Updated: Jul 27
Indiana Fever (0-0) vs Washington Mystics (0-0)
When: Saturday, July 25th at 5pm.
Where: IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida TV: CBS Sports Network / Radio: N/A
Longtime Mystics assistant coach Marrianne Stanley begins her first season as head coach of the Indiana Fever while guard Victoria Vivians returns after missing the 2019 season with a torn ACL.
Third overall pick Lauren Cox will be unavailable after arriving to the bubble at IMG Thursday. She will be quarantined to her room for four days.
With Mystics Natasha Cloud, Latoya Sanders, Elena Delle Donne sitting out and former guard Kristi Toliver signing with the LA Sparks during free agency, Washington loses nearly 55 percent of their offense from last season.
Washington: Natasha Cloud (Protesting Social Injustice), Tina Charles (Health), LaToya Sanders (Health), Elena Delle Donne (Health)
Indiana (2019 Stats)-
77.6 - points per game
80.3- points against
42.2 - Field goal %
Washington (2019 Stats)-
89.3- points per game
77.3 - points against
46.9 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Life without Delle Donne: will be tough, but it isn't something the Mystics haven't dealt with before. Finals MVP Emma Meesseman will be in a starring role with the "Aerials/Ariels" being asked to elevate their games to near or at all star levels to keep Washington competitive. Leilani Mitchell, one of the deadliest three point shooter and underrated floor generals in the W, played for the Mystics in 2016 and is familiar with head coach Mike Thibault' system. Don't forget, Mitchell burned the Mystics for eight 3-pointers last season. We will also get our first look at Kiara Leslie who sat out last season with a knee injury.
Veteran forwards Tianna Hawkins, Essence Carson and Myisha Hines-Allen will provide toughness and inside-outside scoring to help strengthen the front court around Meesseman. If Washington gets consistency, they will be competitive in games and with their championship pedigree, pull out enough wins where the postseason isn't a far reach.
Teaira McCowan : has great promise due to her size and ever growing skill set. McCowans was the third best rookie in the WNBA last season, being a force on both ends in the paint, nearly averaging a double double with 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Kelsey Mitchell: is lethal and if the Fever are to make any noise this season, she will need to bring consistent efficient scoring to the table. When she's on her game, there aren't many better scoring guards in the league. She's improved her PPG, FT%, 3-point percentage and field goal percentage from her rookie season to the 2019 season, so expect her to improve even more this season and don't be shocked if you see Mitchell make an all star push.