Saturday’s doubleheader features two bottom-tier teams playing opponents in the playoff pack. There will probably not be much movement after Saturday’s games, but if the underdogs win, it will keep every team on their toes heading into the second half of the season.
First, the Liberty host the Sparks and will look to end a three-game losing streak. Though the Sparks are on a three-game winning streak, they will be without Candace Parker and Alexis Jones due to injuries, while Riquna Williams is serving a 10-game suspension due to a domestic violence arrest. The Liberty are nearly at full strength after Amanda Zahui B. (Sweden), Bria Hartley (France) and Marine Johannès (France) returned from their national team duties.
The Wings host the Mercury in tonight’s second game and look to end a four-game losing streak. Dallas is shooting just 38.4 percent as a team, but kept things close against Phoenix last Wednesday in a 69-64 loss. The game was actually one of Dallas’ better defensive efforts because they held the Mercury to 39 percent shooting. However, the Wings only shot 34.7 percent from the field and Arike Ogunbowale went just 6-of-22.
Here’s how to follow today’s games:
New York Liberty (7-10) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (10-7)
When: Saturday, July 20, at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY
How to watch: NBA TV, FOX Sports Go, Spectrum SportsNet, TSN
Keys to the matchup: The Sparks should enter this game as the favorites since they have the advantage in the frontcourt with Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike. However, New York could make things interesting in the backcourt. Kia Nurse is averaging a career-high 16.3 points per game and Asia Durr is averaging 11.1 points per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. Johannès has been a spark plug for the Liberty in her first appearances, though she has yet to be part of a New York win. That could very well change this afternoon.
Dallas Wings (5-13) vs. Phoenix Mercury (8-8)
When: Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: College Park Center, Arlington, TX
How to watch: NBA TV, FOX Sports Southwest Plus, FOX Sports Arizona Plus, NBA TV Canada
Keys to the matchup: The Wings are underdogs because they don’t have the frontcourt firepower the Mercury do in Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner. For Dallas, Ogunbowale has come into her own of late, leading the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game and scoring 20 or more points in three of her last six games. However, she remains very streaky and shoots only 34.4 percent from the field. If she has an efficient performance tonight, it could help Dallas keep things interesting.