The Connecticut Solar is chasing the franchise’s first WNBA championship, and that journey begins with a best-of-three first-round collection in opposition to the Dallas Wings in
Though the Suns (25-11) have had their fair proportion of bumps alongside the best way, the staff is hard and adjusted effectively sufficient to earn the No. 1 seed. Three. In the meantime, the No. 6 seed Wings (18-18) are getting into their second straight WNBA playoffs and have their finest report since transferring to Dallas in 2017. Nonetheless, they entered the postseason with out the their star Arike Ogunbowale and can be with out. her not less than for the primary spherical.
The Wings have received two of three conferences this season, however something might occur within the playoffs.
This is every part it’s good to know earlier than taking motion:
(Three) Connecticut Solar vs. (6) Dallas Wings
(All the time Japanese)
- Sport 1: Wings within the Solar | Thursday, August 18, eight p.m. | TV: ESPNU, NBA TV, TSN | Present: fuboTV (attempt free)
- Sport 2: Wings within the Solar | Sunday, August 21, 12 p.m. | TV: ABC, SN | Present: fuboTV (attempt free)
- Sport Three*: Solar within the wings | Wednesday, Aug. 24, TBD | TV: NBA TV Canada | Present: fuboTV (attempt free)
Gamers to observe
Solar: Jonquel Jones
The reigning MVP leads the staff in scoring with 14.6 factors per sport and is capturing 51.Three p.c from the sphere whereas main the rebounding staff with eight.6 boards per sport (fourth finest within the league). Jones is nothing if not constant. The 6-foot-6 ahead has scored in double figures in all however six of these video games this season and has additionally recorded 12 double-doubles. Her stats could also be down from final season, however that is common when she has sixth-place AP Lady of the Yr Brionna Jones and a greater solid with gamers like Courtney Williams — who spent two years with the Atlanta Dream. earlier than returning to Connecticut.
Wings: Marina Mabrey
With Ogunbowale, the staff’s main scorer, lagging behindThe Wings had to determine who would step up offensively. Mabrey definitely did a great job on it. The 5-foot-11 guard has scored in double figures previously seven video games, together with a game-high 31 factors because the Wings formally clinched their playoff berth with an 86-77 win over the New York Liberty on Aug. eight. he additionally proved he may be profitable in opposition to the Suns as he scored 20 factors in opposition to them on Might 24th whereas capturing 60% from the sphere and going Three-for-6 from past the arc.
Three collection keys
1. Common season wins imply nothing
It is simple to take a look at the truth that the Wings have received two of three video games, but it surely’s vital to recollect precisely when these occurred. The primary, an 85-77 end result, got here simply two days laterin a win in opposition to the Indiana Fever on Might 22. Connecticut rallied to beat Dallas 99-68 on Might 26.
Dallas’ second win, an 82-71 rout, got here amid a late June/early July stoop for Connecticut through which the Solar misplaced 4 of six video games. Whereas this does not take something away from the Wings’ success, Ogunbowale was a serious contributor within the final win with 20 factors. That being stated…
2. Wings wrestle with accidents however might nonetheless win with out Ogunbowale
Sure, it is going to be arduous to do with out Ogubowale’s management and particularly with out his 19.7 factors per sport, which is fourth finest within the league. Nonetheless, the Wings have proven they’ll do with out her. She missed two video games in early August with an ankle damage. In her absence, the Wings have posted wins over the defending champion Chicago Sky and the Las Vegas Aces, who’re the 2 groups main the Japanese and Western Conferences. No small feat because the Solar have didn’t win in opposition to Sky this 12 months.
Dallas has gone 2-2 for the reason that Fever sport through which Ogunbowale suffered a hip damage, but when their newest result’s any indication of how they’re going to fare within the playoffs, they’re certain to placed on a present.
The Wings completed their common season with a strong 116-88 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on August 14th. The staff as an entire shot a formidable 65.6 p.c from the sphere and 50 p.c from past the arc with 11 Three-pointers made. Mabrey had 5 of these Three-pointers and completed the evening with 27 factors on 76.9 p.c capturing. An amazing evening for her, but it surely was really a staff effort as 4 different Wings scored in double figures.
Dallas has proven offensive depth this season with seven gamers averaging not less than eight.zero per sport, however three of these gamers have not too long ago handled accidents. Ogunbowale is presently out, Satou Sabally has been out since July with an ankle damage and Isabelle Harrison missed the Sparks sport with a shoulder damage.
A strong offensive effort can be crucial in opposition to Connecticut, because the Solar are the second-best defensive staff within the WNBA, holding opponents to a mean of 77.eight factors in 36 video games. Each the Solar and Wings are within the prime 5 within the league in factors per sport, averaging 85.eight and 82.9 factors per sport, respectively.
Three. The solar has momentum
Connecticut has received 11 of its final 14 common season video games. The Suns have been strong all season regardless of dropping Thomas — their place to begin guard and a strong perimeter defender — after simply six video games. They signed veteran Bria Hartley in July, however sadly she suffered a season-ending ACL damage shortly after. .
The staff additionally handled points associated to COVID-19 as Jonquel Jones, head coach Curt Miller and assistant Brandi Poole needed to miss some video games. Moreover, Miller took a break when his mom died. Nonetheless, the Suns have been resilient and as soon as once more have the potential to make a playoff run.
Their momentum would not simply contain this 12 months. Based on Basketball Reference, the Solar’s 55.eight successful proportion over the previous 24 years is second finest within the WNBA. The one franchise with a greater proportion is the Sparks, a staff that’s presently down however has received three championships. That makes Connecticut the perfect staff with no championship trophy.
Final 12 months, the staff made all of it the best way to the semi-finals earlier than falling to Sky. Curiously sufficient, if Connecticut wins the collection in opposition to Dallas, the Suns might face Chicago within the second spherical (if).
The wings have proven they’ll adapt when key gamers are lacking and should not be fully dominated out. That stated, the Solar is coming in sizzling and it is going to be a really troublesome problem. Select: Solar in 2