I’M BACK! I took a little time off, and wow was it ever the wrong three weeks to take off. A bunch of records have fallen, the top teams continue to knock each other off the top creating an interesting playoff field top to bottom. But enough about me and let me tell you what you might have missed.
5 main stories of the week:
1) Tight race for playoffs: Only a game and a half separates three through eight in the standings. The Sparks, Wings, Lynx, Dream, Mystics and Suns all have a lot left to play for as they play for a bye and home court advantage. Seattle is only a game and a half up on the Mercury, who in turn are barely ahead of the rest with only a one game lead on Los Angeles.
2) All-Star rosters announced: Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker will be picking the All-Star teams this Thursday night as part of the first All-Star draft. Sue Bird made her 11th all-star appearance and leads active players. Jewell Lloyd and A’ja Wilson will make their debuts in the game, with Wilson being the only rookie to attend the game. Both Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike will be at the game and could be on the same team. The only team not represented are the Indiana Fever mainly due to Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Minnesota sending three players each.
3) Teammates fight in Connecticut: A reported physical altercation in the last few days of June lead to Courtney Williams missing games for what the team said was personal reasons. After reports of the altercation began to surface Alex Bentley was quickly traded to the Atlanta Dream. What had been a promising start to the season has now been tarnished, but with Bentley gone maybe the Sun’s can get back to their early season form.
4) MVP race: Breanna Stewart, Liz Cambage, Skylar Diggins-Smith, A’ja Wilson, Diana Taurasi, Elena Della Donne, Britney Griner, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, Maya Moore. Yeah any of those players would be easy picks to win at this point so could luck to the voters.
5) A’ja Wilson: Do yourself and appreciate her every game and become a fan of her before she wins multiple MVP awards.
This week we’ll focus on all the records being broken across the WNBA among other things
6) Taurasi more field goals than anyone else in history: Another record for the legend as she has now connected on more field goals than anyone else in WNBA history. She passed Tina Thompson on July 8 and is now up to 2656 career field goals.
7) Brunson All-Time rebound leader: Another record came down when Rebekkah collected rebound 3317, now up to 3324, to pass Tamika Catchings.
8) Sue Bird three games away from 500 games: This upcoming Sunday Sue Bird will pass DeLisha Milton-Jones for most career games played and, in the process, become the first WNBA player to hit game number 500.
9) Liz Cambage points record: The main inspiration for me writing this, Cambage HAD A GAME. She shot 17-22 including 4-5 from three and took advantage of her free throws connecting on 15 of 16 as she continues her dominating season.
10) Best season ever: When a legendary reporter like Michelle Smith is saying this is the best season ever you should listen. http://www.wnba.com/news/inside-the-w-greatest-season-in-wnba-history/
11) Sancho Lyttle out for season: The biggest injury so far this season has to be the Phoenix Mercury losing Sancho Lyttle to an ACL injury losing some of the little depth they had.
12) Look ahead: It’s a little off in the distance but set a reminder for Seattle/Phoenix on July 31 which could be a finals preview.
TEAM OF THE (LAST THREE) WEEKS
A starting line-up with one bench player who were the best over the last 3 weeks, amount of games has an impact
G: Kayla McBride (Aces)- Averaging over 22 points a game over her last eight McBride solidified her All-Star selection and made sure that Wilson had some support in the dessert.
G: Skylar Diggins-Smith (Wings)- Her chemistry with Cambage has helped both reach the top of the league individually. She scored at least 20 in five of the Wings last seven has they went 6-1.
F: Breanna Stewart (Stewart)- Consistently hitting over half her field goal attempts, Stewart continues to make her case as MVP as she leads the Storm to the league’s top record.
F: Candace Parke (Sparks)- Twenty points, eight rebounds, six assists would be a nice game for almost any player, for Parker it’s her average over her last six games.
C: Liz Cambage (Wings)- I would probably give her this for her 53-point game let alone the five double doubles she’s had in the last three weeks.
Sub: Cappie Pondexter (Sparks)- After a slow start to the season the veteran guard is averaging 11.6 points in 24 minutes a game over her last five.
Based on recent results above all else, also a quick way to laugh at me when a lower ranked team beats a higher ranked one
1) Seattle Storm (16-6): Top record and 8-2 in their last 10, easy enough choice.
2) Dallas wings (13-9): Between Cambage and Diggins-Smith this is a scary team.
3) Atlanta Dream (12-9): Four wins in a row? Hottest team in the league.
4) Washington Mystics (13-9): Can beat anyone any night, or get blown out.
5) Phoenix Mercury (15-8): They’ll enjoy some home court advantage now after leading the league in road games up till now.
6) Los Angeles Sparks (14-9): Someone must drop but don’t expect them to stay down here.
7) Connecticut Sun (12-10): They slowly getting back into their early form.
8) Minnesota Lynx (12-10): Nobody will want to play them in the playoffs but for now their inconsistent.
9) Las Vegas Aces (10-13): Who’s their third best player?
10) New York Liberty (7-15): I feel bad for Tina Charles.
11) Chicago Sky (7-15): A team that is simply to young, for now.
12) Indiana Fever (2-20): Is it 2019 yet?