Still another WNBA Super Sunday: Still another guide

Sep 19, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Mystics guard Ivory Latta (12) celebrates a victory against the Atlanta Dream at Philips Arena. The Mystics defeated the Dream 71-56. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 19, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Mystics guard Ivory Latta (12) celebrates a victory against the Atlanta Dream at Philips Arena. The Mystics defeated the Dream 71-56. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, all but two teams are in action on this WNBA Super Sunday, so here’s a guide to all the action. 

Indiana Fever at Tulsa Shock, 4:30 PM EST (Live Access)

After an impressive stretch that saw them win six in a row, including a defeat of the East-leading Liberty, the Fever have now dropped their last two. Still, they’re 17-11, in third place in the East, and can clinch a playoff berth with a win this afternoon.

Tamika Catchings made history with her 1,000th career steal the other night, and has continued to lead the Fever. She’s the team leader in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks, and is second in assists. Even at 36 years old, she’s still one of the league’s best, and certainly the most important player in Indianapolis.

As for the Shock, their season went completely off the rails after Skylar Diggins tore her ACL and it was announced they were leaving Tulsa after this year. But after 10 straight losses, Riquana Williams and company have seemingly figured things out, winning four in row. They’ve taken down the Liberty, the Mercury, and the Sparks in that stretch, which has seen them climb back to .500 and all but lock in a spot in the playoffs. A win tonight would also clinch a playoff spot for them.

These are two of the best offenses in the league, and two of only three teams to have an offensive rating over 100, so this should be a rather exciting affair to kick off today’s action.

 

San Antonio Stars at Los Angeles Sparks, 7:00 PM EST (Live Access)

This season has been a certified disaster down in San Antonio. At 90.28 points per 100 possessions, their offense is the worst in the league. And their defense doesn’t fare much better, coming in at second worst in the league by allowing 101.12 points per 100 possessions. Which as you can tell, is not a favorable equation. It has lead to an 0-14 record on the road, and a 7-22 record overall. They’ll face an uphill challenge to get that first road win tonight in Los Angeles.

As we’ve mentioned countless times, the Sparks have been dominant at times since Candace Parker’s return. Still though, they can’t rest easy quite yet. They’re just two and a half games up on the Storm for the final playoff spot out West. With Parker leading the way they’re the favorites to grab that final postseason berth, but they’ll need to take care of business against opponents like San Antonio.

 

Connecticut Sun at Chicago Sky, 7:00 PM EST (Live Access)

Without Elena Delle Donne for just the second time this season, the Sky won a thriller over the Atlanta Dream last night to clinch another postseason appearance. Cappie Pondexter was brilliant as she lead the way with 22 points, while six different Sky finished in double digits. No word yet if EDD will play today, but with their playoff spot locked up, it would make sense to let her sit another night.

Either way, it won’t be an easy matchup, even if the Sun have lost seven in a row. Connecticut lost at the buzzer to Phoenix the other night, and last night were right with the Liberty until the final few minutes.

 

Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx, 7:00 PM EST (ESPN 2)

The Mercury clinched a playoff spot last Sunday when they defeated the Lynx in Phoenix, and now they travel up to Minnesota for a rematch. While the Lynx are still atop the West, and the Mercury trail them in second place by just two games, both have struggled with inconsistency lately. Each lost their last game, with the Lynx falling to the Liberty, and the Mercury dropping one to the Mystics, despite Brittney Griner’s jam. Over their last 10 games, the Lynx are just 4-6, while the Mercury are 5-5.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said the other day, “We’re going to break out of this. And soon.’’

Well tonight would be a good time to do so. With a win, the Lynx can reassert their dominance in the West and make the Mercury’s challenge for the top seed a much more difficult task as we move into the final two weeks of the season. A win for the Mercury though would cut the Lynx’ lead in the Conference to just one game. From there, the race for the top see would be on.

With all the star power on the court, this has all the potential for a classic meeting, but both teams will need to break out of the stupor they’ve been stumbling around in for the last few weeks.

Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm, 9:00 PM EST (NBA TV)

The nightcap out West features a Washington Mystics team that is coming off an impressive win over the Mercury, and closing in on a playoff berth, against a Seattle team that is trying to keep hope alive for a trip to the playoffs in West.

The Mystics have lost to a Western Conference foe just once this season, and it was back on July 19 against Tulsa. Tonight they begin the first of their three final games against Western Conference teams, as they hit the West Coast for a little road trip.

Last week on Super Sunday, Ivory Latta put Clarissa Dos Santos on the ground with a fancy crossover, and the other night against the Mercury she dropped 24 points and handed out 5 assists. With Kara Lawson potentially out again, Latta should once again get the start, and that means all sorts of fun.

As for the Storm, Cyrstal Langhorne is coming off a 22 point, 10 rebound effort the other night, and Jewell Loyd has been one of the most impressive rookies this season. And of course Sue Bird has been doing Sue Bird things all year. Washington will be a tough test, but these are tests the Storm need to pass if they want to get back into the playoff picture.