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Washington Mystics vs New York Liberty Preview



Mystics 0-0 vs Liberty 0-0

When: Tuesday,May 14th, at 7:00p.m.

Where: Entertainment & Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.

TV: ESPN 3





Injury:

Mystics:  Shakira Austin (Probable, Left Hip)

Liberty: None





Keep an eye on:

New Identity: of the Mystics. The majority of the core from the dominant 2019 Championship team are gone, with the only holdovers being Ariel Atkins, Myisha Hines-Allen and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. Along with the three mainstays from 2019, Washington has standout guard Brittney Sykes and veteran center Stefanie Dolson who returns to DC after five seasons in Chicago and two seasons in New York.


Washington will have a far different identity than the high powered offensive identity it has had over the last few seasons with Elena Delle Donne, Natasha Cloud, Kristi Toliver and the recently retired Tianna Hawkins helping lead the charge. The 2024 version looks to be headed towards a defense first identity. Things will obviously start with Atkins and Sykes, who are two of the top all around guards in the WNBA. The dynamic tandem are both capable of playing at an all star level on both ends of the floor and they very well may need to perform at that level to keep a fairly young Mystics team competitive. Backing them up is 6'2 DiDi Richards, who's a impactful, versatile defender in her own right. Keep an eye on 31 year old rookie point guard Julie Vanloo. I anticipate her becoming a fan favorite rather quickly due to her competitive spirit and natural flair playing the game. She's fun to watch. Don't sleep on Karlie Samuelson, who's a sniper and tough as nails. Then you have the athletic Shakira Austin anchoring the middle, with Hines-Allen, Dolson providing depth, alomg with rookie Aaliyah Edwards.


Washington may be flying under the radar right now, although, if they defend at a high level, they will surprise people and be very difficult to put away.


Revenge Season?: is highly possible from the 2023 runners up New York Liberty. New York returns one of the best cores in the W in all stars Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu. Assist queen Courtney Vanderloot is back guiding the ship and the very underrated Betnijah Laney is a big time threat on both ends of the floor. The Liberty, after a rather humbling loss to the Las Vegas Aces last season, will no doubt be highly motivated to not only get back to the finals, but win it. They will pose a nice season opening test for the Mystics.

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