Mystics WNBA 

WNBA Playoffs: Washington Mystics vs Atlanta Dream Game 3 Preview

Washington Mystics vs Atlanta Dream – Series 1-1

When: Friday, August 31st, at 8 p.m.

Where: Charles E. Smith Center, Washington D.C.

TV: ESPN NEWS & NBA TV SIMULCAST

 

 

Injury

Mystics: Elena Delle Donne (Game Time Decision/ Knee)

Dream: Angel McCoughtry (Out/Knee)

 

Series Stats –

Mystics –

81.0 – points per game

81.0 – points against

42.8 – Field goal %

 

Dream –

81.0 – points per game

81.0 – points against

42.9 – field goal %

 

 

Leading Scorers –

ATL         PTS

Alex Bentley

20.5

Tiffany Hayes

17.0

Elizabeth Williams

12.5

Brittney Sykes

9.5

Jessica Breland

8.0

 

 

               

WAS      PTS

Elena Delle Donne

29.5       

Kristi Toliver

12          

Ariel Atkins

10          

LaToya Sanders

9.5         

Natasha Cloud

9

               

 

 

 

Keep an eye on:

 

 Delle Donne’s Availability: Without Delle Donne, does that end any chance of Washington winning this series? No it doesn’t. Does it diminishes Washington’s chances greatly? YES!!! It’s not that the Mystics don’t have enough talent remaining to compete, especially with Dream all-star Angel McCoughtry out with injury, and they have been every bit the equal of the Mystics WITH Delle Donne playing. It’s not that. It’s the fact that Delle Donne, one of the best players in WNBA history, has been playing the best basketball of her career. It’s the fact that the number one defense in the WNBA has had no answer for her. That’s a huge blow for any team, no matter how talented due to the reality that you don’t have a safety net so to speak. Delle Donne is averaging 29.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assist on 47 percent shooting from the field, 50 percent shooting from deep and 100 percent shooting from the line, while only committing 1.5 turnovers. Yea, that type of production isn’t just walking around on the street. Mystics head coach Mike Thibault announced after this morning’s shoot around that “The team is preparing as if she won’t play. And that a decision will come around 6:30 this afternoon.” With Delle Donne and behind the home crowd at the Smith Center, the Mystics are nearly unbeatable, without Delle Donne that remains to be seen. In a best of five series, tonight’s game three is pivotal. Washington can’t afford to give home court advantage back to the determined Dream. Stay Tuned!!

 

Alex Bentley: Dream needed someone to step up and provide a scoring punch to counter Delle Donne’s lethal scoring. Enter Alex Bentley. Bentley has been on a terror this series, averaging a team high 20.5 points off the bench on 51 percent shooting from the field and 62 percent shooting from three point range in 24.5 minutes. She’s outscoring the entire Mystics bench herself 20.5 to 11. Behind Delle Donne, Bentley has been the best player in the series. Without her, Atlanta is down 2-0, easily. Washington will have to find a way to slow her down, with or without Delle Donne, if they want win this series.

 

Step Up: 36 of 100. That’s the shooting stat of the Mystics when you exclude Delle Donne. 36 percent shooting for the rest of the team through two games so far. Not rocket science to see scoring wise, the team has to step up and be more consistent. Some of this can attributed to the tenacious defense of the Dream, don’t forget, they held opponents to 36.5 percent shooting during the season, this is what they do. However, with the possibility of not only Delle Donne being sidelined but hobbled whenever she returns, others will have to carry the load. Toliver is shooting 29 percent for the series, Atkins 33 percent, Sanders 42 percent. The Dream is saying Delle Donne get yours but we’re taking away everyone else. If other Mystics players don’t step up, this series favors the Dream heavily.

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