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.

Monday, September 07, 2015

WNBA: Seattle Joins the Lottery in the Slide for Stewie Race

(Guru's Note: Directly under this post is the upside of the final week going over race for playoff seed slots)

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Things got slightly more focused but nothing yet definitively in terms of the odds for the Breanna Stewart family on Sunday as to where they will be spending travel dollars next summer to watch the current University of Connecticut senior put her stamp on the WNBA in terms of what franchise will she call home.

The suspense will stay alive until the night of Sept. 24 at halftime of the Eastern Conference final on ESPN2 when the ping pong balls will have done their thing and league president Laurel Richie will step up to the podium and announce the lottery order which will involve the four teams who did not make the playoffs.

As of Sunday only one more is to be determined and that could go to the wire as several horse races within our Slide for Stewie Standings remain with the final week of the WNBA regular season getting under way Tuesday night in key games in Washington and Minnesota.

Here is where we are since the last post here 48 hours ago.

The San Antonio Silver Stars on Saturday night fell at home to the Phoenix Mercury in a lopsided game that kept the Texans on the heels of the Seattle Storm in their 1-2 race for best odds.

The Phoenix win (read the playoff post for more detail) kept the defending WNBA champion Mercury in pursuit of the top spot in the West chasing the Minnesota Lynx.

A wipeout by the Chicago Sky at home Sunday in a cross-divisional game with Seattle while out West the Los Angeles Spark’s similar home wipeout of the Tulsa Shock officially dropped the Storm into the WNBA lottery while Los Angeles became the last team out West to qualify for the postseason in that conference.

The Washington Mystics, who have played more close outcomes then anyone else in the league, failed to close out a playoff spot again, falling in a head-to-head match in Atlanta against the Dream, which will stay alive until either Washington wins a game between now or Sunday or they lose one.

They meet again Sunday in the nation’s capital and if the Mystics continue their real slide of the past few weeks Atlanta will miraculously be in the postseason again and Washington’s two-season playoff run will come to an end.

Either team will be fourth best, especially with the recent procedural change that calls for overall won-loss records of this season and last for the four teams who land in the lotto draw.

Right now Atlanta and Washington have identical 33-32 records which will be good enough for fourth best behind the Connecticut Sun 39-27 in the third slot.
Of course dismay will quickly dissipate if Lady Luck shows up and smiles on the Mystics after Mr. Bad Luck in 2013 managed to stick Washington, then with the worst record, with the fourth pick behind the three prizes of Brittney Griner (Phoenix), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago), and Skylar Diggins (Tulsa).

Indeed, that situation led to the aforementioned change that also calls for the team with the worst record to get the No. 3 pick if it does not finish first or second.

This means Connecticut could be bumped to fourth and the permutations are listed below.

If Washington reverses itself, the win on Tuesday will be big because it will give the Mystics the season series over Indiana and a chance to finish third if the Fever were to lose at Atlanta Friday and at home on Sunday to the New York Liberty.

Washington will travel to the Liberty Friday night before hosting Atlanta Sunday.

Atlanta will also host Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Seattle overall at 44-21 and San Antonio at 43-23 are in the 1-2 race with the Storm traveling to Minnesota on Tuesday and then hosting the Lynx Friday night before facing the Texans at home Sunday.

San Antonio visits Tulsa Tuesday and then wraps it up Sunday in Seattle though at the moment it seems unlikely that the Storm will sweep the Lynx, which with a loss by the Stars at Tulsa will have the teams meet at the finish with identical 44-23 records.

So that is where we are but before leaving you with the stats below, directly below and carried over from the last post are the ways Connecticut gets bumped and other shuffles if the team with the worst record doesn’t land in either of the top two spots.

Team 4, Team 2, TEAM 1, Team 3
Team 2, Team 4, TEAM 1, Team 3

The other team guaranteed third slots combinations would be

Team 4, Team 3, TEAM 1, Team 2
Team 3, Team 4, TEAM 1, Team 2
Team 2, Team 3, TEAM 1, Team 4
Team 3, Team 2, TEAM 1, Team 4

Now, here are today’s updates and this will update again after Sunday’s games.

Slide For Stewie Standings
(Thru Mon., Sept. 7)
Team L W *-GBO *-GBL MNL

%-San Ant. 25-7 -- --
%-Seattle 22-9 2.5 -- --
Atlanta 18-13 5.5 -- MNL-1
%-Conn. 18-14 7.0 -- --
#Washington 15-16 9.5 4.5

*- 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
%-Clinched 2016 Lottery Draw

Combined Divisions Adjusted Lottery Positions With Two-Year Records
(Thru Mon., Sept. 7)

Seattle 44-21 -- -- Remain-3
%-San Ant. 43-23 1.5 – Remain-2
Conn. 39-27 5.5 – -- Remain-2
Atlanta 33-32 11.0 – MNL-1 Remain-3
#-Wash 33-32 11.0 Remain-3

%-Clinched 2016 Lottery Draw #-Team Below Cut
MNL-Magic Number for Slot

Remaining Games Among Lottery Contenders
(Thru Mon., Sept. 7)

Seattle 44-21 (3) @-Minn-Tu; Minn-Fri; !-San Antonio-Sun

San Ant. 43-23 (2) @Tulsa-Tues; !-@Seattle-Sun

Conn. 39-27 (2) @-New York-Wed; Chi-Sun

Atl 33-32 (3) LA-Wed; Ind-Fri;!- @-Wash-Sun

#-Wash 33-32 (3) Ind-Tues; @-NY-Fri; !-Atl-Sun

!-A head-to-head Stewie game.

Results Five Points Or Less
Most Recent at Top Thru Sun., Sept. 6
!-Games Against Other Lottery Contenders
(Playoff teams being retained for end of season analysis)

New York 75, Minnesota 71
!-Connecticut 73, San Antonio 72
Los Angeles 93, Washington 91
New York 80, Atlanta 75, ovt.
Connecticut 72, Chicago 68
Chicago 98, Atlanta 96
Phoenix 81, Connecticut 80
Los Angeles 81 Indiana 79
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 82, 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

!-Games Against Other Lottery Contenders

Reverse Overall Performance in Close Games

Team L W

Seattle 4-0
San Antonio 5-2
Washington 7-4
Atlanta 8-5
Connecticut 5-5

Reverse Close Game Performance Against Other Lottery Contenders

Team L W

San Antonio 4-1
Washington 3-3
Seattle 1-0
Connecticut 0-3
Atlanta 1-4

Reverse Overall Performance Against Other Lottery Contenders

San Antonio 11-4 1
Connecticut 4-9 0
Seattle 6-8 1
Atlanta 4-6 1
Washington 4-7 1

GMRL-Games Remaining Against Lottery Contenders

That’s it for now.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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