WNBA playoff picture still muddled, 2 weeks left in season

Seattle and Washington also earned places in the postseason, tied fourth and fifth on points.

The WNBA playoff race is still very much a tie with just two weeks left in the regular season.

Five teams have secured post-season spots, with just three games separating Chicago, Las Vegas and Connecticut at the top of the standings. Seattle and Washington also earned places in the postseason, tied fourth and fifth on points.

Under the new playoff format, these two teams would now meet in a first-round best-of-three series. The first two games of each first round series are played on the Higher Seeds Court. If a third game is necessary, it takes place at the bottom seed.

Six teams are still fighting for the last three places and are preparing for an exciting conclusion to the regular season. Each of the six teams has at least one game left against the others in that group.

Los Angeles is currently holding on to its final playoff spot.

“It’s exciting for all the teams involved, especially for ourselves. We have to play possession after possession. If we can get two out of the next three, we’re in a good position,” Sparks caretaker coach Fred Williams said. “When we took over this team, we wanted to keep ourselves in position towards the end of the season to have the last five or six games where we have a playoff chance.”

Playing against the top teams battling for the final postseason spots, Minnesota won two crucial road games last week. The Lynx moved up four spots to seventh in the AP WNBA Power poll this week.

1. Chicago (23-7): The Sky brought Courtney Vandersloot back into the lineup but lost Candace Parker to a non-COVID illness. They have a four-game homestand before ending the season on the road, including a matchup against the team chasing them – Las Vegas.

2. Las Vegas (22-8): The Aces have three games left – all on the way. The trip criss-crosses the country with games in Washington, Dallas and Seattle.

3. Connecticut (20-10): The Sun has suffered two losses since the All-Star hiatus, those setbacks coming to Las Vegas and Chicago. They have two games this week: at home against Phoenix and in Chicago.

4. Seattle (19-12): The Storm return home after a three-game trip east that saw them tiebreak against the Mystics if the teams finish the regular season with the same record.

5. Washington (19-12): Elena Delle Donne played in back-to-back games for the Mystics over the weekend. It was a great sign for coach Mike Thibault’s team. She took games off during the season to rest, causing her to miss most of the last two seasons.

6. Dallas (13-16): Teaira McCowan has been a force in the last few games, going 15-to-22 from the field and averaging 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. She needs to keep that momentum going with crucial games this week against Chicago and Las Vegas.

7. Minnesota (12-19): Away wins in Atlanta and Los Angeles last week kept the Lynx’s playoff hopes alive. They had lost four out of five before those wins.

8. Phoenix (13-17): Sophie Cunningham was a solid third option for the Mercury to complement Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

9. New York (11-18): The Liberty have all seven games left against the teams they are chasing for the final playoff spots.

10. Atlanta (12-18): The Dream has lost four straight and has two more games at home this week to try to break the tumble and stay in the playoff chase. Atlanta lost AD Durr for the season due to a hip injury that requires surgery.

11. Los Angeles (12-17): A four-game foray east will go a long way in determining whether or not the Sparks are a playoff contender.

12. Indiana (5-27): The Fever is on a 14-game losing streak and guard Kelsey Mitchell is done for the season with a plantar fascia tear in his left foot.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot was voted AP Player of the Week. She averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 assists and 7 rebounds to help Sky win both games. Elena Delle Donne of Washington, Kahleah Copper of Chicago, Sylvia Fowles of Minnesota, and Kelsey Plum of Las Vegas also received votes.

SECONDARY COURT

The New York Liberty, in partnership with Xbox, unveiled a new secondary court. It’s the first-ever gaming-inspired basketball court. The court is also the WNBA’s first secondary court among current teams.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Las Vegas in Seattle, Sunday. Sue Bird’s final home game of the regular season will have a potential impact on playoff positioning as the Storm are currently fourth, level on points with Washington. The Aces trail Chicago by a game for a league-best record.

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/wnba/storm/wnba-playoff-picture-still-muddled-2-weeks-left-in-season/281-4524519b-dc0e-4572-9440-74b70a2a5bfc WNBA playoff picture still muddled, 2 weeks left in season

Emma Bowman

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