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Preview: Chicago Sky-New York Liberty headlines a jam-packed Sunday with playoff implications galore

All four games on Sunday have huge playoff implications as we begin the final week of action.

Chicago Sky v New York Liberty
Sunday’s home game is a must-win for Dana Evans and the Chicago Sky against Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty.
Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

With just a week remaining in the regular season, we have four games on Sunday with huge playoff implications.

New York Liberty (29-7) vs.Chicago Sky (15-21)

The action begins in the Windy City, where the New York Liberty will look to make it six wins in a row while the Chicago Sky will try to keep the Los Angeles Sparks at bay and maintain the eighth and final playoff spot.

New York has been unbeatable lately, finding a valid flaw or complaint about the team gets harder by the day. With Breanna Stewart playing at an MVP level, Sabrina Ionescu being a sniper from deep and Courntey Vandersloot still operating at a Hall-of-Fame level at point guard, Chicago will have their hands full.

Luckily for Chicago, they have Kahleah Copper. The Chicago guard is averaging 18.3 points per game. With her speed, athleticism and power, she doesn’t just get buckets on her opponents; she demoralizes them by pressuring the rim until it breaks. Marina Mabrey is working alongside her, averaging 14.9 points per game and shooting a career-high 38.7 percent from 3 on the season. If both Sky guards bring it on Sunday, they’ll have a great chance of giving New York loss number eight, and staying at eighth in the standings.

Indiana Fever (11-25) vs. Dallas Wings (20-16)

The Indiana Fever only are playing for pride against the Dallas Wings, as they have been eliminated from playoff contention. Still, young teams can gain valuable experience late in the season. With so many young players on the roster, the Fever need to get as much film as possible on their players to see who they need to invest in moving forward.

One player they will absolutely be investing in—Aliyah Boston. An All-Star starter, the rookie has been as good as advertised, scoring 14.8 points and grabbing 8.3 rebounds per game. If Boston can dominate the glass, she could have a field day against the Dallas bigs.

Dallas has plenty to play for as they are trying to keep the fourth seed and guarantee themselves homecourt advantage in the first round. As usual for the Wings, Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally will be the driving forces, and Dallas should cruise to victory if both play up to their All-Star levels.

Phoenix Mercury (9-27) vs. Minnesota Lynx (18-19)

In what likely will be the least interesting matinee on Sunday, the Minnesota Lynx host the Phoenix Mercury. Minnesota is only a half game ahead of Washington for the No. 5 seed, but Phoenix already is eliminated, and haven’t looked like a good team at any point this season. Expect an easy win for the Lynx as the Mercury seem to have their eyes set on Cancún, rather than their upcoming opponent.

Washington Mystics (17-19) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (15-21)

And the final game of the day takes place on the West Coast at USC’s Galen Center, where the Los Angeles Sparks will play the Washington Mystics. This will be the Sparks’ final home game and, oddly enough, it’s not happening at their usual home, Arena. The Sparks need to win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. They currently have the same record as the Sky at 15-21, but Chicago owns the tiebreaker; LA really needs to win out to even have a chance of making the playoffs.

Nneka Ogwumike has been sensational, putting up MVP numbers all season long. But she’ll need help from her guards if LA wants to beat a now fully-healthy Washington team. Perhaps Zia Cooke gets the start and helps spark the LA offense.

Washington finally is injury-free and looks like a team no one will want to see in the playoffs. If Elena Delle-Donne, Brittney Sykes and Natasha Cloud are clicking on all cylinders, they’ll have a great chance of taking the road win. And if Minnesota somehow manages to lose on Sunday, DC will jump up to the No. 5 seed.

Game information

New York Liberty (29-7) vs. Chicago Sky (15-21)

When: 3 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL

How to watch: ESPN2

Sky injury report: Alanna Smith (out; concussion), Rebekah Gardner (out; foot), Isabelle Harrison (out; knee)

Liberty injury report: Sabrina Ionescu (questionable; calf)

Indiana Fever (11-25) vs. Dallas Wings (20-16)

When: 4 p.m. ET

Where: College Park Center in Arlington, TX

How to watch: ESPN3

Fever injury report: Lexie Hull (questionable; shoulder)

Wings injury report: Natasha Howard (probable; illness), Diamond DeShields (out; knee), Lou Lopez Sénéchal (out; knee)

Phoenix Mercury (9-27) vs. Minnesota Lynx (18-19)

When: 7 p.m. ET

Where: Target Center, in Minneapolis, MN

How to watch: NBA TV

Mercury injury report: Sophie Cunningham (out; jaw), Diana Taurasi (out; toe), Shey Peddy (out; concussion), Skylar Diggins-Smith (out; not with team)

Lynx injury report: Jessica Shepard (out; ankle), Lindsay Allen (out; hand), Natalie Achonwa (out; not with team)

Washington Mystics (17-19) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (15-21)

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Galen Center in Los Angeles, CA

How to watch: WNBA League Pass

Mystics injury report: Shakira Austin (out; hip), Ariel Atkins (out; nasal fracture)

Sparks injury report: Layshia Clarendon (questionable; healthy and safety protocols), Chiney Ogwumike (out; foot),, Lexie Brown (out; non-COVID illness), Nia Clouden (out; knee) Katie Lou Samuelson (out; personal)