Washington Mystics vs Connecticut Sun Preview
Mystics 8-3 vs Sun 9-3
When: Saturday, June 29th, at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Monumental Entertainment and Sports Arena
TV: ESPN/ NBAC
Mystics: Kiara Leslie – (Out, Torn Meniscus in right knee),
Sun: Layshia Clarendon (Out, Torn Tendons in Ankle)
Notes – Washington will look to avoid a season sweep from Connecticut. The Mystics are 0-2 against the Sun who enters today’s contest on a two game losing streak.
Washington seeks a fifth straight victory, the previous four have all came on the road.
85.5 - points per game
74.5 - points against
45.1 - Field goal %
79.9 - points per game
74.9 - points against
35.6 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Suns Front Court: MVP candidate Jonquel Jones and do everything forward Alyssa Thomas is arguably the WNBA’s top front court and the engine for Connecticut. Jones is fifth in the WNBA in scoring at 16.4 points per game and is tops in the league in rebounding at 11 as well as blocks at 2.5 per game. Thomas, averages 12.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assist and 1.8 steals per game. To make it easier to understand, there is no part of the game these two don’t make an impact in. Elena Delle Donne, Tianna Hawkins and the crew up front will have to bring it on BOTH ends. In the Mystics loss to the Sun on June 11th, Delle Donne was held to 13 points, Hawkins was a non-factor posting 2 points on 1-4 shooting in 13 minutes and Mystics center Latoya Sanders had a solid game posting 8 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in 29 minutes. Washington needs a win over the Sun to avoid late season implications that may affect playoff seeding. How well the Mystics front court play will go a long way towards a key win and a run for the top seed and home court advantage in the playoffs. A Myisha Hines-Allen appearance is possible as well.
Shekinna Stricklen: is someone to keep an eye on. Stricklen is a pivotal piece to the Suns success due to her versatility defensively and ability to shoot from 3-point range. She leads the WNBA in 3-point makes and is fourth in 3-point shooting at 41 percent. During the Sun’s three losses this season, Stricklen is shooting 2-16 from the field while going 0-9 from deep. During Connecticut’s seven game win streak prior, she shot 28-53 (52%) from 3-point range. She’s the Sun’s x-factor due to her ability to open things up for their lethal front court of Jonquel Jones (George Washington) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland). Washington will have to keep a close eye on Stricklen, she’s due to break out of her slump.
Mystics Three Point Shooting: will be pivotal in determining if they walk off the court victorious over the Sun. Washington, shoots 34 percent from deep while averaging 8.5 triples per game. Connecticut brings the best defense in the WNBA at defending the three, holding opponents to 28.5 percent shooting. While the focus defensively will be on Elena Delle Donne, the Mystics have players who can knock down shots from deep at an efficient clip in Ariel Atkins, Kristi Toliver and a favorite for sixth woman of the year, Tianna Hawkins. Atkins and Toliver are shooting 36 and 35 percent from deep respectively while Hawkins leads the team at 46 percent on the season. They will have to bring it to keep the Sun’s vaunted defense in check and to open the floor up to score and make plays for everyone else.