Minnesota Lynx (9-7), winners of four consecutive games, welcome the Dallas Wings (9-10) to a national television game on Wednesday, July 7 at Target Center. Later in the day, the Phoenix Mercury (7-9) will try to break out of a rut when they face the leading Las Vegas Aces (14-4), while the Los Angeles Sparks (6-11) and Seattle Storm ( 14-4) renew their rivalry.
While the Lynx continued to play a bit short – both Aerial Powers (thumb) and Natalie Achonwa (knee) remained on the boards – most of their healthy players acted to contribute to the team’s rises. In particular, Napheesa Collier, Lynx’s leading scorer, excelled. during Minnesota’s finish line, averaged 18.3 points per game in that team and two doubles doubles. However, center Sylvia Fowles was perhaps even more impressive, averaging 19.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 3.5 blocks in those four games.
Also, do not sleep in Dallas. The Wings continue to make progress as a young, exciting team, and although their 9-10 record may seem mediocre, their efficiency difference is (3.2 net rating) suggests that they played better basketball than the record indicates. With big shooters in Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey, Dallas has a high ceiling as a team, but if the shots of their guards do not fall, they can be difficult to win a grind. The perfect examples of this are the Wings’ previous two encounters with the Lynx: an 85-73 loss, in which the team shot 34.7 percent from the field, followed by a 95-77 wen fueled by 50 percent shooting.
Such consistency is something the Wings, while undeniably talented, are still looking for their first playoff game since 2018. Veteran Lynx – well on their way to their 11th consecutive post-season – will serve as a worthy test in their third and final event of the season. Hint is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET and will air on ESPN2.
Dallas Wings (9-10) vs. Minnesota Lynx (9-7)
When: Wednesday 7 July at 20:00 ET
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
How to watch: ESPN2, NBA TV Canada
Wing Injury Report: no
Lynx Injury Report: Air Force (out; thumb), Natalie Achonwa (out; knee), Rennia Davis (out; foot)
Keys for the match: As the injury report suggests, the Lynx has been somewhat cracked, though it has apparently not bothered recently. The Wings have the depth advantage, but they also have no individual player that Sylvia Fowles can stop; expect Minnesota to go to their center early and often try to control the paint against Dallas. Kayla McBride (50 points in total in her previous two games) against Arike Ogunbowale is another individual match whose winner will prevail over their respective teams.
Phoenix Mercury (7-9) vs. Las Vegas Aces (14-4)
When: Wednesday 7 July at 22:00 ET
Where: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas, NV
How to watch: Amazon prime
Mercury Injury Report: Diana Taurasi (doubtful; hip), Bria Hartley (outside; knee)
Bait Injury Report: Angel McCoughtry (out of season; knee)
Keys for the match: The Aces and Mercury currently stand at number 1 and no. 2 in the WNBA in release rate, and they are also a close number 2 and no. 3 in the opponents’ release rate. Needless to say, whatever team is able to better control the foul play will have a significant advantage in this one, but also keep an eye on the pace of the game; the Aces are one of the WNBA’s deadliest transition teams, while the Mercury prefers to play a slower and more methodical offense.
Los Angeles Sparks (6-11) vs. Seattle Storm (14-4)
When: Wednesday 7 July at 22:00 ET
Where: Angel of the Winds Arena, Everett, WA
How to watch: CBS Sport Network
Flag Injury Report: Nneka Ogwumike (out; knee), Chiney Ogwumike (out; knee), Kristi Toliver (out; eye), Jasmine Walker (season out; knee)
Storm Injury Report: Jewell Loyd (probably; single)
Keys for the match: On paper, this is a maladaptation in Seattle’s favor. The Storm are by far the healthier and deeper team, and the Sparks are currently playing after losing four consecutive games. Los Angeles, however, forces higher turnover (23.3 percent) than any other team; the Sparks will have to force the Storm (15 percent turnover) to errors and force if they are going to have the chance of a upset.