The Washington Mystics are in the midst of their worst stretch of the season, a nine game losing streak that began back on Aug. 21. Their last win was a 75-71 victory over the Chicago Sky on Aug. 19.
The team has just one road win all season, back in July over the New York Liberty, and they are 1-11 since the Olympic break.
They won’t have an easy task against the Atlanta Dream on Friday at Verizon Center. Atlanta has beaten them soundly in two of their three previous meetings. The only game that was close was a 98-93 loss in Atlanta on Sept. 9.
The Dream are led by All-Star and Olympian Angel McCoughtry, who has been in and out of the lineup due to suspensions, and is listed as a reserve in the pregame notes. In addition to McCoughtry, one of the main reasons for the Dream’s success is point guard Lindsey Harding, a former Mystic.
Harding played for Washington in 2009 and 2010, but after the season, requested a trade to the Dream. The team accommodated her request. Last season, Harding helped lead the Dream exactly where they had been the year before – to the WNBA Finals as Eastern Conference Champions.
The 5-foot-8 Harding is now in her sixth season, and is well known as one of the best defensive point guards in the league. This season, she’s ranked seventh in assists per game (4.5) and fourth in total assists (138) heading into Friday’s game. She’s averaging 12.1 points, and will likely be guarded for most of the game by fellow Duke alum Jasmine Thomas.
The Dream (17-14) will be headed back to the playoffs this year, while the Mystics (5-25) are working on getting some playing time for some of team’s younger players, and looking ahead to the WNBA draft lottery later this month. They will need to win two of their last four games to top last year’s record of 6-28, which was the second-worst mark in franchise history.
The worst was 3-27, in their inaugural season in 1998.