Mystics WNBA 

Mystics Host Storm in Second Half of Back-to-Back

The Washington Mystics got their first win of the season last night, by beating the Indiana Fever 79-63. Later tonight, they will host the Seattle Storm at the Verizon Center. Washington not only has a chance to go over .500 with a win, but they also can get back to .500 on their home floor. The Storm are coming to Washington with an 0-3 record, the Connecticut Sun beat Seattle last night for their first win. The Storm look to pick themselves up off the mat and get their first win of the year tonight. Former Mystic Crystal Langhorne returns to D.C. for the very first time; Tianna Hawkins faces the team that drafted her sixth overall just last season, which player will beat their former team?

images-5Seattle’s problems this year are all across the board, they have been nothing short of anemic on the offensive end. The Storm have struggled to shoot, pass, and rebound the ball. They have lost every game by a double-digit margin, the only area in which they’ve excelled is in playing the passing lanes. Seattle has 20 steals in just three games, forcing those turnovers haven’t helped them come close to winning. Drastic changes must be made if the Storm wish to start winning basketball games, none bigger than their shooting deficiencies. Seattle is shooting a paltry 37% from the field and a deplorable 27% from beyond the arc. It’s not a talent issue, former Mystic Crystal Langhorne went from averaging 12 points a game last year in Washington to just seven points a game this season. Veteran point guard Sue Bird has averaged 12 points and 5.5 assists over the course of her career, more importantly she is a career 38% shooter from deep. This season, Bird is shooting just 16% from three point land. It’s one thing to struggle offensively, but it only compounds things when a team can’t get stops either. Here’s what Seattle must do to get their first win of the season tonight in Washington:

  • Generate good shots, KNOCK them down
  • Perimeter Defense, Storm opponents are shooting 50% from floor & 38% from three
  • Rebound the ball, Mystics have a lot of size
  • Langhorne & Bird must be assertive early
  • Run Mystics off three point line, several players can hurt them from deep

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In yesterday’s preview, it was mentioned that the Mystics may want to insert some youth into their starting unit. Last night against the Fever, Bria Hartley started in place of Ivory Latta. Hartley finished with 15 points and 5 assists, Latta had 11 points off of the bench. The barometer for Washington this season will always be the rebound margin, the Mystics out-rebounded Indiana 41 to 31. While ten rebounds may not seem like a big deal, it showed that Washington was finishing off defensive possessions with a rebound. They limited Natasha Howard to seven points and zero rebounds, Howard came into the game averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Fever. We’ll find out if the lineup is now set with Hartley as the starter or if it will continue to fluctuate. The Mystics bench scored 33 points in their first game, last night they provided 36 points off of the bench. Washington has a deep team, no matter who is selected to start, the second unit will pack a lot of power. The Mystics could have won by more if they hit more of their threes, they shot 46% from the floor but just 23% from beyond the arc. Washington is a far better three point shooting team, that 23% shouldn’t be taken too seriously at this point. That being said, here are Washington’s keys:

  • Start fast, ¬†getting off to a good start only enhances the bench production
  • Pressure the Ball, Don’t be the team that allows Seattle to regain their shooting touch, lock down defense
  • Take advantage of your size, the starting bigs finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds against the Fever
  • Own the glass, get out and run
  • Stop fouling, move your feet and stop reaching
  • Get Lawson & Currie involved early on the offensive end

 

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CEO/Founder of My Mind on Sports For More Information on Wilson, check out his Bio in the "Team" Section Follow Wilson on Twitter: @Willietspeaks

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