WNBA teams are ready for their sprint to the finish of the regular season with coveted playoff spots and positioning up for grabs.
Las Vegas, New York and Connecticut have already clinched spots in the postseason. The Aces hold a three-game lead on the Liberty for the top seed with the teams set to meet one last time in the regular season on Aug. 28. Las Vegas is beginning a difficult four-game road trip over the next week that ends in New York.
The Aces also have a White House visit on Friday to celebrate last season’s championship thrown in there as well.
New York, which took over the top spot in the AP WNBA power poll for the first time this season, has a three-game lead on Connecticut for the second-seed. Those teams play on Thursday and once more on Sept. 1.
Dallas is in fourth place with a two-game advantage on Atlanta. There are only four game separating the Dream from ninth-place Chicago with most teams having seven or eight games remaining.
Los Angeles has been the hottest team of the group, winning four straight, including handing the Aces their first regular season loss at home this year. The Sparks are currently in the eighth spot.
The first round of the WNBA playoffs is a best-of-three format still with the better seeded team hosting the first two games of the series.
AP WNBA POLL
Buoyed by its win in the Commissioner’s Cup title game, New York took over the No. 1 spot in the power poll. The Liberty routed the Aces on their homecourt 82-63. Las Vegas won the regular season matchup two days later 88-75.
Dallas moved into third with Connecticut and Atlanta came after the Wings. Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minnesota were the next three. Washington, Chicago and Seattle. Indiana and Phoenix rounded out the poll.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Arike Ogunbowale averaged 23.5 points, 6 assists and 4.5 rebounds to help Dallas win both its game last week, including a 20-point victory in Connecticut. Other players receiving votes included Nneka Ogwumike and Layshia Clarendon of Los Angeles and Kelsey Mitchell of Indiana.
Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu’s shoes went missing after New York beat Las Vegas in the Commissioner’s Cup last week. Ionescu went on social media on Thursday afternoon saying that her shoes, which had custom-made insoles, were taken from the arena.
“Never thought I would get my shoes stolen from an opposing arena… Please just bring me my insoles back. RIP to my Sabrina 1s,” Ionescu wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
There was still no update Tuesday on what happened to the shoes according to the Liberty. The case had been referred to the Las Vegas police.
Brittney Griner missed last week’s games against New York and Indiana because of health and safety protocols for COVID. The Mercury hope to have her back this week.
GAME OF THE WEEK
New York at Connecticut, Thursday. The third meeting between the second and third place teams in the standings. The Liberty hold a three-game lead over the Sun and have won the first two matchups. The two teams will play one more time on Sept. 1 in New York.
AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball