The Washington Mystics are heading into Indiana to face the Fever tonight, both teams won their last games. Theses two teams met earlier this season at Bankers Life Field House, with the Mystics coming out on top with an 87-75 victory. Indiana is the team that sent Washington home in the postseason last year, so the Mystics are certainly trying to beat them every chance they are given.
The Fever were in the midst of a two game losing streak, but Tamika Catchings refused to let it get to three games. The Fever beat the Connecticut Sun 92-84, giving the conference leading Sun just their second loss of the season. The Fever legend had 26 points and 10 rebounds, moving her just 14 rebounds shy of Taj McWilliams-Franklin for third place on the all time rebounding list.
Indiana is in the first year after Hall of Fame coach Lin Dunn retired, Stephanie White took over after being a long time assistant of Dunn.Having a player of Catchings stature surely can’t hurt, especially when the best player buys in. The Fever are still finding their way, but they’ll have to be ready for a Washington team that just put together their first complete game.
The Mystics are one of the best teams in the league, whether it’s widely accepted is another story. The development of their young players has them in a very good place, throw in the Ivory Latta, Kara Lawson and Armintie Herrington. There’s more than enough veteran leadership, not to mention a good coach in Mike Thibault. Washington’s now just a game back of first place in the East, even after dropping three games this season. All of which they held a double-digit lead in at some point.
While the Mystics don’t have that clear cut ‘star’, they certainly have a boat load of talent. There’s at least three players that are deserving of an All-Star bid this season. As mentioned earlier, the Mystics are coming off their most complete game of the season. They beat the Chicago Sky by 15 points earlier in the week, Emma Meesseman went toe to toe with Elena Delle Donne and did more than hold her own. Washington’s young front court duo is on their way to becoming one of the best in the league. Meesseman and Dolson compliment each other perfectly, they’ve both had good seasons to this point, but in the win against the Sky, they both went off. Showing their ability to play defense, rebound, score, pass, and set screens.
Washington is dangerous because of their balance, they have bigs that can score in one on one situations as well as in the pick-and-roll/pop. Their ability to set screens only opens up the floor more for shooters like Ivory Latta, Kara Lawson, and Tayler Hill. Latta went off in the last meeting of these two teams, but it’s much more than her. It’s a dangerous, versatile team that is trying to stack these complete performances together.
Keys to a Mystics Victory
- Feed the Post. Continue to feed Emma and Stef, they set the tone on the offensive end. Especially Emma, might not be a player in the league that can guard her one-on-one
- Share the Wealth. Washington’s been successful this season by moving the ball, must continue to move the ball and get great looks for shooters
- Rebounding. The Mystics did a great job last game on the glass, it’s more than just the bigs. Last game was the first time the guards ‘attacked’ the glass and it paid off. That must continue against the Fever
- Killer Instinct. Washington is still working on this, they’ve built a double-digit lead in every game this season. Have to start putting teams away
Which team will take their last win and build a streak, the Mystics or the Fever??