Midweek Open Thread: It's Kids Week in the WNBA, Seven of Nine Games Tuesday Through Thursday Are Matinees, Plus An Open Topic On The Team USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team

It's the last full week of games in July in the WNBA and before the Olympic Break. This week we will see a lot of Kiddie Games which are light on the comment side here, especially for guys who are working a typical 9-5. I work more like a 10:30-7, and even I can't watch these games admittedly.

There are four games today, all matinees. Tomorrow, there are three games, two of them matinees, and Thursday, there are two more games, with one of them a matinee. All games are on LiveAccess unless it is on a local market which I will note, or if it is on ESPNU.

These mid week games will also feature a home and home series between the East's best and worst teams based on record, the Sun and Mystics, and the West's best and worst teams based on record, the Lynx and Shock. Was this coincidence, or an omen back when the schedule was created?

I'll also have an open topic which you can talk about anytime. Last Saturday after the USA men's team was selected, I gave my take on it. So the open topic is this: What are your thoughts on the Team USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team? Which countries will put up a fight against the Americans, and do you wish the American team had someone else besides the current roster? You can find the roster here.

Tuesday Games (ALL Matinee Games, aka Kiddie Games)

1. Connecticut Sun (12-4) at Washington Mystics (3-12), 11:30 AM ET/8:30 PT | Tina is the Player of the Week for the East | Mystics Preview

Today, the Sun and Mystics embark on a back to back and home and home scenario against each other. In addition to Tina, Kara Lawson has been ballin' for Connecticut (and she's a Lady Vol!). The Sun certainly hopes to take advantage of these two games against the East's worst team. For the Mystics, Crystal, Mo, and Matee will try to hold the fort, and hope to win one of these two games this afternoon. Fortunately, the Mystics will offer every camper a free noisemaker to the game, so this game should definitely give the Mystics an added home court advantage that they sorely need before the Olympic break.

If you're in DC/Baltimore, turn on CSN Mid Atlantic to watch the game.

2. NY Liberty (6-10) at Indiana Fever (9-6), 12 PM ET/9 AM PT | Libs Preview | Fever Preview

Both teams are 1-1 so far in their regular season series. The Fever is coming off an OT win against the reeling Sky, while the Libs lost to a hot Stars team. As mentioned earlier by our resident Lib fans, this team is facing injury woes right now with Plenette Pierson, Kia Vaughn, and now DeMya Walker who injured her knee. I watched this game in spurts alongside the Mystics-Shock game on Sunday, and one factor that also hurt the Libs against San Antonio was that they failed to make easy open layups a number of times, especially in the first half. That came to haunt NY in the second half as the Stars pulled away in the fourth quarter since they were down 73-69 after three.

It's also mascot Freddy Fever's Birthday today.

3. Minnesota Lynx (13-4) at Tulsa Shock (3-13), 12:30 PM ET/11:30 PM CT and Local Time/9:30 AM PT | Lynx Preview | Shock Preview | Julie Wojta is back

Last time these two teams played, the Shock lost 93-73. Now, the Lynx have some injured players headed into the break with Jess Adair, Devereaux Peters, and now starting center Rebekkah Brunson unable to play. Julie Wojta, the standout from UW-Green Bay and 18th pick in the draft was signed by the team and will likely get some minutes at some point too. However, even with the injuries on Minny's roster, the talent on paper is more than enough to beat Tulsa. On top of all this, Minny just lost three games in a row.

For the Shock, the unofficial feel-good team that we all support here on this blog, all of these things certainly can play into their favor as Coach Klop tries to get the black and yellow on a winning streak with their short yet spirited backcourt of Temeka Johnson and Ivory Latta leading the way.

Like the Sun/Mystics, these two teams are playing a home and home.

It's also Volt the Fox's birthday game.

4. LA Sparks (13-6) at Phoenix Mercury (4-13), 3:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT and Arizona Time

The Sparks have gone on a three game winning streak and now travel to Phoenix to play the team with the league's longest current losing streak. Hopefully DeWanna, Sammy, and Charde are fully rested as they take on LA's big three of Nneka, Candace, and Kristi, because let's be honest, the Mercury was just totally running on fumes Sunday.


1. San Antonio Silver Stars (11-5) at Chicago Sky (8-7), 12:30 PM ET/11:30 PM CT and Local Time/9:30 PM PT | Becky is the Player of the Week for the West | This is about a week old now, but here's a photo gallery of Becky visiting the Guide Dogs of Texas | Stars Preview | Sky Preview

The Stars are the league's hottest team right now and they face a team that probably needs the Olympic Break more than any other team right now. In addition the Stars look to settle a score after losing to the Sky back on May 30. Unfortunately, the next game for the Sky is Connecticut on Friday, but at least it's at home......

