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July Monthly Review: Washington Mystics continue to adjust with injuries as All-Star break arrives

No Shakira Austin and Elena Delle Donne...

Washington Mystics v Atlanta Dream Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images

The month of July will be the halfway mark of the season for all WNBA teams. The Washington Mystics have 10 games this month split evenly between home and on the road. Washington will have just one WNBA Commissioner’s Cup game left to play but win or lose, they won’t be one of the final two teams to play in the game. The game will most likely occur before All-Star weekend commences. Four games into the month is when the All-Star break will occur and teams will have about a week off before their next regular season game. After the All-Star break, the Mystics next two games will be themed games such as Camp Day and Stics & Kicks Sneakerhead Night. Although a home game, Camp Day will be held at Capital One Arena.

Sunday, July 2 & Friday July 28 @ Dallas Wings

The Mystics play the Dallas Wings to start off the month and will play them again in a second to last game to end the month. Washington has only played the Wings once on Friday, June 2 where the Mystics won 75-74 behind Delle Donne’s 23 points. Dallas had just signed Kalani Brown, but had released her and re-signed Brown again on a hardship contract. Both games are away games for Washington. Arike Ogunbowale still leads her team in scoring averaging 22.4 points.

Friday, July 7 & Wednesday July 19 vs. Indiana Fever

This will be the second and third meeting between the Mystics and Indiana Fever. The first meeting, Indiana won 87-66 and rookie of the year candidate, Aliyah Boston dominated with 23 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. The Fever defense even held Delle Donne to just 17 points, Shakira Austin to only six points and didn’t let another Mystics score in double figures. Washington won’t have Austin more than likely for these next two games so it’s possible Boston could have another field day. The July 19 game will be Camp Day for Washington being played at Capital One Arena filled with many young kids in the stands.

Sunday, July 9 @ Connecticut Sun

This is the third meeting of four between the Mystics and the Connecticut Sun. The first two meetings in May, the Mystics lost both. Connecticut won 80-74 in the first head-to-head behind DeWanna Bonner’s 21 points, Alyssa Thomas’s 14 points and 16 rebounds and Brionna Jones double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. In that particular game, Delle Donne and Austin combined for 40 of the Mystics 74 points. Without Austin and possibly Delle Donne, who will show up in the scoring department? In the second meeting, all Sun starters scored in double figures led by Thomas with 22 and 10.

Tuesday July 11 vs. Seattle Storm

A third meeting for the Mystics and the Seattle Storm where Washington is 2-0 in regular season so far. Both teams met on Friday, June 9 and Sunday, June 11 the day Sue Bird was honored and had her jersey retired. In the second matchup, the Mystics almost blew a 28-point lead scoring only eight points in the fourth quarter in comparison to 23 points scored by Seattle. Jewell Loyd is still carrying the Storm team with her 25.7 points per game. This will be the final game before the All-Star break.

Friday, July 21 vs. New York Liberty

The matchups between both these two teams always seem electrifying. Washington opened up the season blowing out the New York Liberty and in their most recent game on Sunday, June 25 New York won in overtime, 89-88. That was another loss where Washington had little to no help from the reserves. Shakira Austin left the game early in the fourth quarter with a hip injury that will sideline her for at least three weeks. Not having Austin showed in the difference in rebounds of both teams where the Liberty had 45 to the Mystics 29. This will be the first game after the All-Star break for Washington for the second half of the season.

Sunday July 23 vs. Phoenix Mercury

This is one of those games that should be an easy win since the Phoenix Mercury have only three wins and on paper are the worst team in the league. Brittney Griner continues to lead her team in points (19.5) and rebounds (6.2). Defensively, the Mercury are just not there on all cylinders and opponents have taken advantage putting them on the map. Washington needs to be one of those teams again and secure the easy wins.

Wednesday July 26 @ Minnesota Lynx

Washington Mystics lost to the Minnesota Lynx in early-June due to a last second basket by Tiffany Mitchell. This was another one of those games that the Mystics should have won as the Lynx didn’t have a win until facing Washington. Minnesota also didn’t have Diamond Miller, second overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, who was out with an injury. Games like these matter and could make or break a season.

Sunday, July 30 @ Atlanta Dream

This season series is split 1-1 as the Mystics blew out the Atlanta Dream 109-86, but then two days later the Dream won 94-89 despite a late comeback from Washington. Atlanta has a lot of grit and young talent while the Mystics have some old talent who are getting injured early. Throughout the season, Washington has not had a bench that has some dominant energy to backup the starters and it’s been very telling.

Current Record: 9-6 (as of Saturday, July 1)

July Regular Season Games Prediction: 6-4

In June’s monthly review, the prediction was that Washington would go 8-3. The Mystics went 7-4 in June. The prediction for July is 6-4 with losses to the New York Liberty, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings and Indiana Fever. The prediction is that the Mystics will end the month of July with a record of 15-10.