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  Debate

Debate

Can the Aces pull off a win without their star players, or is an upset inevitable?

Coming up with a 5-15 win-loss record in the 2024 season, the Mystics will be locking horns against the Aces, who currently hold an 11-6 record. The Aces will be entering Michelob ULTRA Arena in full form after registering a victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.

However, this upcoming matchup, scheduled to commence today, will not be an easy sail, especially for the Washington Mystics as they’ll face immense talent on the Aces’ roster. This challenge becomes even more daunting with the Mystics lacking their important players. But who and why are these key players absent from the roster?

Mystics injury report

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At the top of the Mystics’ injury report stands Shakira Austin. Last year, while playing a showdown against the New York Liberty, Austin strained her left hip. After months of rest, she finally made a comeback in mid-August. Unfortunately, she re-injured her hip in a hard fall against the same team. Over time, her hip injury worsened, and she eventually announced she would have surgery to repair her torn left hip labrum on December 1.

Poll of the day

Who will step up for the Las Vegas Aces with four key players out?

A'ja Wilson

Chelsea Gray

Kelsey Plum

Jackie Young

Now back, she has played eight games including two preseason and six regular season matchups. Unfortunately, all the games she has played this season have been losses. She has currently averaged 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

As per the reports of The Washington Post, another hooper whose status reads day-to-day in the Mystics camp is Stefanie Dolson who is sitting out due to an illness. Reportedly, she wasn’t present ahead at the shoot-around ahead of Thursday’s game.

USA Today via Reuters

The other two players absent are Karlie Samuelson and Brittney Sykes. Samuelson suffered an injury on June 14 in a matchup against the Chicago Sky this season. During gameplay, her fingertip was hit by the basketball. After starting an impressive 17 games, Samuelson is out due to her injury.

On the other hand, star guard Brittney Sykes has a left foot injury. Unfortunately, this is the second injury she’s facing. Before the left foot injury, Sykes missed 10 games earlier this season due to a left ankle injury. Currently, she averages 11.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. Key statistics from all three players show they were essential for today’s matchup against the Aces. But why?

Las Vegas Aces’ full strength

The major reason behind Aces’ success is its entire team to play. To the spectators’ surprise, no players are out from the Las Vegas Aces for today’s matchup. Insider Callie Lawson-Freeman shared, “Yes! The Aces didn’t report any injuries for today’s game vs. the Mystics. Everyone is available,” on her official X account.

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This definitely makes the Aces stronger than ever before. Additionally, the Aces will be led by their leader in points and rebounds, A’ja Wilson, who averages 27.0 points with 11 rebounds per game. The Aces’ best passer, Jackie Young, averaged 18.7 points per game and 5.7 assists. Standing along with them is Kelsey Plum, a leader in three-point shooting, knocking down three shots per game, who will support Wilson.

Both Wilson and Plum are among the top players on the USA’s roster coming up for a matchup on July 20 against the All-Stars. But the Mystics, despite the absence of their key players, aren’t weak either. The team will be led by Ariel Atkins, scoring 14.3 points per game. She’ll be accompanied by Aaliyah Edwards, averaging 6.2 rebounds per game.

What do you think? Who’ll win? Comment down below!

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Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, has to say about the Reese-Clark rivalry and more, watch this video: