The New York Liberty were one of the three teams I thought could make a surprise run at the WNBA title. We’re 22% of the way through the schedule and New York is 1-7…big ouchies. Forward Jocelyn Willoughby went down in their blowout loss to Seattle on Saturday, and will be out till July (at the earliest).
Which is not great for the Liberty, but it’s also not the reason they’ve been bad this season. It’s the porous defense that has awful at limiting two-pointers.
It’s been a seven-game losing streak that has been hard to watch. The closest game was the eight-point loss to Seattle in the first of back-to-back games at Climate Pledge Arena. New York forced over time before the Storm pulled ahead in overtime for a 79-71 Seattle victory.
Las Vegas is on a roll
Easily the best team, at this point in the season, Las Vegas has practically be unstoppable. All eight of the Aces wins have been by double digits.
It’s been an explosive offense that has gotten it done for Vegas. Basketball-Reference has its offensive rating at 113.9…the best in the league. That high powered offense has carried a middle of the road defense. And that’s easily been enough to build up a three game lead in the Western Conference and a two game lead for the best record.
Washington is the only team to beat the Aces and it wasn’t even particularly close. Vegas bounced back with an 11-point victory of the Storm and it’s reeled off five wins after that to make it six in a row.
My Mystics pick is looking good
At 6-3, the Mystics are half a game back of the Sun in the Eastern Conference. Washington has been absolutely dominant on defense and that’s been the difference maker for Mike Thibault’s squad. Basketball-Reference has Connecticut’s defensive rating at 96.0, which is good for first in the WNBA.
The Mystics started the season off on a four game win streak. But it was snapped by Dallas in 12-point loss. They would get their revenge in their second straight game, which was the road half of the back-to-back games. Chicago and Connecticut account for Washington’s other two losses…both of those impact tie breakers when it comes time to playoff seeding.
If the offense can take a step forward as the season develops, Washington will be extremely dangerous in September.
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