Since opening the season with two unbeaten losses to go down to 0-2, the Los Angeles Sparks (4-3) have won four of their last five games, taking them to fourth in the standings.
Can they win their third game in a row when they visit the nation’s capital and meet the Washington Mystics (3-5) at 7 p.m. ET Thursday on CBS Sports?
It is fair to note that Sparks has benefited from a convenient schedule. Three of their four wins have come against Chicago Sky, who (until Candice Parker’s return Wednesday night) has been having it all wrong this season. they Another victory She was above Indiana fever living in the basement.
In contrast, the mystics faced a more stringent list of sects. Except for the bad loss in Indiana, Washington’s other losses came against playoff-caliber teams – Chicago (with Candice Parker), Phoenix Mercury, Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces. They are taking off Great win on Tuesday night Above Minnesota Linux.
For the season, teams have similar net ratings, which is a better indicator of team quality than their win-loss record. Mystics’ net rating – 0.8 and Sparks’ net rating minus 1.2 – suggests that this would be a closer match than a quick look at the overall records would suggest.
Washington’s path to victory seems rather simple – let Tina Charles go to work! With the Ogomiki sisters out of injury, the MVP nominee at the start of the season should have the chance to walk into a clinic to score, just as she has done all season. While Charles can unleash her arsenal of postal motions to score around the basket, she also flashes an extended range, spraying not only in his patented elbow jacket but also in the corner and over the 3-head breaker. You have shown all this in Her 31-point performance against Lynx Tuesday, which included a 3-for-6 effort from behind the arc. Although Sparks center back Amanda Zahway B is familiar with Charles’ offensive reference from their time together in New York, Charles is also aware of Zahway B’s defensive shortcomings. The tip is Charles.
The equation for winning in Los Angeles is less clear. Even as they found their way into the winning column recently, Sparks still lacks an offensive identity. Without the ever-competent Nneka Ogwumike, it’s important that they start finding a sustainable record on the half-court. More consistent play from the indented back area would help. While Kristi Tolliver and Erica Wheeler both had some effective scoring matches—Toliver against Indiana and Wheeler in Chicago’s last game—they both also had some saliva. The former All-Stars pair needs to deliver more powerful targets from the ocean every night.
Washington Mystics (3-5) – Los Angeles Sparks (4-3).
when: Thursday, June 10 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Recreational and sports arena in Washington, DC
How to watch: CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington, Spectrum Sportsnet
Match key: Los Angeles could also use “spark” scoring from Britney Sykes. While the defensive play industry that earned her her All-Defensive honor last season advances, Sykes’ offense was below par. After posting a high-profile real shooter rating of 58.8 percent last season, her real shooter rating slipped to the worst of her career at 36.8 percent. Her scoring has almost halved, going from 10.1 points per game last season to 5.7 this season. She scores more than 27 percent of her points by way of quick breaks, a mark that would be a career high if she held onto it, underlining her struggles in the half-court. As the sixth woman in Sparks, she should serve as a reliable crime source for the second unit in Los Angeles.
Sufi injury report: Ariel Atkins (possible; backwards), Sydney Wiese (doubtful, ankle), Elena Delle Donne (out indefinitely; back)
Sparks injury report: Nneka Ogwumike (indefinite; knee), Chiney Ogwumike (indefinite; knee), Jasmine Walker (off-season; knee)