WNBA playoff image nonetheless muddled, 2 weeks left within the season

The WNBA playoff race continues to be very a lot undecided with simply two weeks left within the common season.

5 groups have clinched postseason berths with solely three video games separating Chicago, Las Vegas and Connecticut on the prime of the standings. Seattle and Washington have additionally earned berths within the postseason and are tied for fourth and fifth spots.

Below the brand new playoff format, these two groups, proper now, would meet in a first-round, best-of-three sequence. The primary two video games of every first-round sequence will likely be performed on the upper seeds courtroom. If a 3rd recreation is important, it can happen on the decrease seed.

There are nonetheless six groups vying for the ultimate three spots, organising an thrilling end to the common season. Every of the six groups has a minimum of one recreation remaining towards the others on this group.

Los Angeles is presently holding onto the ultimate playoff spot.

“It is thrilling for all of the groups concerned, particularly ourselves. Obtained to play it one possession at a time. For us, if we will pull two of the subsequent three out we’ll be in a great place,” Sparks interim coach Fred Williams stated. “When taking up this workforce, needed to maintain us in place in direction of the top of the season to have the final 5 or 6 video games the place we’ve got a playoff alternative.”

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Minnesota has been enjoying the perfect of the groups battling for the ultimate postseason berths, successful two pivotal highway video games final week. The Lynx moved up 4 spots to seventh within the AP WNBA energy ballot this week.

This week’s WNBA ballot:

1. Chicago (23-7): The Sky bought Courtney Vandersloot again within the lineup however misplaced Candace Parker to a non-COVID sickness. They’ve a four-game homestand earlier than ending the season on the highway, together with a matchup towards the workforce chasing them — Las Vegas.

2. Las Vegas (22-8): The Aces have three video games left — all on the highway. The journey will crisscross the nation with video games in Washington, Dallas and Seattle.

3. Connecticut (20-10): The Solar have two losses because the All-Star break, these setbacks have been towards Las Vegas and Chicago. They’ve two video games this week: residence towards Phoenix and at Chicago.

4. Seattle (19-12): The Storm returned residence after a three-game jap journey that noticed them earn the tiebreaker towards the Mystics if the groups end the common season with the identical document.

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5. Washington (19-12): Elena Delle Donne performed in back-to-back video games for the Mystics over the weekend. It was an excellent signal going ahead for coach Mike Thibault’s squad. She has been taking video games off through the season to relaxation her again that triggered her to overlook a lot of the final two seasons.

6. Dallas (13-16): Teaira McCowan has been a power the final couple of video games, going 15-for-22 from the sphere and averaging 20.5 factors and 12.5 rebounds. She wants to take care of that momentum with pivotal video games towards Chicago and Las Vegas this week.

7. Minnesota (12-19): Street wins at Atlanta and Los Angeles final week saved alive the Lynx’s playoff hopes. That they had dropped 4 of 5 earlier than these victories.

8. Phoenix (13-17): Sophie Cunningham has been a strong third scoring possibility for the Mercury to enhance Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

9. New York (11-18): The Liberty have all seven video games left towards the groups they’re chasing for the ultimate playoff spots.

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10. Atlanta (12-18): The Dream have misplaced 4 straight and have two extra video games at residence this week to attempt to finish the skid and keep within the playoff hunt. Atlanta misplaced AD Durr for the season due to a hip harm that may require surgical procedure.

11. Los Angeles (12-17): A four-game jap journey will go an extended option to decide whether or not the Sparks are a playoff contender or not.

12. Indiana (5-27): The Fever have a 14-game dropping streak and guard Kelsey Mitchell is finished for the season with a plantar fascia tear in her left foot.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Courtney Vandersloot of Chicago was voted the AP Participant of the Week. She averaged 19.5 factors, 10.5 assists and seven rebounds to assist the Sky win each of their video games. Elena Delle Donne of Washington, Kahleah Copper of Chicago, Sylvia Fowles of Minnesota and Kelsey Plum of Las Vegas additionally acquired votes.

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SECONDARY COURT

The New York Liberty unveiled a brand new secondary courtroom in collaboration with Xbox. It is the first-ever gaming impressed basketball courtroom. The courtroom can also be the WNBA’s first secondary courtroom amongst present groups.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Las Vegas at Seattle, Sunday. Sue Hen’s last residence recreation within the common season may have potential playoff positioning ramifications because the Storm are presently fourth, tied with Washington. The Aces path Chicago by one recreation for the league’s finest document.

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Extra AP girls’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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