Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WNBA Preview: Beginning of the End

By Mel Greenberg

The playoff-positioning hunt begins its final push Tuesday night with several games of note. Monday's post several items under this one went over the entire week and team-by-team implications.

We'll be in Washington at the Verizon Center Tuesday night for one of three key games on the WNBA card as the Mystics host the revitalized Connecticut Sun.

Connecticut, which finishes up Sunday at home against Washington, is looking to start a back-to-back two-night sweep that would move the Sun into a second-place tie with the Indiana Fever and give them, for the moment, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference because they've already clinched the tie-breaking season series requirement with Indiana.

Trailing the Fever by 1 1/2 games, Connecticut goes to Indiana Wednesday night.

Washington must win or hope for the Chicago Sky Tuesday night to beat the New York Liberty, which is only a half-game behind the Mystics for the fourth and final Eastern slot. The four Western slots have been determined and the Seattle Storm, who host the Minnesota Lynx Tuesday night, are one of the playoff qualifiers but can do no better than hold their current No. 4 seed when the playoffs begin next week.

Chicago, which has a last breath, must win and needs Washington to lose to maintain its longshot for the fourth Eastern berth.

New York, of course, could eliminate Chicago and also jump ahead of Washington if the Mystics lose. The Liberty next travel to Washington Thursday night for a key head-to-head game.

The San Antonio Silver Stars could move to within a half-game of first-place and idle Phoenx with a win Tuesday night at Los Angeles. San Antonio is looking for a two-night sweep, which finishes Wednesday at the Sacramento Monarchs.

The sweep gains a tie with Phoenix, for the moment, while the Silver Stars would also clinch at least the No. 2 seed and first-round home-court advantage over Sacramento.

Houston, already eliminated, as is Los Angeles and Minnesota, will be at Detroit to face a Shock team that will be without Kara Braxton. The former Georgia star has been suspended for two games by the WNBA after being involved in a DUI citation.

Inside the Inquirer

For those who attended the recent Inquirer-hosted reception for yours truly involving June's induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, you might recall that in the remarks by Bill Marimow, the head of the news room, he told a few stories involving yours truly in connection with Marimow and Mike Leary, a former department editor here currently with the Baltimore Sun.

That is the same Mike Leary who on Monday was announced to return here in shared duties as co-managing editors with Sandra Long.

The story on the hires is at philly.com.

Leary's daughter is Meghan Essman, director of fan development for the Phillies, and back in the famouse Cecil B. DeMel video era at the paper, we produced her softball recruiting video which helped her get accepted by the University of Pennsylvania.

He begins his new duties on Monday.

-- Mel


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