Liberty vs Mystics Game 2 Prediction WNBA Picks 9/19

Liberty vs Mystics Game 2 Prediction WNBA Picks 9/19

© Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

 

WNBA First Round - Game 2: Mystics vs Liberty

The New York Liberty (32-8, 15-5 home) currently lead the first-round playoff series 1-0 against the Washington Mystics (19-21, 7-13 away). The second game of the series is scheduled for September 19, 2023, at the Barclays Center. 

 

Washington Mystics: The Underdogs

Regular Season Overview

The Mystics concluded the regular season with a 19-21 overall record, showing a 9-11 performance against Eastern Conference rivals. Despite being pegged as underdogs, their recent matches indicate they could defy the odds.

Recent Head-to-Head

The Mystics and Liberty ended their regular-season series tied at 2-2, underscoring the competitive nature of this matchup. Just before the playoffs began, the Mystics managed to secure a narrow 90-88 win over the Liberty, indicating that they can indeed compete with their rivals when on form.

Key Players

Brittney Sykes has been in remarkable form for the Mystics, leading the team in scoring with 15.9 PPG and also excelling in defensive plays with an average of 2.1 steals per game. Natasha Cloud has been a vital playmaker for the team, boasting an average of 6.2 assists per game. Her recent three-point shooting has been notable, with an average of 1.6 made threes over the last ten games.

No Injury Concerns

Surprisingly, the Mystics have managed to keep their core players healthy, offering them the chance to compete at full strength against a strong Liberty lineup.

 

New York Liberty: The Favorites

Season Performance

The Liberty have had a remarkable season, ending with a 32-8 record, including a 15-5 home record. They've displayed impressive stats, especially with 8.7 offensive rebounds per game, led by Breanna Stewart's 4.0 average.

Recent Form

The Liberty have been on a tear, with a 9-1 record in their last 10 games, including the playoff opener against the Mystics. However, their loss to the Mystics during the regular season and the potential absence of key player Courtney Vandersloot could influence their performance.

Pressure of Maintaining Lead

Being the favorites and having won the first game, the Liberty might feel the psychological burden of maintaining their series lead, a factor that could influence their decision-making on the court.

 

Prediction: 

Previous Competitive Games

The Mystics have shown they can hold their own against the Liberty, as evidenced by their close regular-season matchups. This bodes well for their chances of keeping Game 2 competitive.

Full-Strength Mystics

With no players listed as out due to injuries, the Mystics have the advantage of fielding their best possible lineup, thus increasing their odds of a strong performance.

Potential Absence of Vandersloot

The Liberty's star playmaker, Courtney Vandersloot, is listed as day-to-day. Should she be absent or even play below her best, it could have a significant impact on the Liberty's offensive efficiency and playmaking, offering the Mystics a potential edge.

Final Thoughts

Taking into account the closely contested nature of their recent games, the Mystics' full-strength squad, and potential challenges for the Liberty, Washington appears well-positioned to not just compete but cover the +10.5 points spread. Their motivated "underdog" mindset could serve as the fuel for a surprising performance.

 

Pick: Mystics +10.5 -110

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