#3 Washington Mystics (21-11) vs #5 LA Sparks (19-13) * - (# Current Playoff Position)
When: Friday, August 17th, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
TV: NBA TV, Monumental, SPECSN
Mystics: Ariel Atkins (probable/right hip), Natasha Cloud (probable/ankle), Tianna Hawkins (probable/sore knees)
85.1 - points per game
81.6 - points against
44.9 - Field goal %
79.1 - points per game
76.9 - points against
45.7 - field goal %
Leading Scorers –
Elena Delle Donne
Keep an eye on:
Mystics offensive execution: must be precise all game or it will end up being a tough night. The visiting LA Sparks bring the number one ranked defense in the WNBA, holding opponents to 76.9 points and a league best 30.7 percent from three point range. LA’s defense is also the stingiest, leading the WNBA with eight steals per game with two players leading the way in forward Nneka Ogwumike (1.58 spg) and Alana Beard (1.50 spg), ranking third and fifth in steals respectively. Washington will have to be patient and decisive on offense and when the opportunity presents itself, make a play. If they aren’t, the Sparks behind their vaunted defense, will create turnovers and ultimately put Washington in a hole that will be hard to get out of.
Turnovers: With both teams fighting for playoff positioning and a competitive edge in case they meet up in the postseason, the intensity will be playoff like all game long. With the intensity being high, the game will come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes and that begins with the turnover rate. Both teams are among the best in the WNBA at taking care of the ball, with LA leading the league with 12.1 turnovers a game and Washington right behind, only turning it over 12.4 times a game. The battle at point guard between the Mystics Natasha Cloud (1.7 T.O.) and the Sparks Chelsea Gray (2.4 T.O.) will go a long way towards determining who wins the turnover battle and who walks off the court victorious.