular season, losing by an average of 9.5 points per game. In their last matchup on July 31, which was the Mystics’ lone win against the Storm this season, Ariel Atkins led the team with 23 points while Elena Delle Donne followed with 17 points.
It is unclear if Natasha Cloud or Myisha Hines-Allen will suit up for Game 1 but if they don’t it will be a huge loss to Washington. Natasha Cloud is leading the team and league in assists with 7 per game and is third in scoring on the Mystics with 10.7 points per game. Myisha Hines-Allen, who averages 8.9 points per game, make an impact on both sides of the floor, especially on the defensive end. Luckily the Mystics have depth and will rely on Elena Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins, Alysha Clark, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and rookie Shakira Austin to step up should they be without any players.
The Mystics will have to be ready to slow down the Storm, who average 82.5 points per game. Jewell Loyd is coming off a 38-point game against the Las Vegas Aces this past Sunday. The point guard is averaging 16.3 points per game while Breanna Stewart is leading the league and her team in points with 21.8 points per game. The Mystics also need to make sure they’re aggressive in their matchups against Tina Charles and Gabby Williams, who have proved plenty of time that their impacts can be huge.