Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller anticipates a completely different game than the first headed into today's second meeting with the Washington Mystics.
"I don't know that I can preach any louder to our team that it's going to be a completely different matchup," Miller said during a teleconference on Wednesday. In the pair's first meeting back on June 3rd, the Sun came out big with an 88-64 victory in DC. "We were catching Washington playing their fourth game in six days. They missed shots, they lost their legs in one part of the game. But to our credit, I felt like we took advantage of that and kept our foot on the pedal and did some great things."
The Mystics started out the season 4-0 before hitting multiple road bumps in illness and injuries combined with a tough road stretch resulting in 1-4 record in the last week and a half. The good news? They've now had time to rest and prepare.
"They're going to be a lot more fresh playing us. They had flight troubles home from Vegas before they played us, so they did not have a practice. Now, they've had a long stretch of practices getting prepared for us," Miller said. "Add in just the minor detail that they played us without Elena (Delle Donne), and now they have her back for this matchup, and this second matchup is now completely different."
A reloaded and rejuvenated Mystics squad hopes to get back on track, but it's not an easy task going up against the number one team in the league. The Sun stand at 7-1 and undefeated at home. They rank first in almost every other statistical category including scoring (92.6 ppg), rebounding (40 rpg) , assists (21 apg) and field goal percentage (47%).
Washington is currently led by WNBA All-Stars Elena Delle Donne and Kristy Toliver who average 15 and 14 points respectively. First-round draft pick, Ariel Atkins, has proven a tremendous asset to the team and playing well early on along with fellow rookie Myisha Hines-Allen.
Mystics Keys to The Game
Rebounding: Limit Sun second chance opportunities and keep the numbers close. Offensively, crashing the boards and creating put pack opportunities.
Making shots: When they shoot the ball well, they can remain in games. This comes down to shot selection, spacing and of course, a little luck. Made shots result in an opportunity to set up your defense and slow the Sun's high octane offense down.
Defend: Make them work for every basket and shot they get. There has to be resistance.
You can catch the action tonight at 7:00pm ET on ESPN2