Today, the Washington Mystics and the Indiana Fever played their first preseason games, and the former beat the latter by 17 points. However, Washington used more of their core players than Indiana, providing a preview of what their lineup makeup will be. As expected, Ivory Latta and Kara Lawson were the starting backourt, and Monique Currie was the starting small forward. Not surprisingly, the UConn media star Stephanie Dolson was the starting center, and the newly acquired (vía the Crystal Langhorne-Bria Hartley trade this summer) Tianna Hawkins was the starting power forward. However, at least one of the interior women will be relegated to the bench once Kia Vaughn, as well as Quanitra Hollingsworth and Emma Messemman get back to the lineup.
As for some remarkable stats, Monique Currie who was perfect from the field (6/6 FG, 2/2 3s, 4/4 FT) has been the leading scorer of the game with 18 points, having played hardly 18 minutes. Otherwise, Dolson had a decent defensiva game with 2 steals and 2 blocks, and Hartley looked confident with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Also, the distribution of minutes could give a clue of the players that might likely get cut: Thornton, Burke, Mathies and Spanou. However, I have doubts on who the final cut will be in this deep roster. I would include Milovanovic, but in order to make room for her, McKenith, Ruffin-Pratt, Hawkins, or Hollingsworth would need to get cut.
On the Fever side, they showed their depth its more limited than the Mystics’ one. The bench had a horrible night, and the only good sign was the aggresiveness and confidence showed by rookie Natasha Howard. She scored 14 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished 2 assists in 19 minutes, and she immediately fit in the starting lineup. However, it still remains to be seen who will start alongside Briann January, Shavonte Zellous, Tamika Catchings, and Erlana Larkins. I really think that Lin Dunn should start Natasha Howard with those four, providing another all-around player next to Catchings. That way, the Fever could enjoy a nicer bench with Karima Christmas, Marissa Coleman, Layshia Clarendon, Jasmine Hassell and Lynetta Kizer. Also, Jeanette Pohlen will miss another season due to a new injury, so an opportunity to make the roster could arise for Haiden Palmer and Ziomara Morrison. However, Palmer was horrible today, going 0/9 from the field, and she will need to step up in preseason games.
|WASHINGTON MYSTICS (80)|
|INDIANA FEVER (63)|