The WNBA moves along in its 2020 wubble season and kicks off its third round of games. Each team will play 22 games this season, and with 12 games, it provides us with a daily triple-header. Most Mondays will be off, but otherwise we’ll have an evening or afternoon full of basketball six days out of the week.
The evening gets started with the Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics facing off at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN. That’s followed at 8 p.m. by the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx tipping off on NBA TV. The evening wraps with the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks tipping off at 10 p.m. on ESPN.
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.
It’s only been two games, but the Storm and Mystics have the top two point differentials. Neither team has a player in the top five in per game points, rebounds, or assists, which says something about the depth each team is displaying. The Storm have three players scoring in double digits, while the Mystics have four players doing so. Seattle came into this season as the title favorite, while Washington had questions with four players opting out of the season. A big Seattle win wouldn’t necessarily tell us a lot, but Washington could make a statement with a third straight win to open the season.
Result: Mystics 89, Storm 71 — Ariel Atkins led Washington with 22 points and was one of four Mystics in double figures. Myisha Hines-Allen had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists and Aerial Powers had 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Breanna Stewart led the storm with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but struggled on 5-of-14 shooting and was one of only two Storm players to reach double digit points.
Time: 8 p.m.
Channel: NBA TV, FOX Sports North
Live stream: WNBA League Pass
Point spread: Sky -2.5
Money line odds: Sky -143, Lynx +115
Chicago was expected to be competitive this season, but needed some things to go right to take a bigger step into the title picture. Things are working out well thus far, with five players scoring in double figures, and none of them being Diamond DeShields. She’s been coming off the bench while seemingly not 100 percent. If she can get on track, this Sky team will be a tough out. Meanwhile, Minnesota was solid in a win over the Connecticut Sun and then got thumped by Seattle. Sylvia Fowles has led the way with two double-doubles, and Damiris Dantas is stepping up as a scorer, but they need a third scorer to step up a bit more. Napheese Collier is averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds as compared to 13.1 and 6.6 a year ago.
Result: Lynx 83, Sky 81 — Chicago had multiple chances late, but Minnesota held them off. Napheesa Collier was the key in this win, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while dishing out 4 assists. Sylvia Fowles came up short of her third straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and 7 rebounds to go along with 2 blocks. Chicago got 16 points apiece from Cheyenne Parker, Azura Stevens, and Courtney Vandersloot in the loss.
Connecticut Sun vs. Los Angeles Sparks
The Sun are effectively DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas, and not much else. The duo is averaging a combined 48 points, 18 rebounds, and 7 assists per game, while the rest of the roster averages a combined 35 points, 20 rebounds, and 9 assists per game. They need a third weapon to emerge. The Sparks have five players scoring in double digits through two games, but we don’t really know what to make of them. They thumped what some thought would be a solid Phoenix squad and then were beaten soundly by Chicago. I don’t really know what to make of LA quite yet.