It is yet another mascot's birthday game with Sky Guy being the Birthday Mascot of the Day.

2. Atlanta Dream (8-9) at Seattle Storm (8-9), 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PT | Storm Preview

We see a rematch of the 2010 Finals as the Dream comes off a loss to the Sparks, while Sue decided to give everyone in Emerald City a show. Both teams look to hit the .500 mark, and the loser ens up falling to 8-10 given their identical records

Today is Kids Day at the Key, so the usual crowd screams will be a bit higher pitched, and the Train Line in the 4th quarter may be a little longer than usual.

3. Washington Mystics (3-13) at Connecticut Sun (13-4), 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT

Lacey Presser | Snow Postgame | Lang Postgame | Mystics Preview for tonight

Okay, they didn't play the Tuesday game yet but we finally hit our first night time game!

This is the second game of a home and home for both teams. On the Tuesday Kiddie Game, Sun led early by double digits but the Mystics managed to keep this game close, thanks to the the fact that they outrebounded the Sun 38-23 and outrebounded them on the offensive glass 15-3. Also the Mystics only had 13 total turnovers (10 by players) and 17 assists. All good stats I must say. However, the Sun made 52% of its shots, Mystics made 41% of theirs. That more than made up the difference. But maybe I'm just being unnecessarily harsh on DC. Yeah, we lost 70-77.

Understandably with a team like DC, the ladies in Monumental Red will do anything and everything to look at the positives. Coach Lacey and Michelle Snow were quick to mention the fact that they were able to keep the Sun from blowing them out and that their defense and their offense was good, minus free throws. Even if the Mystics made all 15 of their free throws instead of just nine, they would have still lost this game by one. I don't know if I saw any crazy line substitutions or anything, but yet again, the rookie, Natalie Novosel basically had another DNP. She only came into the game with less than a minute left and actually got an assist, but I guess she was drafted by the Mystics to show her toughness in the form of not crying or openly sulking on the bench because she is not showing what she can do on a bad team full of veteran talent.

If there is anything telling from postgame after the Tuesday Mystics-Suns game, Coach Lacey was asked a question about what she would tell fans what they could look forward to after the break. Lacey cut him off and said that the team is taking longer than expected to gel and mentioned the phrase "searching for or creating our identity" twice. She also mentioned that signs of good play were there all year and finally mentioned the words "REBUILDING PROCESS" in her answer to the question. I can really go bonkers right now, but let's just say that the response she gave seemed to be like she knew that her job was on the line.

Whether the Mystics win or lose today, they may have a better chance winning some money at the Casino of the Wind's poker room than beating the Sun. Sorry. The cards aren't in the Mystics' favor and the casino will always come out ahead, one way or another. The May preseason Mystics win now looks like a win based on a bluff to me...


1. Tulsa Shock (3-14) at Minnesota Lynx (14-4), 1:00 PM ET/12:00 PM CT and Local Time/10:00 AM PT | The Lynx hit milestones in their last game on Tuesday

This is the second game of the Lynx/Shock home and home. It is also the Lynx's kiddie game today and better known as Camp Day.

In their last game, the Lynx tore apart the Shock 107-86, especially in the fourth quarter and the Lynx almost made 70% of their total shots. I don't know if it was just a really good day at the office, or if the Shock's defense was abysmal. Even with this loss, the Shock still shot well for the game making 48% of its shots, and dished a total of 20 assists.

This game was basically analagous to a lynx killing, but later tearing apart a bunny for supper, and Minny did this all without rookie Julie Wotja, though I think she should get some playing time in this game now that she's fully acclimated to things again.

As for Tulsa, I anticipate a better game on Thursday than what I saw on the box socre today (I wrote this Tuesday night).

2. Los Angeles Sparks (14-6) at Indiana Fever (10-6), 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT | Fever Preview

We finally end the midweek flurry of games with an ESPN2 game. Also should be on ESPN3 if you're not at the TV and have a good internet connection (and the right internet provider). This will also be a good match on paper as Candace and Tamika go head to head for the first time this season. In addition we get to see Stanfiord Cardinal alumnae Nneka Ogwumike of the Sparks and Jeanette Pohlen of the Fever play as well, and both are having good years individually, not to mention they both play on good teams.

OPEN TOPIC: What are your thoughts on the Team USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team? Which countries will put up a fight against the Americans, and do you wish the American team had someone else besides the current roster?

So that's the long docket of games. Enjoy the week, share your thoughts on Team USA, and of course on the games this week.

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