The Chicago Sky, the reigning champions, are confident of one of the crucial most sensible two spots within the upcoming WNBA playoffs. The rebuilding Indiana Fever are the one workforce out of competition. Everything else is up for grabs.
The ultimate week of the WNBA’s steady season must be a exhibit of the parity and chaos the league has observed all season. Six of the league’s 12 groups are combating for the overall 3 playoff spots, and the groups that experience already clinched are nonetheless jockeying for seeding.
At the highest of the standings, the Sky are 25-8 and dangle a two-game lead within the race for the No. 1 seed. Chicago can fall no additional than a No. 2 seed after a win Sunday over the Connecticut Sun, however it is going to nonetheless want to dangle off the Las Vegas Aces, who spoiled Sue Bird’s ultimate regular-season recreation at Climate Pledge Arena with a win over the Seattle Storm. Chicago and Las Vegas face off Thursday of their ultimate regular-season assembly.
The Sun are solidly within the 1/3 spot however may just nonetheless overtake the Aces for the No. 2 seeds. A larger struggle is brewing underneath them, even though, as Seattle and the Washington Mystics struggle for home-court merit in what’s just about sure to be the playoff matchup between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds. The Storm are at a scheduling downside, with video games at the highway towards Chicago and Las Vegas round a go back and forth to Minneapolis. The Mystics, in the meantime, end with two video games towards the last-place Fever and play their ultimate regular-season recreation at domestic.
Of the groups hoping to clinch one of the crucial ultimate playoff spots, the Dallas Wings are in the most efficient form. They dangle a 16-16 file with 4 video games ultimate — all towards groups that take a seat underneath them within the standings. Dallas may just clinch a berth with a win in both of its two video games this week towards the Liberty, the primary of which was once scheduled for Monday evening.
Below the Wings, even though, the race is large open. With 3 video games left for each and every, the Atlanta Dream and Phoenix Mercury are tied at 14-19, even though the Dream personal the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Liberty are 13-19 with 4 video games left, and the Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks are striking on at 13-20.
Both the Dream and the Mercury were with out key gamers down the stretch: Atlanta guard Tiffany Hayes has overlooked 3 video games with an ankle damage, whilst Phoenix was once with out each Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi in its Saturday win over New York. The Liberty had in any case gotten wholesome as Betnijah Laney returned to motion two months after knee surgical operation, however ahead Natasha Howard went down with an ankle injury,
Those accidents may just go away the door open for the Tenth-place Lynx: They dangle the season tiebreakers over Phoenix and the Liberty, they usually play the Mercury in a must-win recreation Wednesday. But the remainder of Minnesota’s time table is daunting, with video games at domestic towards Seattle and at the highway towards Connecticut. In its choose is the comeback of Napheesa Collier, who returned Sunday not up to 3 months after giving start. (A motivating issue for her was once the risk to play once more with Sylvia Fowles, who’s retiring on the finish of the season.)
Finally, the Sparks would possibly face essentially the most tricky trail to a playoff berth, for causes off and on the court docket. Los Angeles have been in place for the No. 6 seed after a July 21 win over the Dream. But with drama swirling as four-time All-Star Liz Cambage left the workforce, the Sparks dropped six video games in a row to fall to eleventh position.
A win Sunday towards the Mystics stored their hopes alive. But they should play back-to-back video games this week towards the third-place Sun prior to completing up towards the surging Wings. And making issues worse, the Sparks have been stuck up in a shuttle nightmare whilst looking to go away Washington.
After their flight was once behind schedule after which canceled, some contributors of the Sparks spent the evening within the airport when there were not sufficient lodge rooms for all gamers. Nneka Ogwumike, a former league MVP, mentioned in a video posted on Twitter“It’s the first time in my 11 seasons that I’ve ever had to sleep in the airport.”