When Washington and Connecticut look back at the 2016 season, what they will see are two teams that are more similar than different.
Both have 13-20 records. Washington is 5-11 at home while Connecticut is 5-11 on the road. The Mystics are 8-9 on the road while the Sun are 8-9 at home.
But the main similarity is that both are on the outside, looking in as the regular season concludes for the two at Washington on Sunday.
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The Mystics and Sun will look back at this season and see a pair of losing streaks that doomed their chances.
Losing the first three games of the season set the tone for the Mystics.
Washington bounced back and was 9-8 entering play in July. Then came a seven-game losing skid and the Summer Olympics break, and the Mystics' hopes had long since faded.
Hopes were sky-high for the Sun after they won all three preseason games. But those hopes came crashing won when they promptly opened the season by losing seven of their first eight games.
Connecticut never did find a rhythm until right before the Olympics break. The Sun played better and had a three-game win streak that provided a bit of false hope.
On Sunday, players can make a statement with only their pride on the line.
Alex Bentley leads the Sun in scoring at 13.0 points per game, but she has struggled a bit of late. Chiney Ogwumike has been a constant. She is coming off a double-double — 13 points and 13 rebounds– in a 33-point win over the Dallas Wings on Friday. For the season, Ogwumike has pumped in 12.7 points per game and grabbed a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game.
Looking to next season, the Sun will have Morgan Tuck back. Tuck, the third overall pick in the 2016 draft, played in 26 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. She finished the season averaging 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
The silver lining for the Mystics this season has been the play of center Emma Meesseman. Second on the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game, the fourth-year pro has developed into the league's top 3-point threat.
She leads the league at 45.5 percent from beyond the arc and overall she connects on 53 percent from the field, which ranks her just outside the top 10.
Between Meesseman and Tayler Hill, who leads the team at 15.6 points per game, the Sun have a solid one-two punch on offense.
The Mystics beat the Sun on May 21, 84-76. Hill made 10of 11 free throws and scored 24 in that game.
On June 14, the Mystics won an epic three-overtime game, 109-106. Meesseman led the way with 23 in the victory.