The matchup: The two teams currently on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture also own the longest losing streaks in the WNBA. One of those skids comes to an end when the Washington Mystics travel to face the New York Liberty on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Mystics (5-20) returned from the Olympic break with a slim chance at a playoff berth. Losing four straight and six of seven since has not helped their cause. Washington sits 4.5 games behind Chicago, currently the fourth and final seed, and four back of New York.The road has not been kind to the Mystics, who have dropped 12 of 13 away from the Verizon Center. However the one victory came at New York immediately before the break, a stunning 70-53 win behind 24 points from Crystal Langhorne. Since then, five straight road losses, four by at least 15 points.The Liberty (9-16), losers of three straight, committed 21 turnovers and shot 32 percent from the field in the previous loss to the Mystics. Cappie Pondexter, the WNBAs leading scorer with 20.7 points per game, averaged 23.5 points in two games against the Mystics this season including 25 in a June win at Washington.Last time out: Holding a two-point lead at halftime, the Mystics lost their way during the second half at Atlanta, outscored by the new-look Dream 51-28 over the final two quarter. Despite playing without the leading scorer Angel McCoughtry, suspended for a team violation, Atlanta gave new head coach Fred Williams his first victory by scoring 24 fast-break points compared to Washingtons eight and opening the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run. We turned the ball over which led to some easy baskets for them, Mystics coach and general manager Trudi Lacey said. The other piece of it is we fouled and got them on the free throw line. When you play with that combination it leads to easy points for the other team.Monique Currie scored a team-high 14 points and Crystal Langhorne had 13 for the Mystics, who have lost their last three games by an average of 16.6 points.Consistent Currie: Since returning from the Olympic break, the Mystics small forward has reached double digit points in six of seven games yet did not tally more than 14 points in any game during that span. Washingtons second-leading scorer on the season (10.7) had seven such outings in 18 games before the break, including a season-high 21 points against Connecticut, but also scored in single-digit scoring seven times. Currie is averaging 11.4 points during the second half of the season along with 1.7 steals.
The Caps will look to extend their point streak on Tuesday as they take on the Ottawa Senators (7:30 p.m., CSN+). Here are three bold predictions for the game.
1. Both teams will combine for five goals or fewer
Translated for all you betting fans out there, take the under. Washington could easily score five by themselves these days, but Ottawa plays them tight. In their first two games, the Caps and Senators combined for only four goals. That’s not in October before Washington got hot, both of those games were played in January.
2. T.J. Oshie will score
Oshie has scored in each of the last four games and in five of his last six. He also scored the lone goal in Washington’s 1-0 win in Ottawa on Jan. 7. He will extend that streak to five straight games on Tuesday.
3. Washington will give up a power play goal
With Jay Beagle a late scratch due to illness, the Caps’ penalty kill may suffer as a result. They certainly won’t generate the offense we usually see and they lose the team’s best faceoff man.
2017 Results: With the back to back games, here’s a very abbreviated prediction recap from yesterday:
1. The Caps will give up at least four power plays - Correct
2. Carolina will score first - Correct
3. Marcus Johansson will score - Wrong
The Colts want to interview Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta for their vacant general manager position, according to Albert Breer of MMQB.com. It was unclear as of Tuesday whether DeCosta would have interest in pursuing the Colts job. He has declined numerous opportunities to interview with NFL teams in the past, content to remain in Baltimore as the successor-in-waiting to general manager Ozzie Newsome. DeCosta has been with the Ravens since 1996.
However, the Colts job could have appeal to DeCosta that previous jobs have not. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was a defensive coordinator with the Ravens. Meanwhile, the presence of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck makes their general manager vacancy an attractive one. There is no need to worry about finding a franchise quarterback in Indianapolis. A general manager who can put the right pieces around Luck can build a contender very quickly.
The Colts fired general manager Ryan Grigson earlier this month, and their interview list reportedly includes Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard; the Seahawks’ co-player personnel duo of Scott Fitterer and Trent Kirchner; Vikings assistant general manager George Paton; Colts interim general manager Jimmy Raye; and Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf. Adding DeCosta to that list would give Colts owner Jim Irsay another strong candidate to choose from.