Mystics 26-8 (2-2) vs Connecticut Sun 21-13 (2-2)
When: Thursday, October 10th, at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV: ESPN 2
Mystics: Kiara Leslie – (Out, Torn Meniscus in right knee
Notes – There will be a first time WNBA champion tonight in a do or die game five.
(Regular Season/ Playoffs)
89.3/ 91.4- points per game
77.3/ 90.5 - points against
46.9/ 47.6 - Field goal %
(Regular Season/ Playoffs)
80.8/ 87.4- points per game
77.9/ 80.1 - points against
42.3/ 45.9- field goal %
Keep an eye on:
First Quarter Scoring/ Rebounding:
Game One – First Quarter Scoring: 30-17 Washington/ Rebounds: Washington over Connecticut 28-27 = Mystics 95-86 Win
Game Two – First Quarter Scoring: 29-17 Connecticut/ Rebounds: Connecticut over Washington 41-27 = Suns 99-87 Win
Game Three – First Quarter Scoring: 32-17 Washington/ Rebounds: Washington over Connecticut 34-27= Mystics 94-81 Win
Game Four – First Quarter Scoring: 32-17 Connecticut/ Rebounds: Connecticut over Washington 39-29 = Suns 90-86 Win
The team that has won the first quarter and rebounding battle for the game, has won each game this series. Execute, get off to strong start offensively, defend and get off defense by REBOUNDING (which also limits Connecticut’s offensive rebounding which they thrive on) and Washington will be in a good position to win this game. That’s it! It’s as simple as that.
Contain Alyssa Thomas: is a difficult thing to do, yet, something Washington must do if they want to celebrate a championship at the end of the game. Thomas has had her way this series and if Connecticut pulls out a win tonight, she will undoubtedly be finals MVP. The former Terp is averaging a near triple double with 17.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8 assist and 2.3 steals per game on 53 percent shooting from the field during the finals. She’s been the one player Washington has had no answer for. Even more impressive, is her free throw shooting this series. Thomas shot just under 50 percent from the line during the regular season, however, during the finals, she’s shooting 86 percent from the line, a near 40 percent increase which included a few clutch ones during Connecticut’s game four win. The Mystics MUST find a way to disrupt her, doing so will be pivotal to Washington’s championship aspirations.
Who Remains Themselves: during winning time. Late in the game, I saw Connecticut continue to play their game with Alyssa Thomas, Courtney Williams and Jasmine Thomas attacking to lead the Sun while the Mystics stars, specifically Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver looked uncharacteristically rattled. Toliver came off a screen late with the clock winding down and had a look from three that I’ve seen her take with no hesitation since her days at Maryland and she passed it to Aerial Powers who missed a corner three. Yes, I’m aware that Jonquel Jones switched on her and Jasmine Thomas quickly went to trap when Kristi made a move in her direction, nonetheless, when has that type of defense in that situation stopped Kristi from launching a potential dagger before? This is what she does. She’s known for putting the dagger in team’s hearts. It’s what makes her special. Delle Donne wasn’t aggressive enough in demanding the ball late in the game. Yes, once again I’m aware of her injuries, but, as the saying goes, no player is healthy at this point in the season. Its game four after Washington fought back into the game, on the road in a hostile environment. They needed the league MVP to demand the ball and make plays. Notice I said MAKE PLAY’S, not necessarily shoot every time. When the game is on the line, the stars decide the game. Yes role players may make a shot here or there, but it’s usually a result of the star drawing a lot of attention and passing the ball to the role player for the shot. So the star still dictated the game.
Connecticut stars showed up late to decide game four, Washington need their stars to be stars and do the same to ensure victory tonight or it will be a sad evening in DC.