There are just two weeks remaining in the WNBA Predictions regular season, but it’s a jam-packed 13 days, with clubs like the Liberty and Wings cramming in as many as seven games. That means no rest for these clubs, who are hoping to reach the playoffs. The standings provide little relief however, since they are just as close — if not tighter — than when we last checked in. Six teams are squeezed into that narrow space, with lots of matches between this half dozen blazing each night.
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Let’s take a look at the best and worst remaining schedules.
The Easiest Road (and also: talk about controlling your own destiny)
The New York Liberty remain in a fan’s ideal situation: one game out of the playoffs at the WNBA Predictions, but also tied for second place in the draft lottery and they will surely have a say in whatever way they go. As previously said, they have seven games remaining, and all seven (!) are against teams from the glut of organizations vying for postseason slots 6-to-8. They don’t have to play a single Big Five team, but they also don’t receive a free pass against Indiana.
As we’ve been saying for a long at the WNBA Predictions, Liberty fans are essentially receiving an additional month of free postseason basketball with this playoff push. The moral equivalent of that moment in Jackass when they had to crawl across the room with a hundred rat traps and tasers along the floor. Okay, honestly, it’s not that horrible for Chicago Sky at the WNBA Predictions; I simply remembered that scenario and wanted to use it as a reference. But the top seed will surely be put to the test if they want to keep their position.
Their next four games are all at home, but three of them are against other Big Five opponents. They then round off their Big Five BINGO card with a trip to Las Vegas at the WNBA Predictions, which might determine who receives the top seed in this postseason. Finally, the Sky finish the season in Phoenix against a Mercury squad that will very certainly have something to play for.
And speaking of teams having a lot to play for, we’ve arrived to Tuesday’s action.
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Mercury against the Sun
These two clubs have largely long-term injuries/issues. Brittney Griner, Kia Nurse, and Diamond DeShields are Phoenix’s starters. Jasmine Thomas and Bria Hartley are representing Connecticut.
Take Care Here
On the surface, this seems to be an ideal location for the Sun. As previously said in our previews, this club is being disregarded despite the fact that certain sophisticated analytics appreciate their season-long success.
They also go well with the Mercury
The Sun is pounding the glass, and the Mercury is quite vulnerable there, particularly after Tina Charles’ departure. Connecticut is one of the league’s greatest 3-point defenses, while Phoenix is one of the most chuck-friendly teams, while failing to make such long jumpers at a high rate. But this statement makes me anxious. For starters, a double-digit line is no laughing matter, particularly when the dog is 4-3 straight up in the last three weeks.
There’s also the reality that Jonquel Jones hasn’t looked like herself since returning from the health and safety procedures, averaging only 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in her three games back. She is the Sun’s most potent attacking weapon, but she hasn’t looked like it recently. The Mercury are also quite excellent in the fourth quarter, which I wouldn’t put much confidence in for a quarter bet or anything, but it does indicate that a backdoor cover is very much a possibility.
Connecticut will also struggle to turn over the seasoned backcourt of Phoenix as often as it would want in order to fuel their strong fast-break offense. However, I believe the Sun can punish Phoenix from almost every level of the court, thus I’m leaning toward the Sun. However, I’d want to explain why I’m not making it a complete selection.
Sparks vs. Liberty
This season, these two clubs have been competing for the title of injury report champions, but even they are largely well now at the WNBA Predictions. Betnijah Laney is still out for New York, while Kristi Toliver is the sole sure for L.A. on Tuesday. Lexie Brown is labeled as doubtful for the Sparks once again.
3-pointers vs. fastbreak points
These two teams play each other in very interesting ways at the WNBA Predictions. Both sides have significant strengths and shortcomings, and these pluses and minuses will all be highlighted on Tuesday. The Sparks are one of the greatest teams in the West in forcing mistakes and scoring off those errors, particularly on the fastbreak.
As every Liberty supporter knows, this means trouble for New York at the WNBA Predictions. The Liberty aren’t giving the ball away as much as they did earlier in the season, but even with recent improvements, they still give the ball away more than the majority of the league. Furthermore, the errors are often live-ball turnovers, resulting in large opponent fastbreak points even when they win.
Los Angeles has an advantage.