The WNBA continues to chug along in the wubble and is back in action Wednesday evening. The 12-team league wraps up the second game on each team’s schedule. Tuesday saw five of the six 1-0 teams in action, which means today we get five of the six 0-1 teams.
The evening gets started with the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever facing off at 7 p.m. ET. That’s followed by 8 p.m. by the New York Liberty and Dallas Wings both trying to secure their first win. The evening wraps with a nationally-televised game as the 1-0 Atlanta Dream and 0-1 Las Vegas Aces tip off at 10 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
We’ll be keeping an eye on things this season, and want to give a big shout-out to Matt Ellentuck and his Here’s Basketball newsletter for providing some critical insight into the W.
Phoenix Mercury vs. Indiana Fever
Time: 7 p.m.
Channel: NBA TV
Live stream: WNBA League Pass
Point spread: Mercury -2.5
Money line odds: Mercury -143, Fever +115
The Mercury were an intriguing team with Diana Taurasi returning and the team adding Skylar Diggins-Smith, but their opener against the Los Angeles Sparks left us wondering how well the two will do together. Their combined presence could also make life more difficult for Brittney Griner to find more opportunities. Meanwhile, the Fever did not give Teaira McCowan nearly enough minutes, and their coach has promised to clean that up moving forward. The Mercury should be favored in this game, but a full game from McCowan gives the Fever a puncher’s chance.
Result: Fever 106, Mercury 100 — Indiana got 20+ points from three different players. Tiffany Mitchell scored 24 points, Candice Dupree finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds, and Teaira McCowan finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds coming off the bench. Phoenix remains mercurial after coming into the season with high expectations. Brittney Griner led the team with 23 points and 7 rebounds, and Bria Hartley impressed with 26 points and 5 assists. Diana Taurasi struggled on 1-of-5 shooting, but did manage 5 assists and 4 steals with her 6 points.
New York Liberty vs. Dallas Wings
Liberty No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu had a rough debut, facing a tough Seattle defense. She’ll face tough defenses more often than not in the WNBA, but life gets a sight easier in her second game. Dallas gave up what is thus far a season-high 105 points to an Atlanta Dream team that entered the season with some serious questions. This could be a solid bounce-back opportunity for Ionescu.
Result: Wings 93, Liberty 80 — Dallas got double digit points from five players, including two off the bench. Arike Ogunbowale led the team with 20 points. Rookie Sabrina Ionescu had a huge second game, scoring 33 points, dishing out 7 assists and grabbing 7 rebounds.
Atlanta Dream vs. Las Vegas Aces
The Dream got double digits from all five starters in beating Dallas on Sunday, and were led by 30 points and 13 rebounds from Monique Billings. They’re missing several players in the early-going but impressed nonetheless. They face an Aces squad that is also shorthanded due to injuries and opt-outs. Angel McCoughtry made her return from a knee injury that cost her the 2019 season and was wildly impressive, scoring 25 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. She paired well with A’ja Wilson, who scored 22 points and and grabbed 11 rebounds. This could be the best game of the night.
Result: Aces 100, Dream 70 — A’ja Wilson led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Dearica Hamby scored 20 and three other players scored at least 11 in the blowout. Elizabeth Williams led the Dream with 16 points.