Washington Mystics vs. Los Angeles Sparks: How to watch Candace Parker's return on CBS Sports Network

Heading into the season, the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks were two of the favorites to take home the 2019 WNBA title. So far, however, both have faltered at times, and enter Tuesday's matchup at 4-3, stuck right in the middle of the giant pack trailing the first-place Connecticut Sun.

After rattling off four straight wins, the Mystics have now dropped their last two outings, including a brutal loss to the Seattle Storm at home, in which they gave up a 13-point fourth-quarter lead. In surprising fashion, it's been their offense, more so than their defense, which has let them down in recent games. 

As for the Sparks, they enter Tuesday's matchup looking to bounce back from a surprising loss to the New York Liberty. It's been an up and down start for the Sparks, which isn't surprising given their new additions and injuries, but the good news is Candace Parker has been cleared to return to action. She's set to play her first game of the season after injuring her hamstring during preseason. 

How to watch Washington Mystics at Los Angeles Sparks

Storylines

Mystics: After a 4-1 start, the Mystics had a chance to break away from the pack and establish themselves among the upper echelon of the league. Instead, they dropped a competitive game to the first-place Sun, then suffered a brutal collapse in the fourth quarter against the Storm. Now they're 4-3, which is fine, but puts them right in the mix with so many of the other teams trying to still figure themselves out. Perhaps most concerning for the Mystics is that their vaunted offense has struggled against other good teams, including in their losses to the Sun and Storm. They'll face another tough challenge on that front against a Sparks team that boasts one of the best defenses in the league. 

Sparks: The Sparks have been a bit of a puzzle over the first few weeks of the season. At times they look like a title contender, but at others, they struggle against much less talented competition. Perhaps that should be expected, though, considering how many new pieces they have, and the injuries they're dealing with. One bit of good news on that front is that Candace Parker will be back in action for this game. She'll be a major boost to this team, especially on the offensive end. It's their defense, though, that will have to continue to step up against a Mystics team that boasts one of the deepest attacks in the league -- both in terms of how many players they can run out there, and where they like to shoot from. 

Game prediction, pick

Neither team has been sharp lately, which makes this one a bit tricky to predict. But with Parker's return, and the Sparks at home, they seem like the smart play.

Pick: Sparks 85, Mystics 76

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories