Mystics 21-8 vs LA Sparks 18-10
When: Tuesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m.
Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena
TV: ESPN 2, NBA TV Canada
Mystics: Kiara Leslie – (Out, Torn Meniscus in right knee), Kristi Toliver (Doubtful, Knee)
Sparks: Karlie Samuelson (Out, Knee)
Notes – The Sparks enter Tuesdays contest riding a three game winning streak, including a win over the second place Connecticut Sun. Washington and LA have split their first two meetings this season.
88.6 - points per game
77.2 - points against
46.7 - Field goal %
79.8 - points per game
77.1 - points against
42.8 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Sparks Front Court: Everything for L.A. starts and end with Nneka Ogwumike. She’s one of the top players in the game and when she wakes up in the morning, you can put her down for an efficient double double. In Washington’s loss to the Chicago Sky, the Sky used their front court to wear down the Mystics front court inside. The result, Elena Delle Donne shot an uncharacteristic 5-14 from the field and Aerial Powers was worst, shooting 3-15. That has to be something to look at entering Tuesday’s game due to the Sparks depth up front. Along with Ogwumike, you have the versatile Candace Parker while although not fully herself while working her way back from an early season hamstring injury, is still dangerous in a myriad of ways. Nneka sister Chiney Ogwumike, is a high impact reserve averaging 9.9 points and 6 rebounds a game. Add in 6’4 center Maria Vadeeva and 6’7 rookie center Kalani Brown and you can clearly see that the Sparks are capable of wearing the Mystics down if it becomes a half court grind it out game. Washington’s swarming defense and fast pace offense may be just what the doctor ordered to counteract LA’s size inside.
Three point shooting: has been the x-factor between these two teams when they’ve faced each other, and will no doubt be pivotal in determining who’s victorious come Tuesday. In Washington’s blowout win on June 18th, the Mystics shot 46 percent from deep while holding the Sparks to 15 percent shooting from three point territory. In a loss to the Sparks on July 7th, although without Delle Donne who left with a broken nose, Washington shot 26 percent from 3-point range while the Sparks were blazing hot, shooting 51 percent from deep. Fairly simple, whichever team defends the three the best will position themselves to win this game in a major way.