The Minnesota Links (9-7), the winner of four straight games, welcome the Dallas Wings (9-10) to the Target Center for a nationally televised game on Wednesday, July 7. Later in the day, Phoenix Mercury (7-9) will try to get out of trouble when facing the Las Vegas Aces (14-4), while the Los Angeles Sparks (6-11) and Seattle Storm (14-4) renew their rivalry.
While Lynx continues to play in a somewhat abbreviated fashion – the aerobics (thumb) and Natalie Ashunwa (knee) remain on the shelf – most of their healthy players have stepped up to contribute to the team’s rise in the standings. In particular, Nafissa Collier, Lynx’s top scorer was excellent During Minnesota’s winning streak, averaging 18.3 points per game in that period and scoring doubles in doubles. Meanwhile, Sylvia Fowles’ center was perhaps more impressive, averaging 19.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 3.5 blocks in those four games.
Don’t sleep in Dallas either. The Wings continue to make progress as a young and exciting team, and although their 9-10 record may seem mediocre, their efficiency teams (3.2 Net Rating) indicates that they were playing better basketball than this record indicates. With top shot makers Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey, Dallas have a high ceiling as a team, although if their guards don’t drop their shots, they may struggle to win games of the grind. Perfect examples of this are Wings’ previous meetings with Lynx: 85-73 loss, with the team shooting 34.7 per cent from the field, followed by A 95-77 win Fueled by fire by 50 percent.
That consistency is something the wingers are still looking for, though undeniably talented, as they aim for their first playoff appearance since 2018. Veteran Lynx – on their way beyond their eleventh consecutive season – will be a worthy test for third place. The third is the last meeting of the season. The information will be given at 8 PM ET and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Dallas Wings (9-10) vs Minnesota Links (9-7)
when: Wednesday, July 7 at 8pm ET
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
How to watch: ESPN2, NBA TV Canada
Wing injury report: no one
Lynx injury report: Aerobics (outside; thumb), Natalie Ashonua (outside; knee), Renea Davis (outside; foot)
Match keys: As the injury report hints, the Lynx is somewhat overwhelmed, although it has apparently not bothered them lately. The wingers have the advantage of depth, but they don’t have any single player capable of stopping Sylvia Fowles; Expect Minnesota to go center early and often try to control the paint against Dallas. Kayla McBride (total 50 points in the previous two games) vs. Arike Ogunbowale is another singles match in which the winner gives their team the upper hand.
Phoenix Mercury (7-9) vs Las Vegas Aces (14-4)
when: Wednesday, July 7 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
How to watch: Amazon Prime
Mercury injury report: Diana Taurasi (doubtful, hip), Bria Hartley (outside, knee)
Aces injury report: Angel McCogtry (Off-season; knee)
Match keys: Aces and Mercury are currently ranked #1 and #2 respectively in the WNBA in free throw rate, and they are close to second and third in the opponent’s free throw average as well. Needless to say, any team that is able to better control the malicious game will have a huge advantage in this match, but you have to keep an eye on the pace of play as well; The Aces are one of the deadliest transition teams in the WNBA, while Mercury would prefer to play a slower, more methodical role.
Los Angeles Sparks (6-11) – Seattle Storm (14-4)
when: Wednesday, July 7 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Angel of the Winds Arena, Everett, Washington
How to watch: CBS Sports Network
Sparks injury report: Nneka Ogwumike (off; knee), Chiney Ogwumike (off; knee), Christy Tolliver (off; eye), Jasmine Walker (off-season; knee)
Storm hit report: Jewell Lloyd (Potential, Ankle)
Match keys: On paper, this is a contradiction in favor of Seattle. The Storm is by far the healthiest and deepest team and the Sparks are currently on the rise, having lost four straight games. However, Los Angeles commands a higher turnover (23.3 percent) of any other team; Sparks will need to dig up and force the storm (15 percent turnover rate) to make mistakes if they have a chance of causing a disturbance.