PHO vs WAS Dream11: The WNBA season is reaching its halfway mark and it is clear that some teams are yet to establish a rhythm but are getting there, some like the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces are dominating the competition. And then let us take a look at the two teams that will meet here as Phoenix Mercury will host the Washington Mystics.
The Mercury hasn’t looked the same without Britney Griner as they have lost eight of their 13 games. They started 2-8, and their defense has looked a bit suspect but they have won three in a row since. For the Mystics, things have been much better compared to last season, winning nine of their 15 games but yes, they have slipped a bit losing three of their last five games. In their last match-up, the Phoenix Mercury took the matters to Overtime and defeated the Mystics 99:90 behind an incredible 27 points performance by Skylar Diggins-Smith.
Home: Washington Mystics
Visitors: Phoenix Arena
Match Timing: 15 June, @ 05:30 AM (+05:30 UTC)
Venue: Entertainment & Sports Arena
Mercury’s improving play
The Mercury has looked slow on the defensive end without Brittney Griner, someone who can both seal the paint and extend out to defend the perimeter. While Tina Charles brings superb scoring and rebounding, she doesn’t bring the defensive tools and she hasn’t been on-song on the offensive end either. However, during the last three wins, they have shown their potential to become a much better team.
Skylar Diggins-Smith has been her usual self recently, burying tough shots and also being effective defensively. Diana Taurasi remains a star player where Diamond DeShields fits well alongside these two whereas Brianna Turner is an incredible rebounder and Shey Peddy brings superb production off the bench. Still, the Mercury may not make a deep Playoffs run without getting Griner back?
Mystics are looking tough
The Mystics were not an effective squad last season and one of the reasons for that has been their defense, especially their inside defense. Last season they were among the bottom teams in terms of defense, but things have changed dramatically this season. They are number two in opponents per game and that has been their driving force.
The offense has its issues and when Elena Della-Donne isn’t playing, the team has struggled to get going at many junctures. Cloud and Atkins have been inconsistent and after falling off a bit, Myisha Hines-Allen has gained a bit of her rhythm. Alysha Clark deserves props for her two-way play. Shakira Austin in the middle has shown she can be a star in the future with her throwback paint game.
Highest scorer: Skylar Diggins-Smith: 25
Highest rebounder: Brianna Turner: 11
Top assists maker: Natasha Cloud: 7
Score Prediction: Mercury 88 Mystics 80
Washington Mystics News
Mystics Expected Starting Five
Slashing Wing: SF: Myisha Hines-Allen
Post-Forward: PF: Elena Della-Donne
Inside Presence: C: Shakira Austin
High-Scoring Guard: SG: Ariel Atkins
Ball-Handler: PG: Natasha Cloud
BENCH: Tianna Hawkins, Rui Machida, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Kennedy Burke, Elizabeth Williams
Phoenix Mercury Teams News:
Mercury Expected Starting Five
Post Forward: F: Brianna Turner
High-Yielding Scorer: C: Tina Charles
Athletic Guard: G: Diamond DeShields
Isolation Scorer: PG: Skylar Diggins-Smith
Playmaking Guard: PG: Diana Taurasi
BENCH: Megan Gustafson, Krlie Samuelson, Sam Thomas, Kristine Anigwe.
Elena continues to struggle with injuries but when she is active, she is a huge factor as a scorer, rebounder, and defender. I believe she will be in 11-17 points and 6-9 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 20-32
Skylar is an incredible scorer and is one of those fantastic rhythms she gets around midseason, she is also an incredible defender and a brilliant playmaker. I expect her to be in 20+ points and 4-7 assists range. She can be selected as a Star/Pro Player in the Dream 11 NBA Fantasy scenario.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 38-52
Cloud is a fighter on the defensive end while being tough on rebounding, and being a stellar playmaker but her scoring has suffered. I believe she will be in 9-14 points, 5-8 assists, and 5-7 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 24-34
Guard Taurasi continues to showcase her prime and she has been a brilliant long-range shooter and playmaker again. I believe she will be in 17-24 points and 4-7 assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 31-42
Hines-Allen brings a lot of energy to the floor and after a lean period, she is doing her thing as a scorer and rebounder. I believe she will be in 12-16 points, 7-11 rebounds, and 1-3 steals range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 29-41
Charles’ shooting has been off quite a bit but she can be a factor in keeping the defenses busy while collecting boards. I expect a 11-16 points and 6-9 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 23-34
PG: S Diggins-Smith(SP), N Cloud
SG: D DeShields, D Taurasi(PP)
SF: A Clark
PF: B Turner
C: M Hines-Allen, S Austin
PG: S Diggins-Smith(SP)
SG: D DeShields, A Atkins
SF: A Clark
PF: B Turner, E Delle-Donne(PP)
C: M Hines-Allen, S Austin
An exciting battle between Natasha Cloud and Diggins-Smith, two brilliant two-way players, don’t you wanna watch this? You can watch this game on the WNBA League Pass where all the WNBA action can be seen. You can catch the highlights of the game on the official YouTube of the WNBA. To know the scores, news, and stats, visit the official website of the WNBA.