WNBA Playoff Chase 2017

Teams fighting for positions in close race as season expires.

By S. Samek

It’s the heat of the WNBA season. Eight teams enter the playoffs and spots are still up for grabs. Not many though as five of eight teams have punched a ticket to the Tournament.

The 2016 champions LA Sparks sit in the two seed with a mark of 21-8 so far. Ahead of them is their nemesis from the championship series last year the Minnesota Lynx at 22-6.

The Conneticut Sun have the bronze medal seed after a 19-10 record to date. Following them at number four is the League’s hottest team with five wins in a row, The New York Liberty.
In fifth it’s the off-season sighing winners the Washington Mystics. Though both the Liberty and Mystics sport identical 17-12 records.

Phoenix, Seattle and Dallas would round out the eight if the season where over. Chicago and Atlanta are chasing spots, but it doesn’t look good for either team. Atlanta has to be the coldest team in the league, having lost nine in a row.

San Antonio and Indiana have been eliminated from playoff contention. Both teams have won fewer than ten games. Atlanta has ten wins, but with the landslide at which they are headed I see their elimination coming swiftly.
The Sky have a bit of a challenge to get in as well. With a tough final five game slate. The Sky has to play all teams ahead of them in the standings, including Minnesota. They sit three games out of a playoff spot so, they may have to win out with help to get in.
The last three in at the moment should have a leg up on getting in. Seattle and Dallas sit just a game behind Phoenix. Though they each have a three-game lead up on Chicago. Lucky for these teams with the new playoff system in place, it won’t be a don’t finish eighth and get smashed by one last season’s finalists in the first-round situation. Though they still have to win four series to win it all as a five through eight seed.
Look for any head to head matchups down the stretch to settle seeding. The most intriguing of which would be the 1-2 rematch between LA and Minnesota. On August 27,2017. With LA a game behind the Lynx, who have a game an extra game left to play, this is a can’t miss matchup.
Be sure to check out the rest of the season’s sure to be clutch action. See you in the playoffs.

 

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Mystics Moves Working

By S. Samek

The Washington Mystic made a splash in the offseason. . So now that the season is about half over how are those moves working out?

Elena Delle Donne was the Center piece of a big trade.  This season she is averaging almost 20 points per game in 15 starts.  Not career bests, but steady.  Though Delle Donne is ranked fourth in the league in scoring.

 Delle Donne is currently leading the Eastern Conference in All-Star voting.

Kristi Toliver was added in free agency. Toliver is averaging 10 points per game and that is down from 13 last season. . Her three-point percentage, a prime reason for her acquisition is down as well. Toliver hit threes at 42 percent last season, but is only at 35 percent this year.

The Mystics are doing ok this season. In the most recent power rankings they were ranked third. This came in behind the current champs LA and a Minnesota team fresh off a finals appearance. The Mystics own a 10-6 overall record, including a 7-2 mark at home, while being highly ranked in several statistical categories.

Stefanie Dolson, who was acquired by Chicago for Delle Donne is playing well. Dolson is averaging a career high 12.9 points per game. She has also seen her minutes increased significantly playing over 28 per game against 22.5 last season.

The number two overall pick was spent on Alaina Coats of South Carolina. Coats doesn’t have any statistical data to report.

The Sky have struggled mighty this season. The team has three wins this year and 12 losses. They were recently defeated by the San Antonio Stars, which came into the game winless. The sit at number 11 of 12 in this week’s power rankings.

Mystic’s moves looking like the right ones.