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Thursday Open Thread: Three Games To Kick Off the Second Half Starting at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT with Three Games Featuring Three-Time Gold Medalists from the London Games

It's been awhile..... but the WNBA season is back for the second half as some teams look to solidify their playoff seeding, while others hope to get Griner, Diggins, or Delle Donne without openly saying it.

Three games tonight to get you back in the mood of pro ball. All three games will feature at least one Olympian on one team, while both teams without any Olympic player representation (DC and NY) play tonight as well. All three of our three-time gold medalists (dating back to the 2004 Athens Games): Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, and Diana Taurasi, will play tonight. (Added a comment below that she did not play, and was listed as out due to jet lag.)

All games are on LiveAccess, unless in a specified local market or on NBA TV.

Game 1: Washington Mystics (4-14) at Indiana Fever (10-7), 7 PM ET/4 PM PT

WNBA.com | Mystics Preview | Catchings is back on our side of the pond

The Fever kicks off its second half by celebrating Tamika's third gold medal with the eating of a dozen delicious Monumental Red Velvet Georgetown Cupcakes. Obviously, the Mystics don't want to taste delicious in Hoosierland and they ended their pre Olympic break schedule with a much needed win vs. New York. One team is rested with a hungrier superstar at home while the other team is rested and desperately trying to get another positive moment in another dismal season.

Forgive my cynicism/skepticism/pessimism/realism, but I still think those cupcakes will be rather tasty tonight, though I hope I'm wrong. In their first matchup so far this season, the Mystics drew first blood with Shannon Bobbitt being a pest on both ends of the floor, so maybe the Mystics will prove me wrong. At least we have Coach Grandmama, right?

Game 2: Connecticut Sun (15-4) at NY Liberty (6-12), 7 PM ET/4 PM PT

WNBA.com | Libs Preview

The Sun has two Olympians returning victorious, but they are part of the road team tonight. While Cappie wasn't on the London team, she was part of the Beijing team.

New York suffered a disappointing loss against a roster with less talent than they do, and would like to kick off the post Olympic schedule with a win. I'm not counting on it though, considering that they lost all three games in the head to head series so far.

If you're in the NYC area, turn on MSG. Game is also on NBA TV.

Game 3: Phoenix Mercury (4-15) at Seattle Storm (9-10), 10 PM ET/7 PM

WNBA.com | For the home team, you know who's back | Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton took part in Mercury practice and got a broken beak

None of tonight's games are particularly competitive based on W/L matchups, but this one should be the game of the night.

Obviously in Seattle, Sue Bird comes back victorious with her third gold medal and should receive a loud ovation as she gets back into her combo guard role that we've seen last couple years. DT, also with her third gold should be playing now too, and hopefully will be ready to try to further cultivate the base of younger talent around her that I've actually liked despite the win and loss record. LJ will not play this game and will return next week because she went back to Australia after the Olympics.

The Storm also has another three-time Olympic gold medal winner in Katie Smith, who was in the 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, and 2008 Beijing games. Tina Thompson was part of the 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams too.

If you're in Emerald City, watch KONG TV.

That's it. Enjoy the games tonight.

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