The Washington Mystics had their five game win streak snapped Sunday on the road in Chicago. They fell to the Sky 71-68, that loss allowed Chicago to leap frog them in the standings as both teams trail the New York Liberty. The good news for the Mystics is that they trail those Liberty by just 1.5 games, so they are definitely still in the race to finish atop the East. The San Antonio Stars are struggling on the road this season, their first home loss came at the hands of the Mystics last friday, it was a 35 point drubbing so the Stars are coming to the nation’s capital looking for revenge.
It’s always tough to beat a team twice by a large margin, the Stars will be rearing and ready to go tonight in D.C. The Mystics hadn’t felt defeat in a while, it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll be able to bounce back. During that recent stretch of wins, Washington started to show the type of team they’re capable of being. Boasting one of the league’s best rosters top to bottom, talent isn’t an issue for this young team.
They’ve talked about taking the next step, that five game win streak was a great step in that direction. Now the challenge is to do what good teams do, drop a game and get right back on the horse. Get right back to winning, especially with the opportunity before them with the standings being so close in the East. They’ve done a good job recently of beating the teams they are supposed to beat, tonight is another one of those games. No one should expect a 30 plus point victory, but a team with championship aspirations shouldn’t drop games to teams under .500 under any circumstances.
Kayla McBride and company are a talented bunch, but they don’t have the type of firepower Washington has. She and Danielle Robinson are one of the most underrated and talented backcourts in the league and have been now for the last two seasons McBride is coming off a horrible game and should be expected to respond with a much better performance against the Mystics.
Here’s what the Mystics have to do tonight to get back to their winning ways:
- Jump on them early. Washington has a luxury few other teams have in this league, a second unit with the talent of a starting lineup. As the home team the Mystics have to jump on San Antonio early to let them know there will be no avenging last week’s loss
- Feed the bigs. This will be a key for the rest of this season and the next five years, the Mystics have one of the best young front court duos in the WNBA. Take advantage of it and get Emma and Stef going early. More importantly, keep them involved
- Limit turnovers. The Mystics are nearly unbeatable when they keep their turnovers down, it allows them to get out and run on makes and misses. Keeping their turnovers down really allows Washington to push the pace, with their depth that plays a huge role in wearing opposing teams down
- Share the ball. That’s what makes this team work, they lead the league in assists per game. Tallying a franchise high 30 assists in the blowout of the Stars just a week ago