It's Sunday, and that means that there's bound to be some afternoon ball games. Three games today with one on the East Coast and Two on the West Coast.
After a day of two ESPN games, we're back to LiveAccess again, which is great on one hand because we can see any game, but then half the teams are horrible at coordinating the audio and video. That can be another topic on another day. Again, if you're in a local market that has this game on local TV, I will note that too.
Game 1: Atlanta Dream (4-7) vs. New York Liberty (4-8), 4 PM ET/1 PM PT
We start out today's games with two teams that will be fighting for the fourth playoff spot East. The Dream has started out this season inconsistently to say the least, given that they got blown out by Connecticut a couple weeks ago, and then blow out the Sparks in their next game. The Liberty had the worst start in the Eastern Conference this season, but they are 4-3 in their last seven games, though three of their last four games are losses, two of them blowouts against their favor.
For the Dream, this is the second game of a home and home with the Libs drawing first blood last Tuesday. For the Libs, they lost to Minny last Thursday badly after Tuesday's win. Either way, both teams are fresh off a loss and want to win tonight.
After this entire season so far, these are the two teams I have seen the least (I didn't see the NY-DC game and don't want to watch the archive either on LiveAccess) and have least familiarity with aside from star players so I will watch this game to get a better feel for them. Dream guard Lindsey Harding suffered a lower body injury last game and left in crutches, so it remains to be seen whether she can play today. In addition, Angel McCoughtry sat out last Tuesday's game and it remains to be seen if she will play today as of the time I wrote this which was about 10 PM on Saturday June 23. Should both of them be out, Cappie Pondexter and the Liberty must capitalize with a win.
The NY Liberty will not have a specific Title IX commemoration game after checking their site and the league's Title IX site, though there will probably be some PSA's on it. However, Lib players were at Lincoln Center this past Monday at an event sponsored by Coca-Cola, which ironically is based in the same city as the team they will play today. See the link above for the story. The Libs instead will host their annual Father's Day game which is a week late because they were on the road last week.
If you're in the NYC/Newark/Bridgeport/Long Island megapolitan area, watch this game on MSG.
Game 2: Washington Mystics (2-7) at Seattle Storm (4-7), 7 PM ET/4 PM PT
I will call this game the game of the day, and not because I anticipate the game to be competitive, because on paper it won't. More on why I think it is later. Despite the fact that the Storm is a glamour franchise and the Mystics are not, historically both teams have played each other pretty competitively over the years, and the Mystics for the most part had their way with the Storm, even on bad seasons, winning their home contests against Seattle from 2007-2010, with two of those seasons in non-playoff years, one of those years when Lauren Jackson erupted for almost 50 points (2007), and another game when the Storm was blown out in an otherwise horrible season in DC (2008), though it was not as horrible as 2011.
Last Friday on the June 15 thread, I said that Storm must capitalize on its remaining June games against all teams not named the Lynx if it wanted "any hope of making the playoffs for a WNBA record 9th straight year." Looks like Sue's Crew understood how important this late June stretch was, because they haven't lost since, and that includes the Minny win which was a plus.
For both teams, this is a home and home situation. Though Seattle currently has the 4th playoff spot out west, the Mystics home and home is the equivalent of two "Georgetown Cupcakes" on the schedule, the latter being the first game on a four game road trip. It is imperative that the Storm takes care of business and not assume that the Mystics won't come out to play hard ball, though it is possible that the Mystics won't for reasons above the players' abilities and mentalities. This weekend, I learned that green and gold aren't just the official colors of the Storm, the Sonics, and universities like Baylor and William and Mary among others, but they're also the official colors of Australia! (Thanks Shannon!) Just a fact I'd like to throw out there.
Now, let's get to the Mystics, a team that has suffered two bad losses in its three game west coast trip, first to the Sparks in a blowout last Monday, and then a loss against the Mercury last Wednesday basically against the bench players, not to mention that the Mystics led by 5 with under three minutes left.
Now I'll say why this game is the game of the day. It is because it is safe to say that most Mystics fans believe that it's time to fire GM/HC Trudi Lacey (I certainly do) for many reasons, and the outcomes of these two games against the Storm may very well be the final nails in the coffin on what sets up her termination meeting with team president Sheila Johnson and owner Ted Leonsis later this week. If the Mystics continue to lose these next two games against Seattle, another team built around defense and veteran leadership like the way they did over this entire season, Lacey must be terminated. If she still has a job by the NBA Draft this Thursday, I really don't know why the hell I should be supporting a franchise that has at best questionable commitment toward a winning franchise with my money. It is really tiring me, and I bet you all feel the same way about me as well, since this negative shtick can only go on for so long, or can it?
The Storm is not hosting a Title IX game, but they will have a Title IX table at the Key, and it will be there all season. Today is Pride Night at the Key to promote and support LGBTQA awareness. $5 of every ticket purchased as a Pride Ticket will be donated to the Greater Seattle Business Association, which will use the money for college scholarships. There will be a Pride Picnic at Volunteer Park in Seattle starting at 11 AM Pacific Time to 4 PM when the game starts. The Seattle Center (where KeyArena is) will be host to the Seattle Pridefest which started yesterday actually. Please log onto its website here for more information if you're in Emerald City and want to take part in the festivities.
Game 3: San Antonio Silver Stars (4-5) vs. LA Sparks (10-3), 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PT
The Sparks are on the second night of a back to back after having their way against a depleted Mercury team for most of the game on the Mercury's Title IX night. So what if Candace didn't play? I got to see Nneka, Alana, Marissa, and Kristi play some good ball, including a Kristi pass to Marissa for three that we saw often from their college days at UMD. The Stars are coming off Friday's loss to the Storm, and would like to get back to .500. This also happens to be a home and home against LA for them, the second game being a Thursday matinee at home. The Sparks will play the Shock on the road this Tuesday before going to the Alamo.
LA will celebrate Title IX's 40th Anniversary with Inspiring Women Night (see link above). Judith Holland, former UCLA women's athletics director, and Colleen Matsuhara, former LA Sparks assistant coach and current head coach of West Los Angeles College's women's basketball time will be honored tonight.
If you're in the LA area, turn on KDOC to watch this game.
So that's all friends.
Enjoy the games and I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.