Mystics 1-0 vs Sun 1-0
When: Sunday, May 21st, at 1:00p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena
TV: NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Boston, WNBA League Pass
Mystics: Myisha Hines-Allen (Out, Kneecap )
Keep an eye on:
Tempo: of the game. For Washington, in their dominant season opening win over the New York Liberty, a key part of their dominance was their fast pace throughout the game. It caught the Liberty off guard and it resulted in easy scoring opportunities for the Mystics and numerous turnovers by the Liberty from having been sped up. Washington won the fast break battle over New York 16 to 2, while also turning the Liberty over 22 times. It's a saying from George S. Patton Jr, "fatigue makes cowards out of us all," and thats what you saw over the course of the game cripple the Liberty. Washington's fast pace (#1 in the WNBA at 82.7) was the culprit. Look for more of this today against the Sun who is currently 7th in the WNBA in pace at 81.5. While Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner are experienced talented forwards who can play at a fast pace, Brionna Jones, who's more of a traditional low post big, is at her best in a half court game. It will be tough for her to keep up with Shakira Austin for 40 minutes. On the perimeter, the Suns revamped back court of Natisha Hiedeman and Tiffany Hayes, is still a work in progress chemistry wise. Advantage Mystics. Mystics floor general Natasha Cloud is fresh off a near triple double (14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists), Ariel Atkins (14 points, 3 rebounds on 5-10 FG), was her usual efficient self on both ends and Brittney Sykes (9 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists) did a little bit of everything and all three got after it at an high level defensively.
If these three are on their game on both ends, they could overwhelm the Sun right away.
3-point shooting: Connecticut comes in next to last in the WNBA in 3-point shooting. I know it's a small sample size with only one game having been played, however, this is the case. Hiedeman is a career 40 percent shooter from deep, she's a threat the Mystics have to be aware of at all times. DeWanna Bonner and Tiffany Hayes are streaky from 3-point range and Tyasha Harris is a career 32 percent shooter from 3-point territory. Again, the Mystics defense has the advantage. It's clear that the Sun will try to overcome their lack of 3-point shooting by scoring in the paint and getting to the free throw line. In their win over the Fever, 32 of their 70 points were scored in the paint. Look for Washington to crowd the paint defensively while trying to limit the Suns trips to the free throw line. If Washington defends with their hands and send the Suns to the line, it will help Connecticut get free points, control the pace of the game and limit Washington's fast beak opportunities.
This game will be a contrast of styles. Whomever imposes their style of play the best, will walk off the floor 2-0.