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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WNBA: Suddenly Connecticut Living the Dream Thanks to Atlanta in the Slide for Stewie Race

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

We extended the week in review for our Slide for Stewie Standings by one day since Tuesday morning’s Connecticut-Atlanta game was the only one on the entire WNBA slate and both teams are factors as the Eastern lottery leaders in terms of having a shot at landing UConn senior Breanna Stewart, the grand prize in next April’s draft.

Again, the ongoing reminder that if you haven’t read any of the previous installments just go back to the first one – this is week four – to get the idea of what everything means.

Since the bottom two teams in the East are sorting themselves out in the next week or so we will revise the metrics listings below.

When the Connecticut Sun got off to that runaway start back in early June to belie the preseason doom and gloom predictions built on a slew of injuries, the Sun’s any kind of shot at the Huskies star seemed out the window.

But the injuries kept coming and in the past week after losing one game in overtime to the Tulsa Shock and getting swept Sunday and Tuesday by the other lotto-bound team most likely in the East in the Atlanta Dream the Sun/UConn faithful wishes have gained traction, especially with the new system adding the last two seasons, including this one, to get to the pecking order for better odds off bad won-loss records.

Indeed, once the four lottery teams are sealed we may have to go back and see what games last year with narrow outcomes effected the order.

The San Antonio Silver stars also had a big week losing all three games, none close, to go up a half-game on the Seattle Storm for worst overall record.

Connecticut with a pair of otherwise wins could have reversed direction and moved close to the fourth spot occupied by the Washington Mystics, who after completing a sweep of Western frontrunner Minnesota that had this week’s game played in the Midwest, they managed to lose a pair of games to the Chicago Sky in the final seconds.

While Atlanta and Connecticut have begun to separate themselves backwards – the Dream have begun to win recently but are living off the ragged play they took into the All-Star break – it is a 3-for-2 affair in the West for the lottery or the playoffs depending on your choosing since the Los Angeles Sparks have been unable to totally right the ship after the return of Candace Parker and Alana Beard.

Los Angeles is three games in front of fifth-place Seattle. However, expect the Sparks to win in spite of themselves with a better pace than the Texans and Storm over the final three weeks.

Once we revamp the listings below, since we had the entire East in the lotto hunt, some of the groupings will be retained below to see what key moments translated into seed positions.

The Indiana Fever are red hot right now and it could go to the final game of the season between them and the front running New York Liberty to determine the top two seeds in the East and if any falter, if Chicago or Washington put together run the top of the heap in the East will be as exciting to watch as our Sliding for Stewie race.

And out West after dominating the top spot the Minnesota Lynx has been in a slide with the defending champion Phoenix Mercury drawing closer in second place.

And are shaking off a 10-game slide the Dallas-bound Tulsa Shock are just a few magic numbers away from making their first playoff appearance since the franchise moved from Detroit, where it won three WNBA titles in its previous incarnation.

Now, here are the numbers for this week.

Slide For Stewie Standings
(Thru Tue., Aug. 25)

Team L W *-GBO *-GBL, MNL

San Ant. 21 7 -- -- 3
Seattle 20 7 0.5 -- 4
#Los Angeles 17 10 3.5 3.0
Atlanta 16 11 4.5 -- 4
Conn. 15 12 5.5- -- 3
#Washington 11 15 9.0 3.5
Chicago 11 17 10.0 4.5
Indiana 9 17 11 5.5
New York 8 18 12 6.5

*- GBO is Overall Games Behind Worst Record. GBL is Games Behind Lottery Slot, MNL is Magic Number to Clinch Lottery
#-Top Team Below Lottery Cut in Each Division

Results Five Points Or Less
Most Recent at Top
!-Games Against Other Lottery Contenders

!Indiana 80, New York 79
!Chicago 66, Washington 64
!Chicago 87, Washington 85
Tulsa 84, Conn. 76, ovt.
Minnesota 84, Atlanta 82
!-Washington 66, San Antonio 63
!-Chicago 71, Washington 68
!-Los Angeles 80, San Antonio 78
Phoenix 71, Atlanta 68
!-Connecticut 67, Seattle 66
Phoenix 89, Chicago 87, ovt.
Connecticut 78, Minnesota 77
!-Indiana 75, Connecticut 73
New York 81, Seattle 77
!-Chicago 97, Atlanta 92
Los Angeles 75, Phoenix 70
!-Atlanta 76, Los Angeles 72
Indiana 83, Tulsa 80
!-New York 79, Washington 76
New York 75, Phoenix 73
Phoenix 94, New York 91
Los Angeles 98, Tulsa 93
!-Chicago 77, Connecticut 74
Tulsa 93, Seattle 89
!-San Antonio 73, Seattle 71
!-Atlanta 72, Washington 79
!-Connecticut 80, Los Angeles 76
San Antonio 76, Phoenix 71
!-Chicago 100, Atlanta 96
!-Washington 84, Los Angeles 80
!-Atlanta 74, Chicago 73
!-Atlanta 64, Washington 61
Indiana 77, Phoenix 74
!-Connecticut 67, Chicago 65
!-Atlanta 72, San Antonio 69
!-Connecticut 75, Atlanta 70
!-Washington 67, New York 62
!-Washington 73, Connecticut 68
Phoenix 76, San Antonio 71

Reverse Overall Performance in Close Games

Team L W

Seattle 4-0
San Antonio 4-2
Los Angeles 4-3
Washington 6-4
Atlanta 6-5
Connecticut 4-3
New York 2-3
Chicago 3-6
Indiana 0-4

Reverse Close Game Performance Against Other Lottery Contenders

Team L W

Washington 4-3
Seattle 3-0
San Antonio 3-1
Los Angeles 3-1
Connecticut 3-3
Atlanta 3-5
Chicago 2-4
New York 1-1
Indiana 0-1

Reverse Overall Performance Against Other Lottery Contenders

Team L W
San Antonio 13-5
Connecticut 13-9
Los Angeles 12-6
Seattle 11-7
Atlanta 11-10
Washington 9-11
Indiana 9-12
Chicago 9-15
New York 5-14

That’s it for now.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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