Two weeks to go until the WNBA playoffs and almost nothing is settled.
The only thing we know for sure is that the Seattle Storm will make the postseason. They have a record of 22-7 and are 3.5 games ahead of the second-place Atlanta Dream. It’s possible the Storm fall to second place, but in all likelihood, they will hold on and keep the No. 1 seed.
The Lynx are in a tough spot having dropped three games in a row. With six games remaining they’re 15-13. Of those games, three are against teams ahead of them in the standings. Their matchups with the Connecticut Sun and the Washington Mystics represent the Lynx’s biggest chances to move up in the standings.
It’s unlikely that we’ll know the final standings before the last games of the regular season are played. The Lynx control their destiny in that if they win the rest of their games they’ll make the playoffs, but they’ll need some help from other teams to fight for a higher seed.
The Lynx beating the Sky is the most important thing tonight, but there are a few other games that have the potential to impact Minnesota’s playoff standing. Here’s who you should be rooting for in a few key matchups.
Aces at Dream, 6 p.m., NBATV
The Dream are red-hot and a full three games ahead of the Lynx. The Aces are fighting for a postseason spot and are 2.5 games behind the Lynx.
While it might feel weird to pull for the team that just trounced Minnesota at home, an Atlanta win is probably the best outcome here. With just a few games remaining on the schedule, and Atlanta playing so well, Minnesota is unlikely to move up to second place. However, if the Aces start gaining ground, they could make a few teams towards the bottom of the playoff bracket very nervous.
Tiffany Hayes, Renee Montgomery and Angel McCoughtry have the Dream playing extremely well, and while the Aces have a lot of talent, it’s probably not enough to keep up. That’s good news for Lynx fans.
Mystics at Mercury, 9 p.m., NBATV
Barring a WNBA rule change that allows both these teams to lose, this is a no-win situation for the Lynx.
The Mercury are 16-13 and the Mystics are 16-11. They sit in sixth and fourth place in the league respectively.
There are two schools of thought here. On one hand, the Mercury are just a half-game ahead of the Lynx, so a loss would help the Lynx move up. Then again, a loss by the Mystics would keep that higher seed in reach.
The Lynx do play the Mystics in their last regular season game this season, so who you root for has more to do with your trust in the Lynx to take care of business than anything else. It could be good for the Mercury to beat the Mystics and tighten the race—that would allow teams like the Lynx more of an opportunity to move up. However, if Rebekkah Brunson’s broken nose and Minnesota’s offensive struggles have you worried, you’re better off pulling for Phoenix to take the loss.
Regardless of the outcome, this game could be a classic. It’s a late-season matchup between two All-Star studded squads that are very close in the standings. If you watch one game tonight (other than the Lynx, of course), this has got to be the one.
Go with your heart on who you root for, or just enjoy some high-quality basketball.