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Washington Mystics vs Indiana Fever Preview

Mystics 5-3 vs Fever 2-6

When: Tuesday, June 13th, at 7:00p.m.

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse

TV: NBC Sports Washington, Bally Sports Indiana, Twitter


Mystics: Elena Delle Donne (Probable, Neck Tightness )

Fever: None

Keep an eye on:

The Battle Up Front: will not only be must see, it will also more than likely be the determining factor in who walks away with a win. Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is probable to return tonight after missing Sundays game against Seattle with neck tightness. Her return is right on time to help spread the floor against the Fevers imposing front court of 6'5 Aliyah Boston (13.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg), the top overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, 6'4 NaLyssa Smith (15 ppg, 10.9 rpg) who is a double double machine in her own right and 6'4 Queen Egbo who is a quality reserve capable of playing both the four and five.

The Fever front court, while although young and still a work in progress chemistry wise, are talented and a major threat inside on both ends. They're a big reason why the Fever currently ranks fourth in field goal percentage (43.2). To make matters worse, Boston and Smith are two of the most efficient scorers in the paint in the entire WNBA. Boston is shooting just over 85 percent on shots three feet an in, while Smith is shooting just under 52 percent on shots three feet and in and 56.3 percent on shots between three to ten feet. Simply put if they get the ball in the's pretty much guaranteed to be a bucket.

Great thing for the Mystics is they have reinforcements up front with Delle Donne to help neutralize the Fevers rapidly improving front court. Second year center Shakira Austin has taken a substantial leap in her game this season. Austin is averaging a near double double with 13.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1 block per game on 52 percent shooting from the field. She's finisher inside, a nightmare to defend out of pick & roll sets due to her touch and improved range shooting the ball on the perimeter, and she's already an elite defender with a defensive rating of 87.8 which makes her tops in the WNBA in defensive rating. Savvy veteran Tianna Hawkins (5.4 ppg, 4 rpg) is still impactful playing the four or five in spurts and Myisha Hines-Allen ( 1.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg) is due for a breakout game as she continues to work the rust off after missing the first five games of the season with a knee injury.

This will be a fun battle to watch all game long, especially the match-up between Austin and Boston, continuing a battle that began in college during their SEC conference play days. Again, whoever owns the paint on both ends, takes this contest tonight.

Mystics Team Defense: has been OUTSTANDING this season and it isn't getting as much recognition as it should be. Truth be told, its the reason why they're 5-3 currently. Washington has in stretches, made opponents disappear and it's been beautiful to watch. Let me put in perspective how DOMINANT Washington has been defensively.....

- Washington is first in points allowed (73.3)...

- Washington is first in defensive rating (92.2)

- Every player on the Mystics has an individual defensive rating of 97 or lower....

- Washington has FIVE players in the top eleven of the WNBA in defensive rating. Austin (87.8/ 1st), Sykes (90.8/ 3rd), Delle Donne (92.2/6th), Atkins (93.0/ 7th) and Cloud (95.7/ 11th).

Washington has been all time special on the defensive end this season and i don't see that stopping any time soon.

Mystics Shooting: has to and can ONLY go up from where they currently sit. They just have to make shots. Period. They're getting good looks in ideal scoring position based upon each players skill set, thanks in large part to Natasha Cloud doing a good job of setting the pace and table for her teammates. Yet, outside Delle Donne and Austin, no other Mystics player has been able to consistently put the ball in the basket at an efficient rate. Washington is currently 11th in points per game (75.4), 11th in offensive rating (94.9) and 11th in field goal percentage (38.7) and 11th in 3-point shooting percentage (30.7). Washington is way too talented to be shooting the ball this poorly and its something that HAS to change if they are to accomplish their goal of making another championship run.

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