WNBA Finals - Washington Mystics vs Connecticut Sun Game One Preview
Mystics 26-8 vs Connecticut Sun 21-13
When: Sunday, September 29th, at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena
Mystics: Kiara Leslie – (Out, Torn Meniscus in right knee)
Sun: Layshia Clarendon (Out, Ankle)
Notes – Washington kicks off the WNBA finals in a best of five series (2-2-1) against the Connecticut Sun on Sunday. Below you can find the entire finals schedule:
Game One – Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics, Sunday, September 29, 3:00 p.m. ESPN
Game Two – Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics, Tuesday, October 1, 8:00 p.m. ESPN
Game Three – Washington Mystics at Connecticut Sun, Sunday, October 6, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
*Game Four – Washington Mystics at Connecticut Sun, Tuesday, October 8, 8:00 p.m. ESPN 2
*Game Five – Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics, Thursday, October 10, 8:00 p.m. ESPN 2
* - if necessary
(Regular Season/ Playoffs)
89.3/ 92.3- points per game
77.3/ 92.0 - points against
46.9/ 45.7 - Field goal %
(Regular Season/ Playoffs)
80.8/ 85.3- points per game
77.9/ 66.3 - points against
42.3/ 43.9- field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Containing Courtney Williams and Jasmine Thomas: Stating the obvious, however, this backcourt tandem has been unstoppable throughout the playoffs, resulting in a three game sweep of the LA Sparks in the semifinals. Williams is averaging a team high 19 points on 46 percent shooting from the field, while grabbing 8.7 rebounds and dishing out 5 assist per game. Keep in mind, she’s 5’8. Williams tenacity, speed and quickness is something that’s hard for opponents to deal with. Washington will have to be on a string defensively, especially in the pick & roll and transition to keep Williams in check.
Thomas, kills you with poise and efficiency, which makes her the perfect compliment to Williams. The 5’9 Thomas is averaging 18.3 points (second on the team) on 52 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from three point range, leading the team with 6.3 assist and nearly 2 steals per game. The Mystics will have to be aware of Thomas controlling the pace of the game and allowing her to be surgical with her scoring and playmaking throughout the game. When she’s controlling the game, Connecticut is nearly unbeatable. Great thing is, Washington has great depth as a team yet especially on the perimeter. Don’t be shocked to see Mystics head coach Mike Thibault throw a lot of bodies at this lethal tandem to slow them down.
Move The Ball: It’s worked for Washington all season in a record fashion, why change now. Ask any coach and they’ll tell you the greatest weapon in basketball is the pass and that’s how Washington kills opponents. With a roster so deep with so many versatile players, ball movement not only keeps the defense honest and on the move, it also fatigues them, with fatigue comes mental breakdowns and mistakes. The Mystics PREY on those mistakes, due to their unselfishness, poise and skill as a team. That’s how you get Delle Donne, Meesseman, Toliver, Powers, Sanders and co, spotting up for wide open jumpers. Washington led the league in assist during the regular season with 21.9 helpers per game and are second in the playoffs, averaging 23.8 assist per game. With Tasha Cloud setting the table beautifully throughout the playoffs, setting the unselfish tone game in and game out, if Washington plays their game, they will have consistent mismatches to take advantage of and with their ability to shoot the ball, it’ll be difficult for Connecticut to slow down. Stay Tuned!