WNBA: August Crunch Time
by Vegas Sports Informer - 08/03/2007
In every sport there is always a period of crucial time in the schedule and August is that time for the WNBA. Most teams have around seven to nine games left on their schedules and, for teams who are looking to make the playoffs, it's crunch time. It's no surprise that the defending champs, the Detroit Shock, are the top team in the WNBA and if they continue to play good ball, Even without All-Star MVP Cheryl Ford, this Shock team can repeat as champs. Here are my top 13 teams in the WNBA and my prediction of who is going to make the playoffs and who will be watching at home.
1. Detroit Shock (20-6)
Detroit has the best record in the league and has won 10 out of their last 11 games. They have also done this without MVP Cheryl Ford, who most likely be out for the rest of the regular season. Detroit should have home-court throughout the East but also look out for San Antonio for the top spot. I still feel that Detroit will represent the East in the WNBA finals.
2. Phoenix Mercury (17-10)
The Phoenix offense is what keeps this team going and going. The Mercury have won five straight and six out of their last seven games. Phoenix has a tough road game on Thursday against San Antonio and this could determine the No. 1 spot in the West. I'm predicting Phoenix will win the top spot in the West and if the offense can carry them throughout the playoffs this Mercury team could win it all.
3. San Antonio Silver Stars (16-9)
Like Detroit, the Silver Stars will be without a starter down the stretch in Erin Buescher. Tuesday night San Antonio lost at home to Detroit, which was a big blow to the Stars if they want to grab the No. 1 spot for the playoffs. San Antonio has to play Sacramento twice and has to play Phoenix at home. Any more losses could make San Antonio drop down on this list. San Antonio needs to stay No. 1 in the West if they want to make a run in the playoffs.
4. Sacramento Monarchs (15-10)
I know Sacramento lost to Minnesota at home last week but the Monarchs are still one of the favorites to compete in the West. Sacramento has won three out of their last four games and still has the league's best defense. Sacramento has a tough nine-game schedule remaining including five road games (Indiana, Connecticut, San Antonio, and Phoenix). Sacramento will make the playoffs but the Monarchs do not have enough offense to run past Phoenix or San Antonio.
5. Connecticut Sun (15-12)
On July 4 the Sun were under .500 and playing horrible. Since then Connecticut has won nine out of 10 and managed to fight to the No. 2 spot in the East. Connecticut has a pretty easily schedule left and they could easily win three of their remaining four road games. If Connecticut can win both of their games against Indiana they will have the No. 2 seed locked up.
6. Indiana Fever (17-10)
How bad does the Fever need All-Star and team MVP Tamika Catchings? Indiana has lost six out of their last seven games. Indiana should make the playoffs but with no Catchings this team is going nowhere.
7. Seattle Storm (13-14)
So far this Storm team seems like it's playing only Lauren Jackson against the other team. Granted, Sue Bird has played well since coming back from her injury but she is not 100 percent. On Tuesday Seattle had a tough home loss to Sacramento and now they have to travel there for a rematch. If Seattle continues to lose at home their season will be over quick.
8. Chicago Sky (12-15)
I thought this team was done when they lost five straight in the beginning of the month of July. Now the Sky has won four out of their last six games and they are playing good team ball. I'm saying this now, "Chicago will make the playoffs." Sorry New York and Washington.
9. Washington Mystics (10-15)
After the Mystics started their season 0-8, pretty much everybody wrote their season as done. Washington is still in the playoff hunt but they sit two games back from Chicago. Washington has a big game against Chicago at home on Sunday and if they take care of home business then maybe I will think about Washington in the Playoffs.
10. New York Liberty (10-15)
The Liberty overachieved at the beginning of the season when they went 5-0, now they are underachieving. New York has lost 11 out of their last 14 games. New York will be watching the playoffs from home.
11. Houston Comets (8-18)
Two reasons why we should continue watching Houston: Tina Thompson and Michelle Snow. These are two great players who have been lost because of their team record. Houston will also be watching the playoffs on TV.
12. Los Angeles Sparks (9-16)
I can't believe I will be watching the 2007 WNBA Playoffs without seeing the L.A. Sparks. Football season is here, sorry. Oops, I forgot you don't have a NFL team.
13. Minnesota Lynx (7-20)
I know your Timberwolves team just lost Kevin Garnet but your Lynx team has just won two straight. Too bad they were coming off losing 10 straight. Minnesota, you will be watching the playoffs from home in both leagues, WNBA and NBA.